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sunday, November 22, 2009

The

The Belize Times

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Belize Times The Truth Shall Make You Free

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 22, 2009

Issue No. 4669

$1.00 www.belizetimes.bz

Belizean Businesses Losing Money Report 20% Decline in Revenues

Alberto Young - Grace Kennedy Belize Ltd. & Emile Mena Mena Group of Companies

On Monday night on Love FM during the Chamber of Commerce’s weekly show called The Business Perspective, guests revealed that the productive and commercial sectors were losing about 20 percent of revenues across the board. This show, which was titled the “Business Round Table (weh we di feel),” featured the host and her 3 guests, who were all prominent Belizean Businessmen from the productive and commerce sectors in Belize. During the discussion the panel stated that the recession, which

is now in full swing, is really having a serious effect on the ability of the business owners to keep operating at a profit. With inflation on the rise and consumer spending on the decline, businesses are finding it more difficult to access affordable credit or to properly manage their cash flow. In some cases, businesses have drastically slashed orders because of the fear that people will not be in a position to start spending anytime soon. In addition, some businesses (Continued on page 31)

Castro Accused of Illegal Land Seizure Is the rogue minister hustling off residents?

(Continued on page 31)

(See story on page 31)

PM Barrow Will Not Attend Celebrations in Dangriga

Your Memory Lives on Andy P....

. . . r e h et g o T e m Co

As a leader of the Opposition, Dean Barrow never attended ceremonies in the South of Belize celebrating Garifuna Settlement Day. In fact, it was only last year that as Prime Minister Dean Barrow accepted an invitation to participate in the official ceremonies held in Dangriga Town. The Belize Times has learned from a credible source that this year, the Prime Minister will not be attending the official celebrations to be held in Dangriga Town this year. The source tells us that instead, the Prime Minister has requested that the president of the National Garifuna Council come

to Belize City to join him for a small celebration here. It is an insult to the Garifuna people that the leader of the nation is able to fly to Miami for a week to attend a gala event, but does not make the effort to travel to Dangriga to attend the official ceremonies commemorating a historic event. It is just one more slight to add to a long list, like the Kendall Bridge which has still not been replaced after more than two years and the Middlesex Bridge which is in urgent need of repairs and has been ignored by this Prime Minister and his Government.

It's Time For The PUP!


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The Belize Times

sunday, November 22, 2009

Out Spoken

From Gregs, With Love!

WATINA: GÚNFULI WAMÉI HAYUMAHAN WAYUNAGU Tomorrow when the rolling thunder of the drums starts echoing in the early hours of the morning, many Belizeans will once again come together to commemorate the 1804 arrival of the first Garifuna settlers to Belize. This ceremony or re-enactment will occur wherever there is a community of Garifuna in Belize and as usual will be a fusion of pageantry, culture, spirituality and some decadence. In the south of Belize, where large Garifuna communities exist, the significance of Garifuna Settlement Day cannot be understated. For some time now these communities have been engaging in activities and events to mark the occasion, which for some carries as much significance as Independence Day. No other culture in Belize marks such an occasion in such form and style; in fact no ethnic group in Belize other than the Garinagu have their own anthem, which is called: “Hageira Libretian” In many ways, Garifuna culture and the celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day, which was started in 1943 but became a national holiday in 1977, has come to signify more than just their arrival to Belizean soil, it has come to represent Belizean culture on a whole. In every Roman Catholic parish in Belize this time of year Garifuna Settlement Day is marked by a special liturgy or religious ceremony, normally said in Garifuna and including songs and prayers in the language. It is no surprise to find any Belizean child singing the Our Father (Baba) in Garifuna, something many schools have taken to teaching their children. Everyday Garifuna words like “sush” (gossip) and “ayo” (goodbye) has become a common part of everyday language for many Belizeans, so much so that few Belizeans even bother to use the word gossip anymore. As far as food is concerned, sere and hudut can be found on any Belizean table no matter the ethnicity. Every Belizean dance can speak of some aspect of Garifuna culture. With such richness and diversity, it is hard to understand why there is a lingering fear that this could all be lost. The obvious reason for this fear is because today too few of our Garifuna children are learning the language, practicing the lifestyle and preserving the core values of the culture. Also, too few parents have or make the time to ensure that their children understand the importance of preserving these essentials of their culture. Today it comes as no surprise to find many young Garinagu Belizeans unable to communicate fluently in their language. This is not true of young Maya or Creoles, who speak their language in addition to speaking Creole. As for the Mestizo population, there is a definite resurgence in the Spanish language. Today 44 percent of all Belizeans consider Spanish their first language and more and more non Hispanic Belizeans are learning to speak Spanish. Yet the struggle to preserve the Grifuna language continues and more and more Garifuna children are growing up unable to speak Garifuna fluently. The bright spot in all this however, is that the matter has been recognized and prominent Garifuna personalities including the late Andy Palacio have made significant efforts to alert everyone that there is a need to preserve Garifuna culture. In 1981 when UNESCO proclaimed that Garifuna Language, Music and Dance were a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, they were in many ways insisting that everyone come together to preserve this culture, not only for the Garifuna people, but for all of humanity. The significance of the language, dance and music of the Garifuna people in so many ways transcends this singular culture and is very much in harmony with other cultures in the region. To this end, what the Garinagu has done for Belize is more than what is expressed through some of the more popular Punta songs and in the usual merriment of special occasions. Clearly the Garifuna who landed on our shores over two centuries ago managed to build a society that understood that their acceptance and their survival was dependent upon their full integration into the life of this nation. In many ways, earlier generations of Garinagu cradled this tiny nation in their arms, building Belize, making it their own and in return giving to it every bit of themselves. It was reciprocated for here in Belize the Garifuna people and their culture flourish. It is fitting that we honour such sacrifice and contribution, for indeed the Garifuna of Belize have made our nation stronger and better and for this we must all celebrate and honour the many contributions of our Garifuna Belizeans.

Mr Gordon Smith The National Perspective Belmopan Dear Mr. Smith Since our defeat in the 2008 elections I have been confined to my cave in Paraiso Village taking care of my own business and do not have much time to keep abreast with anything but work. I must thank you, however, for the free copy of the National Perspective of November 15, 2009 sent to my office. I did take sometime to read the newspaper and your column where you make mention of myself and decided to take time out to make some clarifications. I was most amused by your diatribe but take no issue for I guess this is part of having been involved in politics… The first time I ran for office was actually in 1984 in the Corozal Bay and was defeated by an outstanding and experienced UDP politician, Israel Alpuche who incidentally is a friend and for whom I have great respect. As you mentioned I won the Corozal Southwest Constituency in 1993 and 1998 and lost in 2003 and in 2008. I gather I did not meet the expectations of the voters in the area and hence they booted me out. That is what elections are about Mr. Gordon and it is no big deal. People simply vote for who they believe can help them more and represent them best. You cared to mention the friendship of Said Musa with myself. I must confess that I have been and to this moment, am still somewhat fond of our former Prime Minister and that I do keep some level of respect for him. I need to believe that despite whatever “mistakes” were committed by him he had our country at heart. He contributed in many ways to the development of this nation and I believe he still has quite a bit to contribute. Perhaps, as you mention, I was a bit shaken when he chose to order the Social Security Board to dismiss my wife from the post of General Manager. And that was simply because he had chosen to find a scapegoat to a situation that he, as the Minister of Finance, had created. I lost great respect for him because I realized that he did not have the balls to accept that he had been, as Minister of Finance, the person responsible for the mess, since it was he who had signed a sovereign guarantee for the entire Securitization process. Mrs Garcia was found responsible by the Senate Special Select Committee to be the person responsible for having taxpayers pay for the losses of the Securitization. But the fact remains, that the person responsible for taxpayer’s monies is the Minister of Finance, not the Manager of Social Security. She did her job of protecting the Social Security monies. In effect, the person who placed the taxpayer’s monies at risk was the Minister of Finance. Even the report of the Special Select Committee stated that there were no monies missing from Social Security. The Manager of Social Security Board at the time was only protecting the Government of Belize and the Prime Minister. How could she go against the word of the Prime Minister… that was a no-win position? The situation now will be whether the word of the former Prime Minister will be able to supersede the version of the former Manager of Social Security Board when she publishes, in the near future, her version of the happenings and of the “unfaithful day”. I am certain that you were present at the National Party Council where Said Musa tendered his resignation as leader of the People’s United Party. You may be able to remember that I was the only person amongst the faithful who rejected his resignation. I did so because I am a true believer that he made his biggest political mistake on that day. I tried to pass a motion at the Party Council in respect to that. However, not one person seconded the motion. Not even the close friends and family, sons et al, would support it. You see Mr. Gordon; people sometimes boot you out with the ballot. Sometimes they do so with their silence. It would seem to me that you consider yourself a part of what you term an “old PUP guard”. And you sound very bitter that your choice for leader was not John Briceño. There seem to be people who believe they should own the PUP by merit of their bloodline or heritage and can’t believe that one Icaiche Indian from Orange Walk could actually lead the membership of this great party. The family business, as someone put it, should, and you seem to believe, is to be led by only from among the chosen few. You cannot actually believe that PUP delegates are so stupid to be “hoodwinked” into voting. Mr. Gordon, people vote for you when they believe in you; when they don’t, they boot you out. I have been there. I find it quite amusing that you say that “Narda must call on Yasser for guidance for he has the know how and he did a tremendous job”. Frankly, I cannot opine on whether she is doing a good job or not but then after that resounding defeat of ours in the past elections 2006/2008, I don’t think that is indicative of any “tremendous job”. But if your view is correct, then she better get assistance elsewhere. Your little jab with respect that Narda is the smarter half of us confirms my view. Actually I think you are perfectly right, and I have always known that. I am very proud of being married to a woman smarter than me, and I find no shame in that. I also assure you that I would never beat her for that. Have a great Garifuna Settlement day! Always thought you was a bobcat But you’re just an alley rat Sincerely, Dr. Gregorio Garcia

THE BELIZE TIMES EDITOR

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sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

If Da Noh Soh…

GIV it to me, Gapi!

Short week and all, this columnist thought it would be a little harder to gather up the UDP shush, but this bunch

economic situation and the chronic lack of basic medical supplies at the KHMH, somebody’s gonna have to try real hard to convince me that the money which will fund those new post couldn’t have been spent better elsewhere. If you ask me, those positions were created only so some UDP cronies could get a piece of the little that’s left…but that’s just my opinion…If Da Noh Soh! War in the north…

so stupid and corrupt that there’s never a shortage of ‘factual gossip.’ Let’s start with our favourite dodo-bird from the north, Gapi Vega. A little bird which flew out of Gapi’s ministry told us that the Minister gave a member of his family a permit to export ten containerloads of zericote and poisonwood out of the country. No, I said, our Minister of Natural Resources would never do something like that, especially since it is illegal to export hardwoods. Yes, the bird said, they’re doing it through a company called GIV Ltd. So I sat there and I thought a bit, then I thought some more. Then I said, oh damn, this bird just may know what its talking about, cause you see, the Minister has a brother whose name is German Ignacio Vega (GIV, for those who are short on the uptake). Hmmm! Seems like this bunch wah neva done…If Da Noh Soh! New posts at the KHMH… Big moves are being made at the KHMH…seems the only thing that isn’t moving is the Commission of Inquiry, which was launched about 4 months ago but seems to have fizzled out. One of the big changes is the appointment of Dr. Bulwer as the Medical Chief of

Staff. I have hopes that it’s a change for the better. It certainly seems to have been a move which was in the making a long time ago, since Bulwer has been heard to say that he was offered the job months ago, but just decided to come in for an interview. And there are other changes, surprising changes especially since the KHMH claims to be perpetually cash strapped. For one thing, the KHMH will be hiring a PR Consultant, and we understand that they’re looking at Ms. Brenda Stuart. So what’s that all about? Seems like the KHMH and indeed the whole public health system should be focusing on how to stop killing babies and how to provide adequate health care as opposed to spending money on creating the best spin out of a bad situation! And did we say the KHMH is cash strapped? Well, apparently not, since another new post is being created – this one is for an assistant to the Medical chief of Staff. Okay then. I’ve got a serious problem when it comes to the UDP and the UDP priorities. Keeping in mind the current

Mein, Pablo so stupid he can’t even get victimizing people right. Not to make a joke out of a bad thing, but last week Pablo handed out 150 lots

everybody that crime is down and we’re living in the best of times under the UDP, but the UDP Ministers get the sense of what is really going on. This columnist understands that after the gunman shot up Boots’ car, all ministers applied for a gun license immediately. Things are really rough out here right now, and the UDP ministers know that people are noticing that they’ve been living high off the hog while the majority of Belizeans can barely afford to put food on the table…the whole world’s about erupt…tell you revolution is a must… If Da Noh Soh! Serious disrespect… Word just reaching this columnist is that the Prime Minister of Belize has disrespected the people of the south once again. While the Garifuna of Belize celebrate Settlement Day in their communities in Dangriga and Toledo, the Prime Minister will be in Belize

to UDP cronies. These lots in Santa Familia had been handed out by the previous administration, so upon taking over Pablo promptly took them all away and redistributed them. But see, Pablo didn’t take into account the fact that the previous administration didn’t believe in giving out lots along political lines, so we understand that one of the lots taken away belonged to the mother of UDP Mayor Hilberto Campos…there’s bad blood brewing between those two…If Da Noh Soh!

City and has apparently instructed the national president of the National

Garifuna Council to join him in the city. Wasn’t it this same PM who was in Dangriga last year to celebrate with the people for the first time who said that if he had realized how spiritual the ceremony was, he would have visitied a long time ago? Never before have we had a leader who has disrespected the South of our country so much. The Garifuna are a proud people, PM, and won’t forget this insult anytime soon… If Da Noh Soh!

Hypocrites of the Week

Pulling out… Reliable word reaching this columnist is that investors in the Corozal

Commerical Free Zone are just waiting until after the Christmas holidays before they will be pulling out and moving on. Hell, things bad, really bad. Imports in the Zone were down $114 million. Nobody’s making any money under this UDP administration. Can you imagine the mass unemployment when these businesses close down. We hear that even the casinos in the north are on life support…If Da Noh Soh! Guns anyone? Hell, Minister of National Security Carlos Perdomo might not be ashamed to stand in front of the nation and tell

Our choice for Hypocrite of the Week for this issue cannot be limited to any one man or woman, as the case may be. This week, shadowed by the passing of Dwain Davis, all fingers are pointing at Mayor Zenaida Moya and Prime Minister Dean Barrow for the part they played in his demise. The black bow on City Hall and the words of condolence from the Prime Minister are just empty gestures from two UDP hypocrites with no equal, who both played a part in destroying a man because of the games they played. By all indications, Dwain Davis was an honourable man, yet Mayor Zenaida Moya managed to embroil him in the tangled web of her own shenanigans in City Hall. He entered City Hall a man of integrity, and left under a black cloud of suspicion with criminal charges like a yoke around his neck. Davis’ association with

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the Mayor of Belize City led to his demise, there can be no doubt about that. The Barrow faction of the UDP, which vowed to deal with Zenaida by any means necessary, also played a role in Davis’ passing. Word reaching the Belize Times is that on no less than three occasions, emissaries from the Prime Minister visited with Davis and tried to pressure him into providing evidence against the Mayor. And in the end, the stress was too much for Davis and he succumbed to a massive stroke. Belizeans will not soon forget the hypocrisy of Mayor Zenaida Moya and her political boss, Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Both are now crying tears for the man they both helped to destroy. Responsibility for the death of Dwain Davis rests squarely on the shoulders of Moya and Barrow, this week’s hypocrites and worse; much, much worse.


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The Belize Times

From the Desk of the Party Leader

Garifuna Day Message By: Hon. John Briceño, Leader of the Party Leader

All Belizeans are grateful for the contributions of our Garinagu, from their love of our country to the many contributions they have made to the development of the nation. When the first Garinagu landed on our shores they were looking for a new home. Exiled from their lives in St. Vincent, they were sent by the British to Roatan, Honduras. Four years later, the first Garifuna set foot on Belizean shores and determined that this was a place they could live in peace, raise a family and practice their culture. When the Garinagu came, in addition to the drums and the food, they brought with them their spirit of determination, a spirit fostered through their fight against subjugation, oppression and slavery; they fought for their right to live as free men and women, to practice their culture and ensured that they children would be born free. Wherever they went the Garinagu took with them this determined

sunday, November 22, 2009

spirit, their pride in who they are as a people and their desire for a better life. They never surrendered, they never gave up, and they never doubted themselves. Rooted in this heritage, Garifuna Belizeans have been an integral part of the social, political and economic development. Their integration into Belize’s ethnic diversity has enhanced our uniqueness in the region. Their contributions in leadership from community based organizations to among the highest offices in civil and religious organizations are proof of their indispensible role in our national development. Of course there are no cultural expressions more celebrated in Belize than our Garifuna Culture. The rich language, food and dance has captured so much of our national spirit that today every Belizean enjoy dancing the punta, eating hudut or learning some of the colourful words that make up the Garifuna language. Through our appreciation others too have come to love and value Garifuna culture, so much so that on 18th May 2001 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Garifuna Culture as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. Through this recognition, UNESCO calls on all of us to preserve this rich heritage so that the world will always be able to enjoy and appreciate the importance of the Grarinagu. And so as we celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day, 2009, let us be give thanks to our Creator for richly blessing our nation; let us celebrate our diversity, pausing to appreciate the contribution of the Garifuna People to our development as a Nation. On behalf of the People’s United Party, we wish all Belizeans a happy and safe Garifuna Settlement Day. And let us all in our own way live the spirit of the theme for this year’s celebrations and answer the call of our ancestors: WATINA: Gúnfuli Waméi Hayumahan /Wayunagu.

y p p a H

Garifuna Settlement Day With Thanks from: PUP Leader Hon. John Briceno and the People's United Party


sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

UDP Politics as usual No vehicles for the Police…

The Police Department in Ladyville does not have any vehicles to use if they are called out on any emergency. This is the station in charge of everything between Ladyville and Rhaburn Ridge at Mile 34 on the Northern Highway, including the Belize River Valley and Maskall. But they don’t have any vehicles. If there are any calls for assistance near to the station, personnel use two bicycles which are on hand to go to the scene. Seriously…no joke! This is absolutely nuts. A major Police Station like Ladyville has no Police vehicle. About a month ago it was the Hattieville Police Station without a vehicle. And Carlos Perdomo wants us to think that he is serious about crime. Crime is at an all time high, and at a time when every resource should be put in the hands of our men and women in uniform, this is what we’ve come to. Yet our Ministers and all their cronies are driving top-shelf SUVs with unlimited mileage. Tick-tock, tick-tock, can the UDP hear the clock ticking?

Another death on UDP hands…

This columnist takes time out to extend condolences to the family of career public officer Dwain Davis. All indications are that Davis was a good and honest man who was caught in a web of UDP corruption under his boss, Mayor Zenaida Moya. Nobody can tell me that his stroke wasn’t brought on by the stress of his situation – placed in the spotlight and paraded in front of the courts after a lifetime of integrity and service. Today City Hall had a black bow on its doors. Zenaida should have that bow taken down, because she and the UDP are ultimately responsible for the death of a good man. And the thing is that all indications are that his death will be for nothing – Zenaida and the PM will kiss and make up and the DPP will drop the charges and life will continue like normal in the UDP camp – corruption and incompetence all the way. Tick-tock, tick-tock, can the UDP hear the clock ticking?

Pablo Marin must go…

As this column is being written, there are two vehicles parked in front of the home of Minister of Health Carlos Perdomo – one of them is a 2004 Land Cruiser and the other is a 2010 Land Cruiser. While those vehicles are parked, nurses working the late shift are forced to walk home in the nights, and walk back to work early in the morning. That is a shame. The nurses are being refused transportation because the fuel bill at the Corozal Hospital is currently at $19,000. But the thing is that sources in the Ministry of Health say that the bill has been run up by one Mrs. Guillermina Heredia, the Deputy Regional Health Manager, who allegedly abuses her vehicle privileges. Those sources tell us that they have heard about instances of the vehicle being sent to pick up Mrs. Heredia’s son, a Public Health Inspector, from Orange Walk when he is intoxicated and cannot get home. They tell us about instances when the vehicle has been used to drop back Mrs. Heredia’s son to Orange Walk in the mornings. Because of Mrs. Heredia’s abuse, the nurses must now pay the price. No fair, Pablo. Word reaching this columnist is that the nurses and medical personnel have been trying to get in touch with the Minister to request a meeting and bring him up to date on the situation, but he hasn’t been answering his phone. This is a shame, Pablo. Our nurses deserve better treatment than this. Seriously! Tick-tock, tick-tock, can the UDP hear the clock ticking?

All about the money?

Many Belizeans may not be too familiar with the daughter of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Lois Young, Ms. Deanne Barrow. She was pushed through the system and called to the Bar with indecent haste, some say, but her most recent appearance of note is the Westerhaven Case. Because of an apparent decree by the Prime Minister that only his ex-wife’s law firm can handle cases on behalf of GOB, young Deanne is poised to become Belize’s newest millionaire Barrow. Very recently the young attorney appeared in the case of Robert Allen vs. the Belize City Council, as she is the attorney on record for the Council. So imagine everyone’s surprise when she asked for a private sessions in chambers and

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informed the Justice that she wanted to be removed as attorney of record. Guess why – well, because young Deanne has not received her paycheck from the City Council which is bankrupt, that’s why! So the Justice, we understand, asked Ms. Barrow if she could not then accept the case as pro bono, to which the young lady replied – well no, my Lord, my firm doesn’t allow me to do cases pro bono. For Lois Young and Deanne Barrow, it’s all about the money. How much more do these Barrows need to make from the public trough? Seriously, this is a shame. Tick tock, tick-tock, can the UDP hear the clock ticking?

Bounced checks…

Local banks in Belize are now requiring that checks issued by the Government of Belize be held for seven (7) days until the availability of funds can be verified. And I’m not talking about big checks…I’m talking about checks for even $100. For the banks to take this very extreme measure can only mean one thing…checks from GOB have been returned with a big red NSF (not sufficient funds) stamped across the top of them! See, the Government is really, really broke. When Barrow said things were great, Belize was in an economic crisis…so when Barrow says that the economy is in recession, you can imagine how bad things really are. The thing is, a certain few privileged UDPs continue to scrape up the little that is left in the public trough while the majority of Belizeans are left to fend for themselves. Tick-tock, tick-tock, can the UDP hear the clock ticking?

Nobody showed up…

Nobody showed up at the last consultation on the seventh amendment bill held at Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico last week. Can’t the UDP get the sense? Can’t Patrick Faber get the sense? The people of Belize will never support a bill which states that any person with allegiance to another country can serve in our National Assembly. NEVER. It won’t happen. They held one in Corozal and the people said NO. They held one in Orange Walk and the people said NO. Of course, knowing the type of person Patrick Faber is, he more than likely will say that people didn’t show up because they fully support the amendment. Go figure…tick-tock, tick-tock, can the UDP hear the clock ticking?

Questions to Ministers 1

Would the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance please say why, in this time of economic crisis, he approved the purchase of a $160,000 vehicle for his Minister of Health? Can the Prime Minister say if he is aware that while the Minister of Health has two vehicles parked in front of his yard, nurses at the Corozal Hospital are forced to walk home after the night shift because they have no access to transportation?

Would the Minister of Natural Resources confirm or deny 2 reports that he has granted his brother a permit to export

ten container loads of hardwood from the country? And if this is so, can the Minister explain his rationale, since the exportation of hardwood is illegal?

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Would the Minister of National Security please say why the Minister of State in the Ministry of Works has been assigned a Police Officer/bodyguard/driver? Would the Minister not agree that in this crime infested period we need every officer we can get on the streets and not babysitting Ministers?

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Would the Minister of National Security be able to confirm or deny reports that all UDP Ministers are in the process of receiving firearm licenses from the Police Department? Would the Minister be able to say if this move is a result of fear because of the rampant crime in the nation?


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PARTY PAGE

The Belize Times

Women on the Verge of Power

sunday, November 22, 2009

THE BLUE MACHINE

Saturday, November 7th 2009 will undoubtedly be recorded as a turning point for the United Women’s Group (UWG) of the PUP, as over one hundred women representing six districts gathered at Croc Land for their Annual Conference, which was designed to achieve three key objectives. The first was to engage the women of the party in a frank and open discussion as to where the PUP was at this critical juncture in its history, and to identify its strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for moving forward. The second was to identify the core objectives of the UWG, given the current political realities and changes within the party, and the third was to present and adopt a Road Map as a national action plan that would see the UWG as a revitalized and organized unit of the PUP. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Sylvia Gillett and the Opening Remarks and Welcome Address was given by Olga Gordon, while Eloisa Trujeque presented the Financial Report. The first of three speakers for the event was Dolores BalderamosGarcia, former PUP Minister and Area Representative, who spoke of the crime and violence affecting families and communities and the need for personal security as well as the need for jobs to provide economic security. She encouraged women to undertake more self empowerment, to focus on educating their children and to let their voices be heard for social progress and a better society. Party Chairman Carolyn Trench Sandiford followed with an analysis of the political landscape and the need for more women to become involved in the party. She outlined the various changes and reform measures that have been adopted to reposition and redefine the party such that it can regain the trust and confidence of the people and win elections. In her remarks to the membership, UWG President Gina Tillett gave a hardhitting and frank evaluation of the unity issue that was preventing the party from mobilizing and moving forward with one voice. She called on the party leadership to address this problem quickly, warning that the women in the party who have historically been the crucial organizers and campaigners will not stand by waiting for the men to settle these matters. She reminded them of the proud history of achievement of women in the party, women like Madam Liz, Jane Usher, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Patty Arceo and Lisa Shoman, as well as of all that the PUP had done for women of Belize. She described this as a record that couldn’t be matched by the UDP. The President then presented the UWG Plan of Action which included organizing the District UWG Chapters, membership outreach, analysis and support of the PUP operations, identifying potential women candidates, formulation of policy positions on women issues and having a louder voice in the party and the country. The Road Map was unanimously approved. The Party Leader was the final speaker at the event. He highlighted the important role women play in all aspects of the party’s operations and life, and stated that there could not have been a PUP without the UWG. The Vote of Thanks was delivered by Eleanor Enriquez and a social followed. Many prizes were raffled including cell phones, glassware, weekend getaways and a microwave.

BYM Presidential Hopeful Kevin Bernard on the Campaign Trail in the Cayo District

Football marathon in St. Matthews Village - trophies sponsored by BYM Presidential hopeful Kevin Bernard

Unity = Strength


sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

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MONETARY POLICY AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU In times of economic distress such as those what are being faced by many economies, businesses and consumers are forced to contemplate on the role and functions of the monetary system. They further question the relationship and relevance of this system and how it has impact on driving consumption pattern. These questions are very important indeed if there is to be a clear understanding of how the system functions generally and more particularly in Belize. It is abundantly clear that by way of a thorough understanding one is better placed to navigate through the quagmire of uncertainty and to achieve the most desirable results possible. A good place for us to start in this quest is by examining, what is monetary policy and who are the players in this system? Monetary policy can be easily defined as the policies governments implement to determine the level of money supply within the economy. In controlling the money supply governments are able to influence the rate of economic growth, price levels, exchange rate and balance of payments. Monetary policy also includes the determination of interest rates, sale and purchase of government securities and

changes in the reserve requirement ratios for banks; all with a view to influencing the money supply within an economy. In Belize, the Central Bank of Belize is the agency that is tasked with the execution and implementation of monetary policy as prescribed by the government. This writer would opine that the type of monetary policy the Central Bank has been implementing can be classified as tight monetary policy, which results in restricting the level of demand for money, by making loans expensive and difficult to obtain. One must bear in mind that the Central Bank is the regulatory body within this system. The other players are the private and state financial institutions. These include the commercial banks, credit unions, Development Finance Cooperation, Small Farmers Bank and Social Security Board. For one to have an appreciation for the high cost of accessing credit in Belize a review of the weighted average interest rate on deposits demonstrate an increase from 5.8% in 2006 to 6.32% in 2009. A review over the same period revealed the weighted average interest rate on lending shifted from 14.2% in 2006 to 14.1% in 2009. The movements over the last 3 years have been minimal, but most revealing is that the interest rate

spread between deposits and lending over this period has averaged 8.1%. The interest rate difference between deposits and lending is the operating cost and profit margin of the institutions managing these deposits and making funds available for lending; taking into account the taxes payable by the banks. The banks therefore, pass on a portion of their operating cost to the consumers. A review of the financial position of the commercial banks in Belize as at June 30, 2009 illustrated the level of profits that were being realized despite the fact that Belize’s economy is in a recession. A review of their profitability can be noted by their profit margin, return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). ROA measures the banks’ profits for every $1 of assets, with 1% being the benchmark. The higher the ratio the more income is being generated from a given level of assets. All banks with the exception of the Alliance Bank recorded positive returns beyond 1%, the highest being 4.35% after tax for Scotiabank Belize. ROE on the other hand measures profitability from the shareholders perspective and likewise all banks with the exception of the Alliance Bank recorded positive returns in excess of 10%. The ROE could be further analyzed

by decomposition of the ratio (DuPont analysis) to ascertain what is driving the high returns. Alongside such positive overall performances, all five commercial banks combined had excess liquidity of $114.27M as at June 30, 2009. The aforementioned snapshot thus reveals that although the economy is in a recession and consumers are faced with an increased demand on their cash flow the commercial banks have only been exacerbating an already depressed situation. Therefore consumers must be able to know how best to manage their limited finances in light of the situation currently being faced. One can clearly posit that the commercial banks in Belize function more like a cartel than competing entities. In a competitive market place, consumers ought to benefit. However, in Belize there is a captured market that is available for the taking between all five banks. The Central Bank for its part does not play an active role in regulating the financial system; instead it allows uneconomical banks to continue functioning. Therefore, the high levels of inefficiency experienced within these banking institutions are borne out in the additional cost to consumers. These financial institutions, it would appear need to be more proactive in returning some benefits to their consumers that would enable them to weather this recession. There are so many instruments that are available at their disposal to aid in stimulating this recovery that it behooves us to wonder about this apparent lack of corporate concern. The credit unions are not considered as direct competitors, although consumers must view them as safer institutions to bank with and a clear substitute to the commercial banks. The performance of the top 4 largest credit unions has been positive in 2008 with the largest credit union, surpassing the smallest commercial bank in asset base. Below are a few key areas that must be examined in light of individual circumstances. • Verify when interest rate is subject to change on your home mortgage. With the exception of DFC and SSB, interest rates on home mortgages are not always fixed. • Refinance or reschedule your home mortgage if the loan payment has become too burdensome due to restricted cash flow. • If you have a credit card and have expended full line of credit, it is cheaper to get a loan and pay-off credit card, than to service minimum payments. Average interest rates on credit cards are 25%. • If you require accessing credit only do so if the liability will increase value to your asset base. • Funding for micro-enterprise development should be sought out from the credit unions The Social Security Board and the Development Finance Cooperation. • Create a groundswell of consumer activism that could influence government via the Central Bank to play its role more fully and for our Banks to provide more client friendly options during this recession. It is important for consumers to know how best to manage their finances in the current economic climate that exist in Belize. Furthermore, it is essential that one have an appreciation for the structure of the financial system in Belize and to recognize the inefficiencies inherent in it. Government intervention through the Central Bank of Belize will be slow to manifest itself, due in the main to the fact that Government lacks the institutional capacity to avail itself of the tools required to effectively guide monetary policies. Therefore, consumers are left to make the best of a bad situation until Government takes its constitutional responsibility with some degree of urgency. Gwyneth Sydney Nah - Nov. 17, 2009 Send comments to GwynethNah@gmail.com


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The Belize Times

sunday, November 22, 2009

hard hitting

The Barrow Blitzkrieg

The Belize Government Press Office and spinmeister extraordinaire Delroy Cuthkelvin have embarked recently on a media blitzkrieg in an attempt to convince Belizeans that the ruling United Democratic Party has actually turned their manifesto promises into realities since they took office in February 2008, and that life today, while it may have its challenges and obstacles, is not as bad as it seems. In other words, they are playing the hand that they were dealt and are coming out winners to our benefit. Fair enough. We can see the logic in that premise given the state of the global economy just now. But at the same time when we look around and observe that not all of us are in the same economic boat, then we know that we are being taken for a ride by the UDP

hierarchy. If truth be told, they are asking us to sacrifice more of our hard earned money so that the country can survive these difficult economic times. But then they refuse to carry their share of the burden, and to make matters worse are fleecing an already depleted

government treasury. It is clear that some animals on the farm are created more equal than others. And how convenient is it that the fortunate ones are directly related to PM Barrow. For starters, ex-wife Lois Young is laughing all the way to the bank

or banks, counting those millions of dollars that she has earned representing the government in court. Cha-ching! It seems that PM Barrow has privatized the work of the Office of the Attorney General for her personal gain. And to top it off, she was named as the Secretary to the Board of Belize Telemedia Limited shortly after the hostile takeover of the company that was orchestrated by PM Barrow. True love surely never dies. No wonder that she has not yet taken up that plum ambassadorial appointment to the United Nations. Then we have Young and Barrow’s boy wonder, Anwar. Overnight, the prince has become independently wealthy of his parents apparently, making his multi-million dollar fortune in real estate and finance. And word on the street is that the young Barrow is a silent but major partner in Brad’s Gaming Company that recently took over the lucrative national lottery operations. It is also rumored that he can open any door in the halls of government, for the right price that is. And let us not forget his appointment to the Board of BTL and the free rein to do as he wishes at the company, courtesy daddy, the rainmaker. Some guys have all the luck. Lest we forget, we also have Young and Barrow’s other child, Deanne, who is quickly following in the steps of mommy dearest. While the young attorney has earned enough as her mother’s co-counsel to be considered a millionaire herself, her biggest payday is just off the horizon. Both are presently representing the government against the owners of the Westerhaven, a cargo ship that earlier this year ran aground near English Caye, damaging a large portion of the reef. The government is asking for US$18 million in damages. Even if the government settles for a quarter of that sum, she may become an instant multi-millionaire herself after they collect that obscene percentage in legal fees. This is truly turning possibilities into reality. Now take a look at our reality. We are reeling financially on account of the spiraling cost of living. Just now, we must fight each other on a daily basis for the limited opportunities that are available, while we struggle to clothe, educate, feed, and house our children. It is clear that our living standards are worse than they was at the beginning of 2008. And things are going from bad to worse to worst in a hurry. The Statistical Institute of Belize as well as PM Barrow albeit reluctantly has confirmed that the country’s economy is contracting and that the government is not collecting enough revenues to sustain itself. So, if the government itself is struggling to survive, why would any of the government media spinmeisters claim that life today in Belize is not as bad as it seems? The answer is simple, They want us to believe that PM Barrow is a man of his word and is doing everything possible to corral the out of control cost of living. But we are not easily duped. We know that his promise was nothing more than a stunt for political gain and that he was simply giving Belizeans false hope of a “quick fix.” The reality is that he is not above using his office to benefit his close family members and friends.


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sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

years of a PUP Government

$1 Billion in education 1500 New Classrooms 4 New Junior Colleges UB Campuses $400 Million on Roads and Infrastructure 90 Villages with running water & electricity

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years of Barrow & the UDP = RECESSION

Life No Haad Out Ya, Life Haada Out Ya

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10

The Belize Times

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sunday, November November 22, 22, 2009 2009 sunday,

THE Belize BELIZE Times TIMES The

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COURT NEWS Punisher Punished With 6 Month Prison Sentence

BELIZE CITY, CITY, Tues. Tues. Nov. Nov. 17, 17, BELIZE 2009 2009 Heennrryy SSm maarrtt,, 4422,, aa..kk..aa.. H “Punisher”, aa laborer laborer with with no no fixed fixed “Punisher”, address charged charged with with aggravated aggravated assault assault address upon aa woman, woman, was was sentenced sentenced to to 66 upon months yesterday yesterday in in the the #6 #6 Magistrate’s Magistrate’s months Court after after he he pled pled guilty guilty to to the the charge. charge. Court Smart will will also also serve serve an an additional additional 66 Smart months for for non-payment non-payment of of Court Court months nes. fifines. The incident incident occurred occurred at at around around The 6:20 p.m. p.m. on on Saturday, Saturday, November November 14. 14. 6:20 Mirna Katina Magana, 39, the owner of Mirna Katina Magana, 39, the owner of Riverside Patio, Patio, located located in in the the compound compound Riverside of the the Commercial Commercial Center Center on on Regent Regent of Street, reported reported to to the the Police Police that that Smart Smart Street, tried to stab her with a knife. She said tried to stab her with a knife. She said Smart and and another another man man had had aa dispute dispute at at Smart

somewhere else else and and while while she she had had her her somewhere back turned turned Smart Smart raised raised the the knife knife in in his his back hand to to try try and and stab stab her her in in her her back. back. hand She said said that that itit was was the the screams screams She from her mother and daughter that made from her mother and daughter that made her turn turn around around and and step step back back and and avoid avoid her

being stabbed. stabbed. She She said said Smart Smart advanced advanced being towards her her with with the the knife knife aimed aimed at at her her towards abdomen but but he he stopped stopped and and then then ran ran abdomen when he he heard heard one one of of her her employees employees when calling 911. 911. Smart Smart was was detained detained shortly shortly calling after the the incident. incident. after

Prison Inmate Busted With Cannabis Sentenced To 3 Years 2009 2009

Henry Smart Smart Henry

her place place of of business business over over some some money money her Smart claimed claimed the the man man stole stole from from him. him. Smart Ms. Magana said she told Smart and Ms. Magana said she told Smart and the man man to to go go and and take take their their dispute dispute the

BELIZE CITY, CITY, Tues. Tues. Nov. Nov. 17, 17, BELIZE

Prison inmate inmate Odilio Odilio Ortiz, Ortiz, 44, 44, Prison charged with with drug drug traffi trafficking cking for for 450 450 charged grams of of cannabis, cannabis, changed changed his his plea plea from from grams not guilty guilty to to guilty guilty when when he he appeared appeared not today in the #4 Magistrate’s Court. today in the #4 Magistrate’s Court. Magistrate Aretha Aretha Ford Ford sentenced sentenced Magistrate Ortiz to to 33 years years imprisonment imprisonment with with the the Ortiz stipulation that that the the sentence sentence should should run run stipulation consecutive to to aa sentence sentence of of 55 years years Ortiz Ortiz consecutive serving for for escape. escape. isis serving Ortiz was was busted busted with with the the Ortiz

2 ½ Miles Northern Highway, Belize City, Belize. Telephone: 280-1000 Fax: 223-1919, Email:info@speednet-wireless.com

________________________________________________________________

Odilio Ortiz Ortiz Odilio

cannabis at at around around 1:55 1:55 p.m. p.m. on on April April cannabis 29, 2009 2009 when when prison prison officers officers were were 29, making random random searches searches in in the the prison. prison. making The offi officers cers reported reported that that when when they they The searched Ortiz’s Ortiz’s cell cell they they found found aa plastic plastic searched bag containing containing the the cannabis. cannabis. Six Six other other bag inmates were were in in the the cell cell but but because because Ortiz Ortiz inmates had indicated that the cannabis was his had indicated that the cannabis was his property the the others others were were not not charged. charged. property

Prison Officer Charged With Drug Trafficking

PRESS RELEASE

SMART SAYS WELCOME AND THANK YOU! Last week over two thousand of the other company’s customers from the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts visited Smart’s showrooms and outdoor booths to become Smart customers by taking advantage of the trade-in campaign and promotions offered to them. At the same time, over one thousand five hundred SMART customers used the occasion to upgrade their phones at unbelievable prices and also took advantage of the other great deals. SMART thanks all these new customers who supported the real switch and takes this opportunity to welcome them as members of the SMART family! To our customers who upgraded, we want to congratulate and thank them for their loyalty and for recognizing that SMART is the company that gives Value for Money and provides Better Coverage in More Places. SMART continues in its commitment to provide the best and most affordable telecommunication services throughout Belize!

---END----

Miguel Coc Coc Miguel

2009 2009

BELIZE CITY, CITY, Tues. Tues. Nov. Nov. 17, 17, BELIZE

Prison Offi Officer cer Miguel Miguel Coc, Coc, 30, 30, Prison who allegedly allegedly tried tried to to smuggle smuggle 496 496 grams grams who of cannabis cannabis into into prison prison yesterday, yesterday, was was of charged with with drug drug traffi trafficking cking when when he he charged appeared today today in in the the #6 #6 Magistrate’s Magistrate’s appeared Court. Coc Coc pled pled not not guilty guilty to to the the charge. charge. Court. He was was released released on on bail bail of of $5,000 $5,000 and and He his case case was was adjourned adjourned until until January January 14, 14, his 2010. 2010. The bust bust occurred occurred when when Coc Coc The reported to to work work for for duty. duty. Prison Prison Offi Officer cer reported Irma Wallace Wallace reported reported that that when when she she Irma searched aa black black kit kit bag bag Coc Coc was was carrying carrying searched she found found suspected suspected cannabis cannabis in in three three she parts of of the the bag. bag. She She said said she she found found 134 134 parts grams of of cannabis cannabis in in aa pack pack of of Ramen Ramen grams noodles. She She also also found found 220 220 grams grams in in noodles. another pack pack of of Ramen Ramen noodles. noodles. The The another third amount, amount, 142 142 grams, grams, was was found found in in aa third maroon color color sheet. sheet. All All the the cannabis cannabis was was maroon in black black plastic plastic bags. bags. in Coc was was handed handed over over to to the the Coc Police who who also also took took the the suspected suspected Police cannabis with with them them to to the the Police Police Station. Station. cannabis The cannabis cannabis was was weighed weighed and and combined combined The the weight weight amounted amounted to to 496 496 grams. grams. The The the cannabis was was labeled labeled as as exhibits exhibits 1, 1, 2, 2, and and cannabis 3. Coc Coc was was informed informed of of the the offence offence he he 3. committed and and he he was was charged charged with with drug drug committed trafficking. cking. traffi


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The Belize Times

sunday, November 22, 2009

COURT NEWS Electrician Acquitted Of Arson BELIZE CITY, Tues. Nov. 17, 2009 Michael Quan, 28, an electrician of Bachelor Avenue charged with arson for allegedly setting fire to his neighbor’s van was acquitted of the charge yesterday in the court of Justice Michelle Arana. The jury of 9 deliberated for about 3 hours before it arrived at its verdict. The incident occurred at around 12:30 p.m. on November 17, 2008. Kingsley Estell, the owner of a 1995 Ford Windstar van, testified that he saw Quan light a blue sweater and throw it on top of his van which was

before it seriously damaged the van. The damage was only to the top where the purple paint was discolored and the windshield was cracked. Quan testified and denied that he committed the offence. He admitted that earlier that night Estell, his neighbor from across the street, drove him and the Castillo brothers from his residence. He and the Castillo brothers were socializing with Estell’s sister at the time. Quan’s attorney, Hubert Elrington made two no case to answer submissions during the trial. He made the first after the prosecution closed its case and he made the second when he closed the case for the defense. Both Michael Quan submissions were not upheld. Crown parked on Bachelor Avenue in front Counsel Cecil Ramirez represented of his residence. The fire was put out the prosecution.

Camp Oakley Man Charged With Incest BELIZE CITY, Tues. Nov. 17, 2009 A 32 year old man who is a naturalized Belizean originally from Salvador, was charged with 2 counts of incest and 1 count of grievous harm when he appeared today in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. No plea was taken from him because the offences are indictable. Neither could the Court offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. He was remanded into custody until December 23. The complainant, the man’s 12 year old daughter, reported to the Police that the first incident of incest occurred in March last year at their home in Camp Oakley, Burrell Boom. She said her father entered her bedroom and began to touch her. He then took off her underwear and made her lie on top of him, she said. Her father, she told the Police, then had sex with her. The second incident of incest occurred in December of 2008. She reported to the Police that her father told her to go with him to get some fish and he put her on his bicycle and began to ride her towards the block factory in Burrell Boom. But at the halfway point of the journey he stopped and told her he would not go any further because her mother was coming already. The girl said her father turned his bicycle around and she jumped off it and ran. But he caught up with her and began to take off her underwear, she said. She grabbed his hand and told him no, she said. But that did not stop him from taking off her underwear and put her to lie down on the ground, she told Police. The girl said her father took off his underwear and pants and had sex with her. The girl was examined by a doctor who classified the injury to her vagina as grievous harm.

CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBSITE at www.belizetimes.bz ~ POST YOUR COMMENTS ~ VOTE ON ARTICLES ~ VIEW OUR PHOTO GALLERY ~ CHECK OUT A PDF VERSION OF THE PAPER We are the most visited newspaper website in Belize


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

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The Belize Times

Sunday, November 22, 2009


sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

Notions by: Apathy

With lots of malice… It was with great concern that I read a column in a little known newspaper last week. There are many alarming elements to the article and I cannot help but wonder about the author’s state of mind as he penned his column. First it must be said that the mess cannot come but from a disturbed psyche. Twisted by the torments of growing up in a dysfunctional family, how lonely poor little Gordy must have felt. It must have been hard growing up in the cold shadows of the searing limelight of such a famous father. Harder still: not having equal share of your father’s time and legacy. This person must have a terrible time with identity crisis. Being so close yet so far away never being fully recognized or even acknowledged, having to defer and let other siblings bask in glory while you were left all alone in the shadows. It must be your father’s treatment of women around you where you learned how to treat women with so little respect and deep contempt. Where you learned that they were only objects to be used and abused and then thrown out. There is no doubt in my mind that you also have trouble forming stable relationships and that you are prone to violence against women. It is not uncommon in the news to hear of estranged husband’s threatening the lives of their former partners. But you see Gordy that your anger, while well

rooted, is also based on a need to control. Naturally you fear what you cannot control and you seek to malign, to destroy what you fear. In your world where women are objects rather than people it is beyond you to comprehend that women too have a brain. That they too can contribute to the Party, that they are not merely the plaything of men and are worthy of respect. Petty behavior and even violence, my friend, are as I said before your attempts at lashing out. Freud would point out what you suffer must be castration anxiety. I need to point out that there have been many women that have played a major role in the formation of our Party and indeed of our country. While my heart breaks at the travesty that must have been your childhood and at the hopelessness that must have dominated your adolescence and yes I even pity your bitter adulthood, there is simply no excuse for your behavior. I urge you, Gordy, to pick upon someone your own size … and that in itself may pose a problem being that you are so tiny. There is always therapy or anger management – hey, maybe I could suggest a few self help books. Whatever the case, hey get a clue, get a life, get help or whatever is missing, but let me tell you something…Mrs. Garcia certainly has a lot of what you obviously are lacking.

For Sale

22FT ANGLER FAMILY FISHING BOAT

For More Information call 600-4476

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The Belize Times

sunday, November 22, 2009

For Every $1 million paid to Lois Young Barrow, 333 Students could get scholarships for tuition, School Books, and School Uniforms for an entire year.

Happy Garifuna Settlement Day from the Management & Staff of Vibes Radio and The Belize Times


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

Draft Report of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development

Youth For the Future, a Department of the Ministry of Youth, Sports Information & Broadcasting has been tasked to convene the stakeholder consultation meeting on the Draft Report of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development (CCYD). The twenty-seventh Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in July 2006 mandated the establishment of a CARICOM Commission on Youth Development to “Undertake a full scale analysis of the challenges

and opportunities for youth in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and make recommendations to improve their well-being and empowerment” The Commission was launched in Suriname in March 2007 by His Excellency, President RUNALDO Venetiaan. The Commission’s Draft Report, informed by both qualitative and quantitative assessment, and involves 6,000 nationals between the ages of 15 and 29 in 12 CARICOM countries

including Belize. This assessment was also supported by data on the 10- 14 age cohort from six (6) CARICOM countries also including Belize; this supporting data was collected with support from UNICEF as a strategic partner. In order to further facilitate input of a wide range of stakeholders in Member States into the final report of the Commission; The CARICOM Secretariat in collaboration with the Youth for the Future Secretariat will

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be hosting two consultation meetings on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009. The First will be held at the National Sports Council’s Conference Room in Belize City commencing at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The general public, youth and youth leaders, resident commissioners and representatives of the social partners in Belize are all invited to participate. The second consultation, primarily for policy makers will be held at 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. also at the


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The Belize Times

Sunday, November 22, 2009

EF Education First and University of Cambridge ESOL collaborate on a groundbreaking English language assessment EF Education First (EF) and University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) today announced a new English test that will enable EF students to accurately rate their level of spoken and written skills. The EF Cambridge English Level Test (EFCELT- pronounced “/efkelt/” ), available at all EF schools, will allow students to determine their level of achievement at the completion of EF English courses according to international standards. The 40-minute test is aligned with standards established by the Common European Framework, a benchmark recognized by governments, institutions, schools, and employers worldwide. It will give students a clear indication of their level and the progress they’ve made, as well

as providing an ideal stepping stone to an internationally recognized Cambridge certificate. The EFCELT is the culmination of 18 months of design and development including intense research trials that involved 8,000 EF students in 14 different countries. The EFCELT offers: · Cutting-edge testing methods developed by Cambridge ESOL, the world’s leader in English language assessment. · A clear indication of language proficiency on an international scale with results directly linked to the Common European Framework level (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). · A regular testing schedule,

timed to correspond with the completion of EF’s English courses. · An opportunity for younger students to be assessed, with a Junior version to be launched in Q2 of next year. “Standardizing the way English is assessed is a big step towards improving how the language is taught throughout the world,” says EF President Philip Hult. “We are thrilled to be working with Cambridge ESOL to help improve the way students learn.” EF has been establishing a network of Cambridge ESOL exam centers at EF schools around the world to deliver EFCELT along with Cambridge ESOL certificates such as the Preliminary English Test, Certificate in Advanced English, and a range of qualifications in business

English. Cambridge ESOL’s CEO Dr. Mike Milanovic says that “EFCELT is an exciting development, and I’m delighted that EF has taken this step. It means that EF students will get a clear indication of the level they have achieved and this will give them the confidence to take an internationally recognized qualification that will help them in their education and work lives.” EF is also working with University of Cambridge’s Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics to establish an EF research unit devoted to improving and accelerating language learning. Press and Media inquiries are advised to contact ming.chen@ef.com


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

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The Belize Times

NATION BUILDERS

sunday, November 22, 2009

THE TREASURE OF BELIZE

Elizabeth Pridgeon As Belize desperately struggles to sustain its tourist industry in the current economic downturn, conscientious members of the nation are increasingly seeking new and novel attractions to promote to international visitors. Whilst the unique Garifuna culture is far from new, it is certainly an attraction worth promoting, as the Garifuna population is seen by many as one of the greatest natural treasures of Belize, and one of the most influential in the development of the nation. Yet be it due to a limited education system, ethnic tensions or mere indifference, there are still vast pockets of Belizean society made up of people who are entirely ignorant of the value of the Garifuna culture; in various indigenous communities (particularly those geographically removed from Stann Creek and Toledo), people can still be quoted as saying discriminating comments about Dangriga’s population, and other Garifuna communities. If this week is not a topical opportunity to address this misinformed perception, as the nation enjoys a public holiday to commemorate Garifuna Settlement Day, then it is difficult to say when would be a better time to deal with the issue of cultural pride and ethnic integration of Belize’s Garifuna communities. Today, the Garifuna communities

of Belize are like so many other ethnic groups, forced to discard their native towns and villages in search of employment opportunities elsewhere. Garifuna villages are being comprised of increasingly ageing populations as younger members leave the area in search of work; Barranco, Seine Bight and Hopkins have all lost some of their brightest youth to the lure of the USA and other international destinations (take Andy Palacio’s longterm residency in the States before his untimely death, for example); elderly

residents are increasingly concerned that perhaps their long-standing villages will only survive the duration of another couple of generations. Even worse is the subsequent loss of Garifuna identity because of the dispersal of its people, and it is a tragic irony that Garifuna cultural pride and heritage is often considered stronger in non-native countries (such as the USA) than it is in Belize. This week’s Garifuna anniversary offers a supreme opportunity to remind ourselves of how blessed Belize is to be home to so many Gafiuna who have strived to make Belize a stronger, better nation in which we all may live. The Garifuna have had one of the most tumultuous journeys of any Belizean ethnic group, and whilst public awareness of the plight of the Maya, or the hardships endured by recent Central American immigrants, is elevated to a comprehensive understanding, the ignorance towards the Garifuna story is something educators should be ashamed about. The Garifuna are not exclusive to the Stann Creek district, nor to Belize as a country, but they form a significant portion of a unique global ethnic group that every Belizean should be proud to have as compatriots. Their story begins almost 400 years ago, when South American Caribs relocated to the Caribbean island of St Vincent in order to subdue and discipline the native Arawak Indian islanders. In 1635, when two Spanish ships shipwrecked in the area, carrying hundreds of indentured Nigerians, several of the slaves were able to seek refuge on the island among the Carib-Arawak population, further adding to the genetic mergence of St Vincent’s ethnic population. Anthropologists recognise the Garifuna as a product of ‘voluntary assimilation’, which indicates the peaceful creation of this new ethnic group, but the ensuing years of searching for a homeland saw very little peace for the Garifuna. In 1660, a British peace treaty guaranteed the “perpetual possession” of the island to the Garifuna, but less than a decade later, the British broke the treaty and re-claimed the island as a colonial possession. However, by the

mid 1700s (following several generations of prolific reproducing by the Garifuna!), it became increasingly aware that the Garifuna were such a demographic force on St Vincent, that they threatened to jeopardise the inherent success of a colonial mission, and the British sent more and more representatives to the island to subdue the native Garifuna through brute force and persecution. In 1796 as the Garifuna desperately sought a solution to their imminent enslavement, an intended raid became a fatal defeat for the Garifuna, and the minority of survivors were deported to the Honduran island of Roatán (with the ignorant colonial assumption that the abandoned refugees would quickly die of starvation and disease). Not so, for the Garifuna flourished and multiplied, meaning that when they were again forced to flee following republican revolt in Honduras, they continued on their epic exodus in even greater numbers. In 1832, led by the charismatic and ambitious Alejo Benji, a sizeable group of Garifuna arrived on the southern Belizean coastline. It is this miraculous marine arrival that is celebrated this week in various Garifuna areas, including Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. And what should be remembered of this era is that, for centuries previously, the Garifuna people had faced persecution, injustice and demoralisation, and yet they still arrived in Belize with an optimistic ambition to serve their ‘new’ homeland and to develop their ‘new’ nation. This they did, with a commendable determination and an impressively successful approach to national development, all the while trying to maintain their cultural heritage and unique ethnicity in order to protect their Garifuna culture from extinction. In 2001, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) declared the Garifuna culture a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” – in much the same way as various local marine areas (including several ranges of Cayes) were latterly classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is only due to the government’s mismanagement and financial greed that the Belizean UNESCO World Heritage Sites are under threat of losing the great privilege of this classification. Who has the similar fault for not appreciating (nor promoting, nor protecting) the Garifuna culture for the marvel that it is? Unfortunately, the blame for this cannot rest entirely on the current incumbent government’s shoulders for it is a result of generations of ignorance and misplaced assumptions on the part of all Belizeans, not just those in authority. This Garifuna Settlement Day, let it be remembered that the Garifuna have been one of the most long-standing ethnic groups of Belizean society, and have been one of the most dedicated working groups, serving the country and assisting with the development of our nation. This week, the Garifuna people as a group are recognised as the Belize Times’ Nation Builder of Belize.


sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

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VOICES Village

from the

GARIFUNA VOICES Elizabeth Pridgeon Voices of the Village is a weekly column that travels around the country, reporting on issues of concern or celebration in various villages throughout the six districts of the country. This week, rather than focus on one village as usual, this column will focus on Garifuna villages in general, including Hopkins, Georgetown and Seine Bight (in the Stann Creek district) and Barranco (in the Toledo district). Perhaps the first notable observation

with Consejo de Indigenas rather than the United Black Association for Development (particularly because many Garifuna villages are located amid indigenous villages than Creole settlements). Even so, sadly over the years several individuals saw the benefit of assimilating into Creole society as being greater than the inherent value of the Garifuna culture, which caused several families to discard their ethnic heritage and align themselves along black African roots rather than their own unique heritage.

is that historically many Garifuna villages had particularly impermeable boundaries to other communities: aside from Punta Negra and Mullins River which are considered mixed Garifuna/Creole settlements, Hopkins and Seine Bight only ‘opened up’ with the development of the tourist industry in the past decade or so, and it is only in the past couple of years that a few stray Hispanic immigrants have settled in the entirely Garifuna village of Barranco. For this insular impression, the Garifuna community for a long time struggled to gain acceptance from fellow members of Belizean society. An acclaimed Garifuna historian and former executive of the National Garifuna Council, Godsman Ellis, blames ‘continuous persecution and oppression’ for this seemingly inapproachable behaviour, for they have been forced to develop strong intra-ethnic group ties in a bid for survival. Thus other Belizean groups grew to view their national Garifuna counterparts as somewhat suspicious, and for centuries, the Garifuna were accused of devil-worship, polygamy, voodoo and speaking a secret language. For fear of this ‘unknown’, few other Belizeans chose to visit Garifuna villages, meaning that the cultural beauty of these areas was largely hidden from public view for generations. Even more problematic were the colonial authorities of the late nineteenth century which prohibited Garifuna individuals from owning land and considered them ‘squatters’ despite families farming the same parcels of land for decades previously. For this reason, along with the centuries of persecution from their assumed Creole ‘superiors’, the Garifuna perceive themselves as more of an oppressed indigenous group than as an African ethnic group, and so they align more

It was only during the global movement towards cultural regeneration and preservation that the National Garifuna Council was established in 1981 to preserve various aspects of the Garifuna culture including language, music, food, dances, crafts, art and rituals. The majority of Garifuna people were at this time proficient in Garinagu (the Garifuna language), and while many village residents chose to converse in their mother tongue at home, it was rarely used ‘in public’ (i.e. outside of Garifuna boundaries). Thus Garifuna populations in urban areas (particularly in Dangriga and Punta Gorda, but also in Belize City and Belmopan) principally chose to conceal their mother tongue from neighbours and colleagues due to a fear of persecution. Similarly, food was a well appreciated emblem of ethnicity, but the natural fish, banana and root vegetable based ingredients of dishes such as bundiga, tapou, darasa, hudutu and sahau was harder to acquire in the urban centres anyway, and so this remained a more rural symbol of ethnic heritage. Dance, music and crafts, however, were increasingly forgotten throughout Garifuna settlements, and discarded as relics of an ancient past that were no longer applicable in modern society, as pop music and alternative past times proved more popular with younger generations. As even remote villages became increasingly ‘globalised’, international television shows depicted an apparently glitzy life far removed from Garifuna traditions, and prompted further loss of indigenous heritage. Barranco has not suffered as markedly as many other locations because it is well and truly ‘off the beaten track’ and so it remains far removed from decent infrastructure and social service networks, but when it was first inhabited the area must

have been even less hospitable than today. It is thought Barranco was founded in the early 1860s, around the same time as a small group of American confederates attempted to establish a community on the outskirts of PG but found the conditions too harsh. It is a testimony to the resilience of those Garifuna residents inhabiting Barranco that they not only endured the harsh conditions, but seemingly thrived in them. Hopkins is another fine example of endurance, in a manner similar to the residents of Hattieville who were mentioned in last week’s article. Hopkins is the youngest of all Garifuna settlements in Belize, settled in 1942 by people from nearby Newtown, which was destroyed in a hurricane. Rather than give up and further their suffering, Newtown residents who were brutally punished by the hurricane decided to relocate and recreate a new village to call ‘home’, away from the destruction, destitution and painful memories of the hurricane. Somehow, when Hopkins was ‘discovered’ on the tourist scene, it managed to retain its dignity even despite increasing out-bidding of land and properties by North American expatriots (which is an even greater problem for the remaining Garifuna roots of Seine Bight too). However, Hopkins residents are facing increasing problems and a group of socially-responsible residents recognised this and in 2006 established the GOOD charity, an acronym for the Garifuna Organisation for Ongoing Development.

as tourism, carpentry and technology. Seine Bight has a similar age to Barranco, having been settled around 1869, but the difference is that Seine Bight was occupied for centuries before the Garifuna arrival, and was already well recognised as a prime coastal location along the Placencia Peninsula before the Garifuna made the area even more productive. The arrival in Seine Bight followed years of migrating around the area, under the leadership of Emmanuel ‘Walpy’ Moreira, who was determined to find the perfect location for a settlement; Seine Bight fit the bill perfectly. Fishing was the mainstay of nearly all residents until the development of the Peninsula’s tourism industry, after which several families opened up guest houses or bars and restaurants to entertain visitors. Seine Bight gives the impression of being one of the last approachable villages for ‘outsiders’ even in today’s merging world, and the naming of a local establishment as ‘Kulcha Shak’ shows the journey Garifuna villagers have been forced to traverse (willingly or not, as the case may be) as the area increasingly opens up to tourists and ex-patriots. It seems that acceptance of the changing future of the village is increasing, and several villages are now eagerly anticipating the development of the largest fish farm in the Western Hemisphere, which is due to open close to the village next year. The Garifuna culture has had no option but to embrace the ever-changing reality of increasing modernisation in

This grassroots NGO attempts to provide opportunities of growth and community success by focusing mainly on youths, women and children of Hopkins. GOOD identifies the most severe problems in the village being the loss of cultural Garifuna identity, drug addiction, alcoholism, poor HIV and AIDS awareness, neglect of children, and unsustainable environmental practices. Despite the Garifuna community being a major contributor to the education sector on a national level (take Hopkinsborn Gwen Nunez Gonzales’ contribution, for example), such local problems in Hopkins are put down to failing community education initiatives and an increasing segregation of formerly united community members. Current project proposals include the establishment of a village library, a study hall equipped with computers, and vocational training courses in subjects such

Belize, and the success with which they have achieved this is remarkable. The size constraint of this column is far too limited to bestow sufficient credit on the Garifuna people of contemporary Belize, and indeed there is barely enough room to even mention the various aspects of Garifuna life within each of the unique villages. Suffice is to say that, while throughout Belizean society there are problems afflicting populations including increased drug abuse, unemployment and corruption, the Garifuna population are striving harder than ever to preserve their cultural heritage and therefore avoid the plagues of contemporary Belizean society. Perhaps some of the most stable, reliable progress in Belize’s future could stem from Garifuna traditions, and from taking a leaf from the book of villages such as Hopkins, Seine Bight and Barranco.


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The Belize Times

sunday, November 22, 2009

IQ COPY CENTRE HARRY’S COZY CABAÑAS

Elizabeth Pridgeon Mr Santiago Rosado, business man and service provider in Orange Walk, is well known for his sense of humour and his generally amicable demeanour. It is undoubtedly partly for this reason that his experience as an Orange Walk business man over the past decade has been largely successful. Having been a cane farmer for many years, Mr. Rosado realized the need to diversify from his traditional livelihood over a decade ago and in 1998 he opened a small stationery house on Baker Street in Orange Walk town. This stationery store and paper works became known as the best in Orange

Walk, which gave Mr Rosado good standing with clientele when he later decided to expand the business. In 2000, when his son Waldemar returned from acquiring a degree in computer engineering in Mexico, he provided the inspiration to transform the stationery house into a computer centre, providing computer repair, program installation and internet rental alongside many other services. So the family invested in ten computers and IQ Copy Centre is now the preferred printing, copying and internet facility for many Orangewalkeños and travellers alike, while still maintaining its basic stationery store. The computer centre is open Monday to Saturday between 8.30am and 12:00 noon, and again between 1.30pm and 7:00pm. The premises also opens on Sunday afternoon, between 1:00pm and 7:00pm, giving students the opportunity to complete their homework before the school week recommences on Monday. And with prices ranging from as low as 20 cents per page for printing, and for internet usage charged at a minimum of $3.50 an hour, IQ Copy Centre offers one of the most reasonable services in town, with certainly one of the wittiest business owners in the north, who takes delight doing computer-related errands at IQ Copy Centre.

Elizabeth Pridgeon “Uncle Harry” is quite a celebrity in his own right in Placencia village, and he has no qualms about people from all walks of life referring to him as ‘uncle’. Perhaps it is this happy-go-lucky mentality that makes Harry’s Cozy Cabañas a favourite spot among visitors looking for accommodation with personality! Harry’s Cozy Cabañas opened fourteen years ago with two rooms. The premises has grown over the years, and now offers four generous-sized cabañas each boasting enough sleeping space for 3 or more persons, private bathrooms (with hot and cold water), a fan, a

fridge and a coffee maker. Around the spacious premises, there are hammocks strewn in strategic locations for guests to relax in, and various tables and chairs provide extra seating areas outside the cabañas. Situated in the quiet and peaceful “Old Placencia” area of the village, life is a little calmer for guests staying at Harry’s than those renting in the hustle and bustle in the village centre. And over the year’s Harry’s Cozy Cabañas has become quite famous for the “Tree of Knowledge” in the middle of the premises, which apparently helps people find their way in life, and gives visitors a heightened perception of the world! I doubt there is another place on earth quite like Harry’s Cozy Cabañas, and if for nothing other than the experience, “Uncle Harry’s” establishment is a ‘must’ to visit!


sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

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Belize #1 Sports Page

Toledo Christian Academy girls win back to back national volleyball champs The Toledo Christian Academy girls of Emery Grove won their 2nd back to back national volleyball championship at the national tournament held by the National Sports Council at the Belize City Center last Friday. In Game 1, the Toledo girls won over the Stann Creek district champions, the Richard Quinn RC School girls from Georgetown Village, 25-17 and 25-17. In Game 2, the Orange Walk champions, the Chan Pine Ridge Government School girls won over the Belize district champions, the Hummingbird Elementary School girls, 25-12 and 25-18. In Game 3, the Georgetown girls bounced back from their earlier loss to thrash the Cayo district champions, the victorious Nazarene School girls from San Jose Succotz: 25-18 and 25-14. In Game 4, the Chan Pine Ridge girls advanced to the semifinals by winning over the Corozal district champions, the Church of Christ Primary School girls, 25-16 and 26-24. In Game 5, the Hummingbird Ele-

mentary girls also advanced to the semifinal round by winning over Corozal’s Church of Christ girls: 25-16 and 27-25. In Game 6, the Toledo girls secured their place in the semifinals by eliminating the San Jose Succotz girls 25-9 and 25-11. In Game 7 in the semifinals, the Toledo girls eliminated the Hummingbird Elementary School girls: 25-15 and 2522 to move on to the final. Similarly in Game 8, the Georgetown girls eliminated the Chan Pine Ridge girls in 3 sets: 28-26, 18-25 and 15-9. In Game 9, the consolation game for 3rd place, the Chan Pine Ridge girls won over the Hummingbird Elementary

girls 2515 and 25-17. In Game 10, the championship final, the Toledo girls won over the Georgetown girls: 25-23 and 25-18. The champions, 2nd and 3rd place winners received team trophies and individual medals. The Most Valuable Player award went to Toledo’s Angelina Budnah, and will include a full scholarship to high school.

Cayo’s Bishop Martin School boys win Racqueteers seeded No.1 into table national volleyball champs tennis playoffs, Team No Mercy, Team Bishop ACE & Sugar City make the cut Martin boys eliminated the

The Bishop Martin Primary School boys of San Ignacio won the national primary schools volleyball championship when the National Sports Council held its annual national tournament at the Belize City Center last Friday. In Game 1, the Toledo district champions, the Little Flower RC School boys from Forest Home Village won over the Stann Creek district champions, the St. Alphonsus RC School boys from Seine Bight: 25-21 and 25-21. In Game 2, the Orange Walk champions, the Chan Pine Ridge Government School boys won over the Belize district champions, the St. John Vianney RC School boys: 25-16 and 25-23 In Game 3, the Cayo district champions, the Bishop Martin RC School boys from San Ignacio won over the Stann Creek district champions, the St. Alphonsus RC School boys from Seine Bight 25-22 and 25-19. In Game 4, the Chan Pine Ridge boys advanced to the semifinals, despite a loss to the Corozal district champions, the Xaibe Government school boys who won: 25-22, 21-25 and 16-14. In Game 5, the Xaibe boys eliminated the St. John Vianney boys 2025, 25-19 and 15-10 to advance to the semifinals. In Game 6, Cayo’s Bishop Martin boys secured their place in the semifinals by winning over Toledo’s Little Flower boys 25-16 and 25-17. In Game 7 in the semifinals, the

Chan Pine Ridge boys 25-15 and 25-20 to move on to the final. Similarly in Game 8, Toledo’s Little Flower boys eliminated the Xaibe boys: 25-13 and 25-19 to move on to the finals. In Game 9 the consolation game for 3rd place, the Chan Pine Ridge boys won over the Xaibe boys 25-19 and 25-10. In Game 10, the championship final, the Bishop Martin boys won over the Toledo boys in 3 sets: 21-25, 2522 and 16-14. The champions, 2nd and 3rd place winners received team trophies and individual medals. The Most Valuable Player award went to Cayo’s Gary Martinez, and will include a full scholarship to high school.

The Racqueteers won the No.1 seed entering the team table tennis playoffs at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Saturday, November 14. Team captain Tux Vasquez led his Racqueteers: Peter Wang and Amir Vasquez to the No.1 berth in the playoffs, when Team Usher-Matus defaulted on their 2 scheduled matches on Saturday. Team Usher-Matus exited the competition with 2 wins and 6 losses. Team No Mercy won the No.2 seed with back to back wins on Saturday. Team No Mercy posted their 5th win when Landy Habet and Jamil Bedran trounced Team Jabiru 5-0 and their 6th win by eliminating Team Sukhnandan in the final game of the first round. Team Jabiru: led by team captain Kareem Michael, with Hollis Parham, Tola Casimiro and Ted Marin got the easy bye to their 2nd win by default when the UsherMatus team defaulted on their scheduled match on Saturday. Team ACE’s captain Nelito Ayuso, Jorge Espat and Fareed Ahmad won the No. 3

seed to the playoffs with 6 wins, 2 losses. Both Team Suga City and Team Jones had a 5-3 record at the end of the first round, but only Suga City made it to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed. Team Rivero team captain Ernesto Rivero along with Sheran Murillo, Michael Rivero and Cuthbert Bailey exited the competition with 4 wins and 4 losses. The playoffs begin on Sunday, November 22.


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The Belize Times

sunday, November 22, 2009

Belize #1 Sports Page

Kraal Road FC leads Belize Bank Superleague football playoffs

Kraal Road FC is No.1 in the first week of the Belize Bank Superleague football playoffs, spanking Cayo South United of Roaring Creek 2-0 at the M.C.C. garden on Sunday afternoon. Tex Mar United, Placencia Assassins and San Felipe Bacelona all posted 1-0 wins in their first outings of the playoffs. Delroy “T hinman” Andrews spearheaded the Kraal Road offensive with the help of wingers Whitfield

Patnett and Raymond “Killa” Gentle and midfielders Mark Grant, Shawn Thur ton and Tyrone “T-bone” Muschamp. Ricky Tamai, Dion Frazer and Darryl Reyes led the Cayo South attack, but made little impression on the Kraal Road defense: Albert Thurton, Denroy Lopez and Jarret Davis. Cayo’s midfield Edmund “Buzzard” Pandy, Francis Budna, Dion Guzman and Roy Vernon found themselves pushed

back to help their defenders Wilhelm “Locho” Coye, Ronaldo Alvarez and Roy Garbutt, while Cayo South’s keeper Jeremy Twist was the man of the hour, putting his body on the line to keep the city squad scoreless up to the half time break. But there was nothing Twist could do in the 2nd half when he found himself whip-sawed by an attack by Tyrone Muschamp on the right, who then crossed the ball to Delroy Andrews on the left for the finish as the City boys took a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute. Tamai and Darryl Reyes tried to equalize the score but made no impression on the Kraal Road keeper Linares. Cayo brought in ‘fresh horses’: Paulie Bradley for Roy Vernon, Ryan Stevens for Francis Budna and Scott Casey for Ricky Tamai, but all the King’s horse and all the King’s men could not put it together for the Cayo visitors. The game was almost over when Andrews side-stepped Locho Coye to place a shot to the left corner of the net, and Twist simply could not twist himself into position to make the save as Kraal Road celebrated a 2-0 win at the long whistle. In Hattieville, San Felipe

Barcelona drilled Hattieville F.C. 1-zip on a strike by Damien Ku in the 8th minute. In Placencia, the Assassins gave the home town fans their money’s worth with a 1-0 win over the defending champs, Valley Renaissance on a strike by Jason Westby in the 84th minute. In Punta Gorda Town, the 2007 Superleague champs Tex Mar United avenged the Paradise Freedom Fighters’ earlier insolence with a 1-0 win at the Toledo Union field, on a strike by Dion Burgess in the 78th minute.

Gwen Liz girls lead CSSSA basketball 4-0

Undefeated national champs, the Gwen Lizarraga High School girls lead the Belize City secondary schools basketball competition with 4 wins, blowing away the St. Catherine Academy girls 43-8 on Friday night, while the Anglican Cathedral College girls battled to a 17-7 win over the Nazarene High School girls in the nightcap. Glenda Torres led the Gwen Liz girls with 29 pts, while Sheryn Nunez added 8 pts and Candice Neal tossed in 5 pts. Deandra Coote scored from the charity stripe. SCA’s Kursha Pollard led with 7pts, while Ashley Pelayo scored 1pt from the charity stripe. Rashawn Perteau led the ACC girls’ attack with 6pts, while Shaniqua Felix and Shantell Lambey scored 3pts each and Gisely Rosales and Camisha Ariola added a bucket each. Terylee Hamilton led the Nazarene High girls with 4 pts.


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The Belize Times

sunday, November 22, 2009

Belize #1 Sports Page

Sadie Vernon boys lead CSSSA basketball 6-0, Gwen Liz boys win 5

Defending national champs the Sadie Vernon Technical High School boys look forward to another championship season, leading the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) basketball competition 6-0 after they blew away the Excelsior High School boys 78-55 at the Belize City Center on Saturday. The Gwen Lizarraga High School boys posted their 5th win 61-49 over the Ladyville Technical High School boys on Monday. Sherwin Garcia hit a long trey to lead the Gwen Liz boys

with 19pts while Matthew Young added 18pts, and Akeem Trapp chipped in 8pts and Marlon Mckoy hit a long trey. Russell Staine led the Ladyville boys with 16pts, Oswin Nunez added 9pts and Jael Ottley and Fitzgerald Alvarez had 6 pts each On Saturday, Kachief Thomas led the Sadie Vernon boys with 22 pts, while Aaron Cooper added 15pts, Dennis Brown had 8pts, while Calvin Tench and London Reneau chipped in 5 pts each. Kurtis Lamb hit 3 long treys to lead Excelsior with 24pts; Delroy Faber followed suit with 3 treys as he and his brother Emerson Faber tossed in 10 pts each, and Jordan Cayetano chipped in 8pts. The Sadie Vernon boys had a blast with their 5th win - 75-44 over the Ladyville Technical High School boys on Thursday. Aaron Cooper had 14pts, London Reneau scored 12 pts and Raheem Gaynair drained in a trey as he added 12 pts. Kachief Thomas tossed in 11pts at the end. Russel Staine led the Ladyvlle boys with 16pts while Jael Ottley hit a trey to contribute 9pts and Denroy McCord and Oswin Nunez had 7pts each.

T he St. John’s College boys also posted their 4th win 57-49 over the Anglican Cathedral Colleg e boys on Saturday. Kendice Williams led the S.J.C. boys with 16pts, Khalil Enriquez tossed in 12pts, Brandon Castillo added 11pts, while Devin Daly chipped in 9 pts. ACC’s Justin Usher hit 2 treys to lead the A.C.C. boys with 21 pts, while Deron Sanchez also hit a trey to add 9pts. The SJC boys had posted their 3rd win 59-56 over the Tubal Institute boys last Wednesday. Kendice Williams led with 14pts while Raheem Staine drained in a long trey to add 13 pts and Devin Daly also hit a long trey to add 10pts. Brandon Castillo and Uhuru Mckoy were good for 6pts each. Darren Longsworth drained in 5 long treys to lead the Tubal boys with 33 pts. . The Gwen Liz boys did better on Wednesday, when they ran over the A.C.C. boys 62-46. Matthew Young led Gwen Liz with 33 pts, while Sherwin Garcia

added 14pts. A.C.C.’s Justin Usher responded with 14pts and Alain Alexis had 15pts. The Excelsior Junior High School boys also enjoyed their second victory 67-61 over the boys of Edward P. Yorke High School last Thursday. Kurtis Lamb drained in 2 treys to top-score the game with 38pts, the highest individual score of the competition so far. Emerson Faber added 16 pts. Hanson Crawford led the E.P. Yorke boys with 26 pts while Travis Mcfoy hit a trey to add 13 pts and Terique Gabb had 8 pts.

BCC leads Belize City Interoffice softball 9-0

Undefeated Belize City Council ruled Belize City interoffice softball competition 9-0 while Club 313 and Central Bank both had back to back wins when the competition continued at the home of softball, the Roger’s Stadium over the weekend. Pitcher Enid Dakers led the BCC crew to their ninth victory 13-6 over the Truckers Posse, led by pitcher Linton Broaster on Sunday. Reynaldo Duran led the assault scoring 3 runs. The Truckers had done better on Friday night when they wrapped up the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital team 13-6. The Truckers’ starting pitcher was Linton Broaster, while they hammered 13 runs off the pitching of KHMH’s Arlette Castillo. Club 313 enjoyed consecutive

victories as they blew away the Belize Bank 12 -2 on Sunday, walloping the pitching of Evan Lamb Sr. Club 313’s pitcher Oscar Arnold allowed only two runs. They had also outlasted the Police 19-17 last Thursday. Dennis Myles was the opening pitcher for the Police in that encounter. The Police had better luck on Saturday, when they arrested BEL Powersockets 17-5. Leonore Morales was the Police starting pitcher, while Melissa Foreman pitched for BEL. Central Bank also toughed it out in a grueling four hour match with Nestle’s Crunch/ Baba Shop to win 32-31 in eight innings. Nestle’s Quinton Hamilton scored seven runs off the pitching of Central Bank’s Delroy Fair-weather. The Central Bank team had also

outlasted the M inistr y of Education 37-35 on Thursday; again Delroy Fairweather was the winning pitcher. Yvonne Davis pitched for the educators, while Joseph Domingo scored six runs and Earl Noralez had five runs in the loss. On Saturday, Telemedia also inched by COURTS Belize Ltd 16-15, led by pitcher Francis Usher, while Dominique Lizama pitched for COURTS. Pitcher Mario Villanueva also led the Ministr y of Education/First Caribbean to a 20-13 victory over the Conscious Youth Development Progamme on Saturday night.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

Strictly Personal

Marked for death … Belize in 2009

by glenntillett@yahoo.com In November 2009 Belize has become a place of rampant insecurity for many, and a downright terrifying place for some others. Our economy is in meltdown and none can predict when and where the downward spiral will stop. Death stalks the land. Death from violence, death from famine, death from pestilence, death stalks the land. I grew up in a land where people literally slept and dreamt undisturbed, their doors and windows open to admit the cool night air. My parents and I slumbered on often in a silence so intense it was in and of itself a sound. How could it be that we were all so innocent, and time has so re-written each every line? In my days of innocence murder was rare. It happened and some were sensational, but they were nearly all crimes of passion and we all knew who did it. These days death by misadventure comes in nearly every form imaginable and on a scale that we have trouble wrapping our minds around. The violence has numbed us, paralyzed us with its scope and scale. And above and through it all is the fear. It is not that we are not scared why we don’t want to talk about it is more like we’ve been scared silent. We all know that Murder Inc. is alive and thriving in Belize and no one is safe. And those who can’t afford guns and get a license to carry, those who can’t build the high fences and feed the big dogs, pay BEL for the lights and install the security cameras, much less pay security personnel wages, are the most vulnerable of all. I don’t know about you but I am terrified by the growing number of contract killings, hits if you will; the slaying of people who, by all appearances there really is no reason that you know of or can think of, deserved to be slain. Who

did they piss off ? Some years ago, on October 12, 2000 to be exact, Therese Blake was shot and killed after being kidnapped near her home on Newtown Barracks. The slaying had all the earmarks of a hit. Since then there have been several incidences if you will, and they reflect a growing pattern. Belize is a dangerous place. We may never know who killed Jason Coombs last Thursday, and if things hold true to form, we will never know why either. If it wasn’t for sheer coincidence we may never have known who killed Hui Lin Chen in Orange Walk in March of this year either or why. A wizened cop once told me that people who are the victims of contract killings are targets for reasons of love, money or mistaken identity. If that is true then we are all targets. It is dismaying when you’re forced to conclude that our law enforcement is ill-equipped to deal with these crimes. There is little to deter Murder Inc. from becoming bolder and bolder, and from expanding its business. From my little corner, because of my other job as the host of a morning talk show I am regularly threatened by people who are pissed off about something I or one of my guests may have said. I don’t ignore these threats but I tend not to react because usually with the passage of a few days the person would cool off. Every now and again though, I get threats from persons, all male, whom I have to take seriously. I don’t usually publicize them because it could provoke some who you don’t know to act, thinking you’re focused elsewhere, or it could turn into what they call in the streets “a beef,” and somebody starting feeling that having talked the talk they have to walk the walk. In rare cases I have to seek the assistance of the police, as well as take other measures that for, security reasons, I can’t talk about. The past few weeks have been one of those rare cases. I am being threatened by someone who has been accused and arrested for killing someone. He has made it a point to tell several people he intends to do me harm. A few years ago I would have been a lot less concerned and alert than I am now. The fact is that with Murder Inc. operating so boldly in Belize, you never know when you’ve been marked for death.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

S

PON DI GULLY Krem Radio and the freeing up of the media

By anthony sylvestre It seems like such an eternity: November, 1989, that is. Indeed Belize has changed a heck of a lot since that time. I recall being in second form of high school; the People’s United Party under the leadership of the Right Honourable George Price had months earlier, in September, returned to government after defeating the UDP by a 15-13 margin, when KREM Radio first bus’ on the scene. The PUP had anchored its 1989 campaign with a threefold promise to free up the media. The seeds of the new media policy germinated in Independence Hall in March, 1989 in an executive meeting, where the three revolutionary policies were fleshed

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out. The official PUP Press Release dated March 15th, 1989 stated them as follows: Radio: 1) Remove the then Belize Broadcasting Network from direct control of government to that of a statutory board; (2) create opportunities for open political dialogue between political parties on a regular basis; (3) Grant licences for private radio station on merit. Television: (1) Television was to serve as the primary instrument of communication, entertainment, education and development; (2) there was to be an increase in locally produced programs and (3) offensive movies were NOT to be shown before midnight. Press: (1) freedom of expression was to be jealously guarded and promoted; (2) the offence of “criminal libel’ was to be abolished (3) the role of the government information service was to be to inform the nation of activities of government and not to be abused by a ruling party to campaign for its own re-election. I suppose many will say that those 1989 media policies which sought to abolish political censorship on radio and television were churned out because we PUPs between 1984 to 1989 ended up being victims of the state controlled media apparatus; that because we were punished by the UDP between ’84 – ’89 and were unable to obtain permission from the government for

air time on the Belize Broadcasting Corporation to air political ads, we conveniently realized the extreme danger of the media being solely in the hands of the ruling government. Some others, still, will say that we failed at implementing the three policies to their satisfaction. Whatever may be the merits of countervailing views, for me, back in November, 1989, the fact that there was now a radio station on air, playing dancehall and soca and reggae what seemed at all hours of the day was the most amazing and delightful thing to a teenager. In those days, there was no cable- or rather, where I grew up no families had cable in their houses. The fact is, most of us had little 13 inch black and white televisions on which only two channels showedChannel 5 and Channel 7. This got monotonous after a while, especially for us busybodies teenagers. So when KREM Radio burst on the scene with the pumping music, we teenagers naturally gravitated towards it. Mose

27 Hyde, whose deejay name back then was “Mad Rocker Mose’ had really the first day time music show. His, like most radio music shows, was between 3:00 to 5:00. But being first always put you in another category- even now the genre of music he mixed seems way cooler than now. But like they say, everyone believes his era was the coolest. The unique flavor that Krem brought was later taken to higher heights when Dickie Bradley launched his Wednesday night talk show. Dickie’s wit, charm and animated personality mesmerized listeners- he truly was King. Many PUPs may not share pleasant memories of Krem radio as I do. Indeed, many may still harbor an indifference or apathy towards the radio station, viewing it as part and parcel of the media apparatus which brought down the PUP. But for me, on this side, twenty years later, I am remembering the great teenage years that Krem brought to my life. Respect to Krem on its 20th Birthday.


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THE BELIZE sunday, TIMES November 22, 2009 The Belize Times in sporadic bursts. Okay, fine, there’s dream which will never materialize. some evidence of that. But then where This friend is convinced that former is the money coming from? It sure ain’t Prime Minister Said Musa will never from ads or from street sales! So who actively re-enter the political fray, and is bankrolling the National Perspec- he is similarly convinced that current PUP Deputy Leader Francis Fonseca tive, and to what end. Personally I enjoy the writings of will not seek to contest leadership of G. Michael Reid and even Nuri Mo- the PUP. Mmmmm, okay, let’s just say Scott further reported that at hammed. The rest of the National Per- that for the time being the cynic in me around 4:00 Friday, November to goon along with that train spective, to me, is quite simply rubbish has decided p.m. 6, he was riding a motorcycle on of thought and just wait for the bub– a hodge-podge of cash-influenced by/delusion of the moment to wear Orange Street with another Police nonsense with a dash of irrational and off over at theheNational Perspective. erratic emotionalism and a sprinkle or Offi cer when saw the suspect. Scott BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov. 11, 2009 December 9. But Gentle was unable that said - myand friend mentwo of expressions by a really bitchy saidWith he detained Gentle when he Brandon Gentle, 19, a.k.a. to meet trapped bail so in heawas remanded to asked tioned,the andother I concur, that those over at woman man’s body – yes, Police Officer to get “Chucky”, a resident of prison. Gordon Smith, I’m talking about you. the National Perspective are not PUPs See, if you’ve got something to say, I in any form or fashion. The reasoning #71Taylor’s Alley, who The robbery always think you should come right is simple…so simple even an idiot can allegedly stole a cell occurred at around out and say it, and phone from a 14 year 7 : then 3 0 don’t p . mbe. afraid o n understand, Gordon. Try to follow the to put your nameWednesday, right up there in big, logic. The UDP has embarked on a old boy, was charged October of self-destruction. The PUP is bold letters. Why hide behind a pseud- course BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov. 11, 2009 with robbery when he 28. Police Constable to winObispo, upcoming (just of the story is that there’s an unguided onym? Anyway, that was my one jab at poised Cannon 21, aelections construction appeared in ‘renaissance’ the #2 Jamilleand Scott reported listen to people out there). Thus, atmissile, a real man back- that particular writer I feel much worker of Teakettle, a.k.a. “Ghetto Magistrate’s Courtwho on just cannot be better now. t h a t h e w a s o n tacking the UDP means that the PUP ing the newspaper who allegedly burglarized a Monday, whenI Village”, will win and be able to serve its people controlledNovember by anybody.9. Okay, fine, but Today I wasCemetery speaking Road to a man house in Freetown Sibun and sexually Gentle also charged to whatwas end. Just what is the purpose consider a friend.he robbery in to the fullest once more. But what do Wesaw wereatalking about assaulted a 62 year old Canadian of the Nationala Perspective? Another the National Perspective. on the morons over at the National Perwith assaulting Police progress atHis thetake corner woman, was charged with rape and version of the storyHeispled that not there’re the Cemetery matter is that theand newspaper is a spective do – they attack the PUP. So Offi cer and escape. guiltya of Road Euphrates aggravated they don’t burglary want thewhen PUPhetoappeared win, so couple disgruntled PUPsMagistrate like Henry Avenue. last ditchScott attempt a small to the charges. Senior saidbywhen he clique went of to yesterday in the #6 Magistrate’s Those Charles whose mouths have been old guard loyalists and ‘bubby-holics’ they’re not really PUPs. Get it. Court. Dorothy Flowers offered him bail of intervene the suspect ran through Magistrate Sharon Fraser– explained to see…see my name’s forcibly removed from the bubby and (you like that) who can’t let go of the that have eyes $4,000 adjourned his case until Taylor’s and escaped. Obispo shetop would notarticle. take a written rightthat at the of this so theyand continue to bleat and moan past andAlley are moving full tilt toward a to

SoberCOURT NEWS

Reflections

Alleged Cell Phone Robber Remanded To Prison

On big egos and small minds…

By: Mike Rudon Jr. Conventional wisdom dictates that if somebody is spending a lot of effort trying to insult you and bring you down, the best response is to ignore it. Theoretically by reacting to the taunts you give that person credibility and a reason for existence. That’s conventional wisdom, anyway. A newspaper called the National Perspective has been spending a lot of effort and a lot of resources and a lot of time maligning the leadership of the People’s United Party. Last week’s attack in the Friday issue of that paper was possibly one of the most venomous and focused – a clear attempt to destabilize the leadership of the PUP. Big egos and small minds are funny things, aren’t they? The persons in the PUP leadership being attacked don’t give a damn, really, for reasons I’ll get into a little later, but since I’m known as a little bit of a wild card I decided to hell with conventional wisdom …let’s talk about the National Perspective! See, to my mind the National Perspective is not so much a newspaper as an instrument of confusion being wielded by a few persons with big pockets and big dreams. Did I mention big egos and small minds? As the equation goes, those big pockets et al have attracted a small corps of persons who have applied their every ounce of energy pandering to said egos and said pockets and criticizing and raining fire down on all else. It’s no secret who is being pampered and promoted in the paper, and it’s sure as hell no secret who is being bashed. From the ads which populate the paper it is easy to deduce who one of the biggest backers is, and from the list of writers who appear in the paper, it is no far reach to arrive at a certain conclusion as to affiliation, is it? Yup, that’s right – all fingers, toes and every other appendage that can, point to the old guard. Politically naïve as I am I would like to believe the leaders of the ‘old guard’ when they say that they have absolutely nothing to do with the National Perspective. So then where does that leave us? One version

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PEOPLE’S UNITED PARTY SPECIAL CONVENTION TO ELECT MINIMUM SIX MEMBERS OF THE BELMOPAN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Dear Residents of Belmopan, The Peoples United Party (PUP) is the greatest political Party that has ever existed in Belize. It is the Party that brought us political independence, and once in government has proven to perform beyond expectations, resulting in continuous economic growth (6-8% per annum) and social justice, where all Belizeans benefit, regardless of race, color, sex, creed, or political affiliation. Prior to the 2008 General Elections, there was unprecedented growth in infrastructure (roads, schools, and bridges). Investments in agriculture, health and education doubled, and private investment confidence was at an all time high. Since the 2008 General Elections, Belizeans overall have felt frustration, fear, and disappointment on the empty United Democratic Party (UDP) promises. Victimization seems to be an acceptable practice in this cruel UDP government. This is evidenced by the infamous remarks by the Prime Minister and UDP Party Leader when he commented on victimized poor Belizeans as “collateral damage”. By the mere suspicion that individuals are sympathetic to the PUP, people overall have been losing their land, their houses, their jobs, their privacy, their dignity. Because of the mismanagement of the economy, by incapable “professionals”, Belize is now experiencing negative economic growth. Investor confidence is eroding, crime and corruption are rampant, more and more children are unable to attend school, and the poor are getting poorer. The above is clear evidence that the UDP is unable to govern. Many promises were made, such as employment growth, affordable housing, access to quality health care, affordable education, etc. etc. Where are all those promises now? Our people are crying, asking “Mr. Barrow, why are you doing this to us?” Belmopan saw tremendous growth during the PUP government. The University of Belize was established, which attracted and enhanced small businesses; new projects were secured, beautification of the city was an example for the entire country, and RECONDEV and City Council worked hand in hand to provide basic infrastructure and land for all. Since the UDP City Council was elected, development has been stagnant. The question is “where are all the millions of dollars collected in taxes?” Obviously, salaries for the Mayor and staff eat up much of those taxes. We see deteriorating conditions of our streets, drainage, parks and playgrounds. The City Council and RECONDEV are constantly fighting as to who should control RECONDEV’s resources. It is well known that such resources are used by the two UDP Area Representatives Witz and Saldivar for their political activities. The Area Representative John Saldivar has forgotten, ignored and victimized his constituents, and blatantly practices nepotism with his family and friends. “Where, oh where is “the man of the people?”” Residents of Belmopan: It is time for us to take back our Garden City. We call upon all, PUP and others, to join us as we prepare in our struggle to regain City Council and the Belmopan Constituency. Let us give back to our people what they truly deserve: a life of dignity and prosperity, where all are equal, where all are treated with respect, where all are given an opportunity for a better life for themselves and their children. Together we can, together we will!!!!! We call upon you to come out on Sunday, 29th November, 2009, at the Belmopan Civic Center, for a special convention to elect a minimum of six members of the PUP Executive Committee, Belmopan Constituency, starting at 2:00 PM. Come and elect a Committee of hard working, responsible and committed individuals who will lead us into victory. 9th November 2009

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

29

The Recession: Exposing Belize’s Predicament

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Is the tail once again wagging the dog or is the dog wagging the tail? Over the years, has not one of our biggest challenges as a nation state been to reform our polity in a way that recognizes the central role that Belizeans ought to play in any construct for development? Is it not also abundantly clear that, twenty eight years after attaining our political independence, the quest for economic independence still eludes us? I don’t think that anyone would seriously dispute the fact that the task of promoting political and social change is still at best an inexact art. I suppose that in the context of dealing with such an art, one may be inclined to argue that Belize’s progress towards addressing the stated challenges have been steady. It could be argued with some degree of success that we have had some measure of political reforms. This is true in the organization of our political parties, is it not? Is it not also true that the efforts of civil society have resulted in several successful, albeit incremental, moves at national reforms? It can definitely be argued that we have a healthy democracy. That is if the only measure of this state of health is the alternating of political parties, various times through our several elections cycles, since independence. A central question then would be, if we have made steady progress at one of our key challenge - that of reforming our polity, why is the populace still feels that not a lot has changed? Why then this overwhelming feeling of despair across our country? I would like to advance the argument that there are in the main two reasons for this. The first is that these reforms have not resulted in the citizenry being placed at the center of the reform process and the second is the fact that we have faltered in the bringing about of meaningful economic reforms - reforms that have resulted in positioning Belize to face its challenges and that have resulted in us better providing for the economic needs of our most vulnerable. The first reason is plain to be seen. As citizens we are not credited, by the government, as having the requisite acumen to be consulted as to our take on matters of national importance. If this were not so, why then would government unilaterally agree that a matter that has to do with our national existence be subjected to a process, that begun without the people’s concurrence. Why does it always feel that in spite of mounting people pressure, governments have proceeded as if they have elected themselves into office? I am sure that there are numerous other cases of similar wanton disregard for the opinion of the electorate. The political reforms initiated did not translate into implementation of the wishes of Belizeans. The second reason is that we have faltered when it comes to bringing about meaningful economic reform for our people. This is the key to why our people have not felt empowered and instead feel that not a lot has changed. Yet, getting meaningful economic reform right is an imperative. It is through this means that the nation acquires the finances to make the political reform effort sustainable. It is by getting this right that it would be

possible to obtain the funds for the implementation of much needed social changes. The economic data will argue for themselves as to the level of growth experienced by the Belizean economy and who administered over these growth periods. It has been long established though that growth in GDP is not the best indicator for determining how the lives of a citizenry have been impacted. It is imperative that Belize’s development focus more on what matters to Belizean. The poorest of the poor is depending on us to make it happen economically for them. In the context of a global recession, and the declaration that Belize is in a recession, the need to get the reform and every single measure we undertake spot on, is a must. The effort to recover from this recession then must be taken with the greatest skill and care. What then is the next necessary step? I think it is a very simple one indeed. It is reliance on all the Belizean people to get us through this crisis. Ah! But herein lays the quagmire. This reliance is only sought at election time and when it is required to meet some political goal. Yet what is required now is the developing of a new compact, the engaging of all as equal partners. The precedence for this is the threat of a natural disaster. This recession should surely be seen as potentially having devastating consequences for all of us. The poorest of the poor being the worst affected. Although we are accustomed to thinking of disasters as being hurricane, earthquake and flood, the consequences of this recession could be equally devastating to our most needy Belizeans. What to my mind has been lacking is for an appropriate national mitigating response to be taken. This response should be one that show cognizance of the impact that a delayed or inadequate series of measures to the recession would have on the most vulnerable in our society. I think it is fair to say that the signals of the impending recession were everywhere. Yet, the government has been late in posting the appropriate red flag of recession. They have, even at this stage, not established much less activated the requisite machinery or mechanisms to get us to the all clear stage. It is absolutely important that we get our people engaged in meaningful dialogue. The question that arises is, if this is such an easy step, why has it not been done? I would suggest that this is why I have chosen to address the twin challenges of relevant political reform and meaningful economic reform in one and the same article. If Belize is going to be able to develop an adequate response, that will carry us through the recession and sustain us beyond it, then this requires that a people-centered approach be used. We therefore must rethink our approach to governance. We will need to understand that in a crisis, what is needed is a coming together of the best minds, hearts and hands that Belize has at its disposal. It requires the creation of the most conducive atmosphere in which businesses can be created, developed and be able to put people to work. It requires a climate in the country that engenders goodwill, one that seeks the process of negotia-

tion and arbitration for the settlement of disputes as opposed to litigation. In cases where litigation is absolutely necessary it should be undertaken only after the relevant cost benefit analysis is done. As a country we would need to be informed of these processes, which company or individuals are the beneficiary of these contracts and the extent of the cost and benefit to the Belizean people. This is extremely important indeed, as we are talking about the availability and best use of our resources to address our political and economic deficiencies. Just imagine that if as a result of endless litigation between the parties, the recent acquisition, hailed as a triumph in favor of Belizeans, would in the final analysis result in Belize having to transfer the greatest level of Belizean resources ever. This would be the greatest cut of them all. This would render the brilliance of the move suspect. The Belizean people would be left to believe that they have acquiescence to the greatest hoist of all. It is for these reasons but especially during a time of recession, that all our various moves needs to be subjected to mass participation, scrutiny and evaluation. It is precisely to avoid unintended consequences that our polity and economy must continue to undergo reform. Any policy response to this recession must be people centered if it is to be adequate. If we recognize the need for such inclusion of our populace then, it should propel us to reform our institutions so that our people

with

can better engage. These reforms are indeed prerequisite to the development of policies intended to address the recession and to better speak to reforms of our polity and economy. Our NGO’s, the ones that are concern before and after election, must continue to affirm their roles in all areas of our governance both at the local and international levels. Their calls for this type of a response to Belize’s development must not abate, once they ascend to leadership of Belize’s Boards, corporations’ and tender committees. We must continually affirm our commitment to ensuring that the government’s policies and plans are subjected to the will of the masses. If we are true to these commitments, and if we rely on the collective wisdom of the Belizean citizenry, we will recover from this recession and all other obstacles. At this moment, Belize is requiring that issues relating to the health, the recession, crime, land and national security be comprehensively addressed. It would appear that these calls are falling on deaf ears. Oh! How easy is it to forget? Forgetting that with the people, you became and that when they are fully engage we can overcome every challenge. History has proven this to be true repeatedly. The predicament is: are people the servants of their politics or are politics devise to serve the people? Godwin B. Sutherland I (peaceBelize.blogspot.com) Send comments to godwin12@hotmail.com November 17, 2009

jazz vibes

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Vibes Radio 90.5 FM & 102.9 FM


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sunday, November 22, 2009

t n e m e g a n a The M f o f f a t S d an Tropical Gaming Company (Belize) Limited would like to wish all Garinagu a Wonderful, Safe & Prosperous Settlement Day!

You've got to get in it... to WIN it!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

31

Belizean Businesses Losing Money

(Continued from page 1)

are struggling to remain open. In fact in the Corozal Free Zone, where the losses have been significant, a number of businesses have already closed down, and some people are speculating that a number of companies will only remain open until the end of the Christmas Season and then will be forced to close doors. In Belize City, prominent and well established businesses have suffered under the impact of this recession. Last week the Belize Photolab closed down and already it has been announced that the Belize Glass Shop will be pulling down its shutters permanently in a few week’s times. In the meantime, many of the businesses plan to weather the storm as long as possible by layoffs and cutback in staffing hours. On the Chamber of Commerce Show one

of the panellists commented that he was doing everything possible to try not to lay off workers, but this now seems inevitable. He said that in an effort to minimize the effects of layoffs companies are trying to protect their most skilled and efficient workers, however it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain this position, even though losing these workers will mean having to give up on people with many years of training and skills. In every aspect of the Belizean economy the recession is taking its toll; in the service industry the tourism industry got off to a slow start and some hotels are still not comfortable enough to return to full staff. In agriculture, leaders in the industry continue to complain about the rising cost of inputs and have been asking the government to consider removing GST on their

countries like Taiwan were focused in areas that would stimulate economic growth instead of using these funds inputs. In the import sector the entirely for budget support. In the situation is further exacerbated by end the recession was brief and the what appears to be a shortage of economy rebounded. foreign exchange. One business The difference between 2003 person who spoke to the Belize and 2009 is that in 2003 the PUP Times on the condition of anonymity Government was able to implement indicated that in some cases it can plans to deal with the problem take up to two weeks for clearance head on. It seems that in this for foreign exchange. Add to this current situation that the Barrow the fact that there is a shortage of Administration has no idea of what affordable financing and the situation to do about the situation. Such is for everyone seems more dismal the level of desperation that on the each day. Business Perspective one of the The last recession hit Belize in panellists begged listeners to call in 2003. Under the PUP the matter was with ideas on how the matter can be addressed and the government was fixed, stating in frustration that there able to maintain investor confidence seems to be no plan to get the country and come up with a number of out of this serious situation. measures to ensure that businesses Another panellist, looking for were able to survive. In the first place, some glimmer of hope said that as Government cut excessive spending far as he is concerned, the only light and made sure that affordable credit at the end of the tunnel seems to be was available to the productive sector. that old adage that “Christmas bring Foreign assistance from friendly with it its own money.”

Castro Accused of Illegal Land Seizure

(Continued from page 1)

If what is happening to one family in Sandhill is any indication, then landowners across this country need to be extra vigilant against this malicious, petty and arrogant UDP administration. Holding a title to a piece of land is no protection against the UDP, who apparently can act with impunity to seize as much as they want whenever they choose. Just ask the Thurstons, owners of the Baker’s Ranch in Sandhill. They have lived on the property since 1974, but learned last week that their Area Representative, Edmond Castro, is moving to seize a portion of the property so that he can distribute

lots to his constituents. Byron and Armead Thurston claim that they have never been approached by Castro with a query or a request for land, and only now are finding out his intentions through second hand sources. Even worse, Cabinet has allegedly already made the decision to acquire a portion of the land, without any sort of discussion or negotiation with the owners. According to the facey Castro, the family owed some taxes so he just decided to go seize some of the land for his constituents in lieu of the taxes. He didn’t feel that he had to enter into any discussions with

the family, or follow the procedures set out in law for the acquisition of property for the public purpose. He wanted the land, so he just decided to take it. And the stor y gets much worse. Residents are claiming at Castro was offering them a deal for the lots - $300 for the survey and $1000 for the title. That money, claims one potential lot-owner, was to be paid to Castro and he would provide a receipt. Indeed, it seems that the corruption within the UDP knows no bounds, because no UDP Minister or operative outside of the Ministry of Natural Resources is authorized to collect

any monies for lands. Those transactions must be carried out at the Ministry. The Thurston family has retained the services of an attorney to fight against the victimization by Edmond Castro and the UDP. These actions in which the rights of citizens continue to be abused by the Government send a negative signal to potential investors in our country - At a time when the Government should be making every move to inspire confidence both at home and abroad. The Belize Times will continue to follow the story and will keep you updated.


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Sunday, November 22, 2009


sunday, November 22, 2009

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THE PATRIOT

On the Garifuna & UDP Tokenism… “Unfortunately, it seems that the more sophisticated Belizeans become, the more subtle becomes the discrimination.”(Cayetano – 1997) Imagine walking into the most refined department store on the north side, only to be slapped with one of the most culturally insensitive shrines of capitalistic panic, a Christmas tree! I know, I know. Barrow said we are in recession and that “mawga season” will be all year long rather than the traditional month, but come on… a Christmas tree…. a Christmas tree… on November 8? Another shopper, with the sting of its irreverence not lost on her, commented in resignation, “outta mannaz dey used to at least wait till afta nineteenth…” But that merchant house is not alone; in fact on that day my procession took me down Albert Street near the one-time entrance of the Palace Theatre. While impressed with the stubborn plant hangers still holding on to the roots of a very determined perennial, I was jilted by the commercial mating call of loud Christmas tunes. I mean… “White Christmas/ Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” songs. Come on. So how could this happen and no one even raise a brow? Well the answer to that question is as easy as finding potholes on Lizarraga Avenue. How difficult would it have been to hang some black, white and yellow decorations downtown and incorporate a calendar of festivities? Oh I forgot, Z is busy trying not to go to jail and the other councilors are placing bets with Brads on the in-house Ultimate Fighting Matches. But there is a Ministry of Culture, right? Come on. Have you forgotten that they were so busy fighting over secret contracts and other petty things at NICH, like the color to dye Dianne’s dreads, that Cardona did not even attend last year’s ceremonies in Griga? What an insult! But that Party is a function of its leadership and history. Barrow has been transparent in his disdain for culture and the blackness of our Garinagu. In 2007, when he was leader of the opposition, he was shamelessly absent from the Ceremonies. His priorities were the shopping malls of Miami. Now he only attends because he

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The Belize Times

is mandated to and only to cross off what he must consider a chore in the handbook of UDP tokenism towards the Garinagu. Barrow chancey, he passed over all the Ministers to give it to Penner? Penner … stop play.. that is like giving Sedi the Guatemala dispute to fix. In assessing the responsibility of the state with regards to culture Assad Shoman back-talked by noting that “…culture and history are inextricably interrelated.” He noted that for much of our colonial history, the role of the state was directed at suppressing our various cultures, fostering antagonism between them and ensuring dominance of the colonial culture. The Uncle Tom, “house-slave” philosophy of the UDP has frequently derailed significant forward strides which have been earned by the Garinagu acting in alliance and shoulder to shoulder support of the PUP. The record of Mr. Price and the PUP is well documented. This is so because the People’s United Party is an organization with a rich history - a history of struggle, resistance, adaptation and triumph. On that level of dignity, respect and virtue both entities could identify with each other. In 1977, the PUP declared Garifuna Settlement Day, a holiday to be celebrated throughout Belize. It was the “All a we da one” project. Again on December 5, 1981, under the PUP, saw the formation of the National Garifuna Council. Then to date drop, in 1992 the Bill for the now historic National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) which under the stewardship of the PUP nurtured and assisted artists like Andy Palacio to international acclaim. Ask anyone down here, this Government has invested nothing to retain, preserve and enhance the rich cultural integrity of Griga-lizeans. Most of the institutional infrastructure that was developed for the past ten years has been abandoned and left to collapse. One Griga-lizean made a damning observation, “Just check fi yuh self how many band, new artist or production come out inna the past year. We still di run pan di fumes of the Ivan Duran projects. (Transelation from Garifuna to Creole)”

El Bejuco Obituario Rojo En forma directa y en otras un tanto indirectas el gobierno UDP ha sido la causa de muchas fatalidades y de la muerte de varios ciudadanos Beliceños, en menos de dos años de gobierno. Atanacio Gutierrez, humilde cañero fue vilmente balaceado por fuerzas del gobierno y al primer ministro no le importa un cuerno. Tantos Niños fallecidos por negligencia del ministerio de salud, leche y destete pero al ministro le valen moquito de cornete Charlie Good y esposa por fuerzas policiacas acometidos y atropellados, simplemente por protestar por sus derechos allanados, El Gobierno con el ha acabado.. y el ministro simplemente a chupar se ha largado… Dwain Davis injustamente acusado, por cuestión política que al señor ni le incumbía, vilmente atacado, una muerte más en la conciencia del pelón, pero él lo toma como puro vacilón. Tanta gente de los malos tiempos quejándose, lamentándose, suicidándose…otros del corazón atacándose y este mismo pelón de la recesión exculpándose. Como negro y nefasto estos tiempos rojos serán recordados como el peor de los gobiernos el de este pelón será registrado, como líder ya ha sido reprobado, mas al paso de los días será malmirado y muy despreciado, pues el pueblo está sufriendo, muchos a manos del gobierno muriendo, todos lo estamos sintiendo, lo estamos viendo y lo estamos viviendo.

Estoy sin chamba Qué cosas tristes tiene la vida La plata no alcanza pa’ la comida Con lo que estamos viviendo Muchos están enloqueciendo No tengo chamba mi vida Esto es peor que el SIDA Estos rojos del gobierno Nos han llevado al infierno Le pedí chamba a castro Ese solo tiene pa’ su gasto Mientras el chupa y fuma del bueno Mis tripas chillan como trueno Le pedi chamba a vega en la aduana me Sosiega que tal vez después, ya ni la riega ahí el todo pasa, la gente no está ciega Tengo dos años buscando trabajo Cabrones me tienen de arriba pa’ bajo Estos pendejos son pura tranza Con ellos ya no tengo esperanza A cualquiera que me pueda emplear Soy buen trabajador se lo puedo jurar Estoy dispuesto a hacer cualquier oficio Y no soy ministro, ni chupo ni tengo vicio Se manejar y se caminar Puedo gatear y puedo mimar Puedo lavar y puedo planchar Si algo te duele también puedo inyectar Se protestar, puedo pelear y puedo gritar Quizá el PUP chamba me pueda dar Para ir a Belmopan a hacerle bulla a Barrow Y hacerle saber que yo solo quiero trabajo


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Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Belize Times

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Haiti: Government must eradicate child slavery

Authorities in Haiti must enact legislation to protect children working as domestic help in conditions that amount to slavery, said Amnesty International ahead of Universal Children’s Day. Amnesty International today launched a campaign to press the government in Haiti to enact measures to protect child domestic workers from abuse, ill-treatment and exploitation. Many Haitian families, too poor to support their children, are forced to send them to work as domestic help. The children -- most of them girls -- end up working long hours cleaning, cooking, fetching water for the whole household and looking after other children in the family. “Most child domestic workers in Haiti live as virtual slaves,” said Gerardo

Ducos , Haiti researcher at Amnesty International. “They work in inhuman conditions, suffering violence and abuse by their hosts, only for a plate of food.” UNICEF estimated that there were as many as 100,000 girl domestic workers in Haiti in 2007. Trapped in a situation of total dependence, many girls are compelled to put up with violence and sexual abuse. Some flee the employer or host family and live on the streets where they may have no option but to sell their bodies for sex in order to survive. 15-year-old Régina told Amnesty International that when she was 10, she was sent to work as a domestic servant, but she ran away because the beatings became unbearable. She spent the next four years at Foyer Maurice Sixto, a shelter for children

who have been domestic workers. During that time she was able to go to school. When she turned 14, Régina went back home, were she suffered further abuse. “Girls in Haiti are trapped in a spiral of poverty and violence,” said Gerardo Ducos. ”The eradication of this modern form of slavery is the only way to protect the rights of thousands of children." Haitian laws do not provide a protective framework for children. In 2003, the Law for the prohibition and elimination of all kind of abuses, violence and inhuman treatment of children came into force. This law removed a chapter of the Labor Code that regulated the work of children in domestic service but failed to ban the practice of children in domestic service. T he Code had prohibited the

“employment” of children under 12 as domestic workers and had provided guarantees that those aged over 15 would receive a salary for their work. The Code required foster families, among other things, to request authorization from the Institute of Social Welfare and Research if they wished to employ a child as domestic worker. “Ahead of Universal Children’s Day, Haiti should step up its commitment to the protection of girl domestic workers and take concrete steps to improve their situation,” said Gerardo Ducos. Details on Amnesty International’s campaign “Overcoming poverty and abuse: Protecting girls in domestic service in Haiti ” will be available from Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 00:01Hs GMT on www.amnesty.org.


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The Belize Times

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Belize Shines at the “2009 Taipei International Travel Fair” in the Republic of China (Taiwan)

The “2009 Taipei International Travel Fair” was held from October 30 to November 2 in Taipei, and for the first time since the exposition was first held 23 years ago, Belize was fully represented by the Embassy of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Belize Tourism Board. The theme of Belize’s display was “Be One with Belize,” and it was centered on the three R’s: Rainforest, Reef, and Ruin. During the fourday exposition, foreign and local reporters from the print and electronic

media, such as CTI Television, Next Magazine, Togo Magazine, NOW News, The China Post, Rich Marketing and Communication, and SET TV, interviewed representatives of the Embassy and the BTB. Numerous representatives of local travel agencies, such as Richmond Tours, Happy Taiwan Holiday, Hiyatt Tour, SET-tour, and Sunday Tours, also visited the Belize booth expressing strong interest in including Belize in their tour packages. The Taipeibased country manager of TACA and

COPA Airlines also expressed their commitment to continue promoting Belize in this part of the world. In fact, the COPA Airline country manager explained to the Embassy and BTB representatives that COPA Airline will soon start to promote Belize as a destination to local tourists using Cancun as an in-transit point, now that there is a direct connection from Cancun to Belize via a Belize airline. The “Taipei International Travel Fair is the largest travel and tourism

exposition in Asia, attracting this year 58 participating countries and approximately 300,000 visitors. The Embassy of Belize and the Taipei-based Central America Trade Office sponsored BTB representative Mrs. Amy Leiva’s participation at the exposition. For further infor mation on Belize’s participation at the travel fair, please contact the Embassy of Belize in the Republic of China (Taiwan) at email novelo.efrain@yahoo.com or Amy Leiva at amy@travelbelize.org.

Belize Times  

Belize Times newspaper for November 22, 2009

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