Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Retrenchment, Pension Cuts and New Taxes…
SUNDAY JULY 11, 2010
Issue No. 4701
July 5, 2010 --- Just after the Belize Times went to press last week, the IMF issued a press release about their June visit to Belize when they meet with the government to prepare their annual report on the state of the country’s finances and economy. The release is a scorching indictment of UDP economic policy. Based on just two months of tax collection data, the IMF is already concluding that the UDP government will not meet their budget targets. They lament that the economic recovery is “narrowly based.” They sound the alarm on the growing number of non performing loans in the banking system. And they warn that the fragile state of government finances would be unable to provide any buffer if Belize were to experience a flood, a hurricane or any unforeseen event. Most distressing is that the IMF, in their nuanced language suggests that the days of sacrifice have only just begun. They see the wage bill as a problem; in other words, GOB needs to retrench public officers. They see the pension program, both the public
pension and the SSB, as a problem; this means that pension payments should be reduced. And they believe that another tax increase will be necessary to expand what they call “the primary surplus.” When Barrow and the UDP rammed through their $110 million tax hike on the people of Belize in March of this year, the impression the UDP gave was that these new revenues would solve all our problems. The PUP warned that the taxes would not materialize, invoking what economists call “diminishing returns.” Raise taxes too high and you force people into evasion and stifle economic growth. This is exactly what the IMF discovered during their mission. Given the gravity of the situation, Barrow and the UDP may have to come back for more taxes even before the next budget. Belizeans and businesses can expect this recession to turn in to a depression, for crime to continue unabated and for poverty to surge. Imagine the possibilities from this lethal mix of hopelessness, higher taxes, fewer jobs and crumbling businesses.
CRIME WAVE CONTINUES UNABATED! Policemen too FAT…says Minister of Police
As the crime wave in Belize City continues unabated and the streets run red with blood after almost daily murders and shooting, Belizeans wait anxiously for the rollout of Prime Minister Barrow’s much lauded Operation Restore Belize which was presented with much fanfare and trademark Barrow glitz and glamour. The short lived Operation Jaguar was declared extinct a month ago and the city has once again become a warzone with residents rendered prisoners in their own homes. The Prime Minister has gone mute, but his Minister of Police certainly
has not. In an interview with local media house Channel 7, Doug Singh revealed his solution to fighting crime in Belize. According to Singh, who said absolutely nothing about Operation Restore Belize, his plan to reduce the violence in the city is simple. What the Police Department needs, the Minister said, is a gym where officers can get whipped into shape, particularly senior officers. The nation has acknowledged that crime is a monumental problem which will require a visionary and multipronged approach if there are to be any inroads made – but Doug Singh says that the problem is that Policemen are just too fat and sloppy. In the interview, he stated – “I look at senior police officers with their guts hanging out and I say that literally, out of shape, overweight, they inspire nobody…we need to get a proper police gym and hold them accountable for their performance, in particular the senior people who look like they have no discipline on how they consume food or personal attire.” While Belizeans may not have known what to expect from the new
Minister of Police with regard to his plan to provide citizens with more security and attack crime on the streets, the attack on Police Officers’ weight and attire was certainly not expected. While residents of the city await a comprehensive approach to deal with escalating crime and violence, the new Police Minister talks about fat Police Officers and officers who dress sloppy and the need for a new Police gym. What then of Operation Restore Belize which was to be spearheaded by this new
and dynamic minister (or so said his boss Mr. Barrow)? The interview with Mr. Singh proves what the Opposition and a majority of Belizeans have been claiming all along – the Prime Minister is not serious about fighting crime. Operation Restore Belize was only a publicity stunt which will yield nothing in the long run. Well maybe it will yield a new Police gym, but certainly no relief to residents who have been overwhelmed by crime.
"The objective of a political party is to win elections. Really it's not to govern well, it's to win elections."
Hon. Doug Singh, Channel 7 interview, June 7, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
FEES & JOBS
Every summer, the desperation for school fees and for jobs becomes more intense in our communities. For parents, for students and for those thousands of young people entering our shrinking job market, this UDP administration is a wretched failure. This year’s Ministry of Education budget is $190 million. With all these many millions at the disposal of their government, thousands of mothers are still scrambling to meet harsh deadlines imposed by school managements to pay tuition fees, to purchase school books and to satisfy various other activity costs. Despite the frequent grandstanding of the Minister of Education, the fact is that many students are being denied their place in the classroom because they cannot afford that seat. The scramble for fees is a bonanza for the pawn shops and loans sharks. For families, especially the 43% of our citizens who are poor and whose Constitution supposedly guarantees “educational on the basis of equality,” the scramble is a dehumanizing and debilitating ritual. For those young men and women graduating from high schools, from sixth forms and from UB, their prospects for securing a job is dismal. 25% of our young people are already unable to find jobs, according to the last unemployment report. Adding another five thousand job seekers (the estimated number of graduates that will be looking for jobs after this summer) to this depressed market will raise that already alarming jobless rate and drive down wages. The screams for fees and for jobs are met with a frightening silence from this administration. Barrow and company have absolutely no solutions to offer. What is more frightening is that Barrow and company have offered no rebuttal to the statement issued by the IMF after their recent visit to Belize. Just two months into a national budget built upon the largest tax increased in Belizean history - $110 million in new taxes – the IMF is apparently calling for public servants’ jobs to be cut, for pensions to be reduced and for yet more tax increases. If a full quarter of our young people are already unemployed, and if this figure will balloon now that an estimated five thousand graduates have entered the job hunt, can we even begin to imagine the havoc that retrenchment and higher taxes will have on our communities? Because the link between poverty and conflict is so firmly established, the scream for fees and for jobs goes to the heart of our crime problem. The truant and the jobless are far more likely to commit crimes. In their work published in 2008, the economists Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel cited multiple studies showing that economic security is the greatest contributor to the security of persons/property. “The calculus of survival can turn anyone into an economic gangster,” they wrote. Fees and jobs are a matter of survival for so many of our people. What is needed is for the Ministry of Education to guarantee a space in the classroom for all students, from kinder garden to sixth form. $190 million in education expenditure is roughly $3,000 per student yearly. Guaranteed access must be achievable with this level of spending. What is needed is a well managed jobs program that will put our young people to work, in private sector generated jobs and if necessary, in government sponsored enterprises. Barrow and the UDP were elected to provide fees and jobs. Belizeans must hold them to their pledge.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Education Too Expensive Under the UDP Dear Editor, A l l ow m e s o m e s p a c e i n yo u r n e w s p a p e r t o vo i c e my fr ustration on the issue of education costs in this countr y. It annoys me to hear our Minister of Education always boasting on the radio about how much he is doing for education and how better off the system is since the UDP g ot into power. He seems to pat his shoulder ever y time he has the opportunity to be in a public for um…he does this so often that he is really beginning to believe himself. Today however, I write on behalf of a neighbour who has five children of school ag e. She is a single parent and this summer she is g oing through the worst time ever. Think about it, she is working as a domestic during the week where she ear ns $150.00 per week Monday to Friday. On the weekends she takes in washing and ironing and she takes about another $100 de pending on how much washing and ironing she can g et done between Saturday and Sunday. She g ets $400.00 per month for child maintenance leaving her with a monthly income of approximately $1,000.00. T his she ear ns working from Sunday to Sunday. She was telling me the other day that she is about to g o crazy with all the school fees, unifor ms and books that she has to cope with this summer. Both her elder children now g o to high school and the fees are required to be paid up front. She says that there is no way she can afford to do that, so she believes these children will have to drop out of second and third for m. T he other three children are primar y school children and they also have to pay some school fees and have to g et unifor ms, books etc. Can you imagine how much this poor lady has at the end of the month after she pays food, water, electricity and rent? It is a miracle she has enough to feed these children. And as he said, with a little help for m relatives here and there. When asked if she g ets any assistance from the Ministr y of Education, she commented that tr ying to g et the so called education g rant is a waste of time as you have to be politically connected to eventually g et it. She said she wasted all of last year tr ying to get assistance from her area representative in the South-side of Belize who is a minister. It never came through. Believe me, ever y where you g o you hear the same cr y all over the countr y. W here are we g oing to g et the monies to send our children to school? Parents are in a fix right now tr ying to ensure that they can squeeze out all their savings, beg gings and anything else to ensure that the children attend school. About a month ag o, a child who was g raduating from primar y school asked he question as to where would 11,000 Belizean children g o. He was refer ring to the 11,000 children who would not have the oppor tunity to g et a high school education. Education in Belize has seized to be accessible, equitable and affordable. It is now a luxur y to g et an education in Belize and even after you’ve invested so much on education, there is no guarantee that you will be able to find a job when you’re finished. T he cost of education is prohibitive to most Belizeans and this is one of he major contributing factors to the increase in crime facing the nation today. For as long as we do not invest in education, our children will g row to be unproductive citizens and will tur n to being criminals. Minister of Education, we need to star t walking the walk and stop talking the talk. Our children need to g et into the school system and be educated to become productive citizens. As long as we continue to have 11,000 children not g oing into secondar y education, our Gover nment and our Ministr y of Education will continue to fail us as a people. It would have failed to deliver one of the basic human rights of a child… the right to education. Sincerely, Janice Longswor th
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Bad Boys Bad Boys… Word to this columnist is that plans for a new state of the art gym at the Queen Street Police Station are already being finalized. A source claims that the budget for uniform and overtime allowances is being
cut and the funds re-allocated to ensuring that the fitness facility is outfitted with the latest equipment complete with trainer to ensure that the boys in uniform get buns of steel. No expense is being spared, not even in the shower area, though observers are wondering why the new Minister is insisting on one-way mirrors when even the interview rooms don’t have one-way mirrors… If Da Noh Soh! Cowering in fear… Word from the streets is that criminals held a meeting last night after the interview with Doug Singh and they’re contemplating leaving the life of crime altogether. Hell, Dean Barrow should have done this a long time ago, observers are saying. The violent elements in the city are
cowering in fear after Doug Singh’s bold proclamation that he would lead the charge against them by repainting the Police Station and clearing debris from the yard and keeping the rooms at the station spic and span. The image of Doug in a French maid’s uniform with feather duster in hand must have struck terror into the hearts of bloodthirsty gang-bangers. Oh, and Doug’s declaration that he would put the Police Officers on a diet must have terrified the criminals who ruthlessly shoot their victims in broad daylight. Oh what a sick sick joke… If Da Noh Soh! Carnival or not… Last week there was one day when the Carnival cruise ship didn’t come to Belize because of the weather and it threw the whole economic system at the tourism village out of whack. Vendors, some of whom had travelled from far off districts, lamented at the loss of the day’s sales, as did a large network of restaurants and shops and tourist sites and tour guides. So imagine this possibility. This columnist has received reports that
THE BELIZE TIMES
Carnival Cruise Line is considering cutting Belize from its route and stopping at an alternate destination. As we understand it, the top brass of
Carnival are making the argument that crime has become a prohibitive risk and they are having problems selling the packages including Belize for that reason. In addition, we understand that management of the cruise line is pointing to the conditions of the city as deplorable and dilapidated. Hell, who’d blame a tourist for not wanting to come to disembark in this cesspool of a city? This is bad news for Belize, but there’s nobody to blame but the UDP which has allowed the city to deteriorate and has allowed crime to get completely out of control… If Da Noh Soh! Police vs. DPP’s Office… Just in the past week about three serious cases against alleged hardcore criminals had to be thrown out because the prosecution didn’t have the case files to present. How messed up is that? It’s a problem that has plagued us for a while now and has resulted in criminals feeling that they have a get out of jail free card courtesy of the keystone cops et al. Anyway,
during the search for truth since we insist that the truth will set you free, we discovered that there is currently a serious battle being waged between the Police Department and the DPP’s Office. Apparently that’s why so many case files aren’t being passed on to the DPP’s office and consequently, why so many cases are being thrown out for lack of prosecution. The top brass of the Police apparently aren’t concerned because the casual observer will always blame the DPP for any case that’s thrown out. Kids, please stop the fighting. Criminals are being set free while you all wrestle in the schoolyard… If Da Noh Soh! First class waste… John Saldivar hacks people’s e-mail, or so he says, but I’ll bet he didn’t hack the e-mail containing the memo advising UDP ministers that the country is broke. We don’t have money, Jack. People are starving out here and the IMF says things aren’t looking so good and will get worse. You see, the porcine minister claims
great intellectual prowess, so I have to believe that if he had seen that memo he would have known that first class travel isn’t included in the list of austerity measures for ministers. Oh
wait, that list is just a figment of my imagination because UDP ministers don’t get to tighten their belts like the rest of us. Saldivar and his Chief Executive Officer were spotted coming back from their travels on Monday, reclining in first class in luxury. Enjoy it, fellows, cause the day of reckoning will soon be here. If Da Noh Soh! When, Mr. Barrow? A couple weeks ago the bald one told university students that in this economic thing, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. He didn’t mention that he had put the first lady second wife there with a flashlight
which she turned on at his command, but turned off as soon as hubby’s speech was done. But seriously mein, for the past 3 months Mr. Barrow has been proclaiming that things are looking up, that evidence shows that we have weathered this storm and are on an uphill climb. Boss, you must have dreamed that one while you were
nestled in your king-sized feathermattress bed in air-conditioned comfort. See what happens when you eat too much filet mignon and quaff too much Moet before hitting the sack? Things rough out ya, big man. There has been absolutely no sign that things are getting better. Ask anybody on the streets. Why does Mr. Barrow insist on fooling the people? The IMF is saying that the deficit is growing because this damned government keeps spending money on itself. That means there is worse to come. If Da Noh Soh!
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Doing it for the Kids
This week the Orange Walk Central Committee under the auspices of Johnny Brice単o sponsored a summer sports camp for children at the People's Stadium in Orange Walk Town. Although the aim was to cater for 100 children, more than double that turned up for the always anticipated and popular annual camp. The Summer Camp uses sports to teach the children basic rules of respect, discipline and working together as a team. To reinforce lessons in discipline, the Police, Customs Department and Youth for the Future were invited to address the children. In what has become tradition, on Thursday Johnny Brice単o spent some quality time with the children. The main organizer of the event was Alex Palacio, assisted by 10 facilitators who have volunteered their time to this worthy cause.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Government abuse… On Wednesday a government vehicle, a late model Mitsubishi Montero assigned to Minister of State Edmond Castro was on the Northern Highway. It was being used as a service vehicle for two cyclists who ride for Castro’s Clear the Land team. This is not the first time that this vehicle has been spotted on the highway doing this very same thing. For months on end this same vehicle has been utilized by Castro for his personal cycling team. We have said it time and time again – why do we taxpayers have to pay so that Castro and his sons and their friends can exercise? We pay for fuel, maintenance and for the driver who patiently drives in front of the cyclists for hours on end. This is only one instance of outright abuse among many? Would this government be willing to provide Belizeans with its fuel bill monthly? Would the government be willing to make Belizeans aware of how much of the fuel bill is being utilized in service of the people and how much is being used for the convenience of ministers, UDP cronies and their family members. Unsustainable luxury… The Deputy Prime Minister of our poor, third world country is driving a brand new late model luxury Lexus SUV. Our Prime Minister is driving a quartermillion dollar luxury Land Cruiser. Our Minister of Health is driving a $160,000 luxury Toyota SUV. There are various ministers who have two luxury SUVs at their disposal, one of which is used by their spouse or loved one whenever necessary. Mr. Barrow has just created two more ministerial posts which will force taxpayers to purchase two more luxury SUVs. Government’s vehicle fleet must have cost millions to assemble and it appears that just as taxpayers get used to seeing their representatives in a fancy ride, that representative gets gifted with a later model. This is unsustainable. If we were a wealthy super-power, our representatives could be driving a different German manufactured luxury ride every day of the week. But we’re not. Belize is a poor country. We are being told that we need to tighten our belts in this time of recession. The cost of basic food items has gone up. The high cost of education is forcing students to drop out of school. Businesses are closing down. Belizeans are losing their homes. But our ministers and UDP cronies are riding pretty in leather and A/C comfort. Our justice system…
On Monday after a bloody weekend, the lineup of the newscast basically summarized the story of things in Belize, at least on the crime front. The first story was of a brutal murder, a young man shot in the head on a busy street a black from the bus terminal. The second story was a rundown of six shootings in the city over the weekend. And the third was the story of a man remanded for murder who walked free because the prosecution could produce no case file. Really, that is what is happening in Belize in a nutshell. There is unchecked violence on the streets, compounded by the criminals realizing that somewhere between the Police investigation and the Office of the DPP, something will very likely go wrong and there is a very good chance that they will walk free. This is nothing personal against Madam DPP or the bigwigs in the Police – this is the reality on our streets, the reality that grieving mothers and loved ones left behind must face every single day. Inappropriate Comments… The New Minister of Police and Public Security has been silent since his ascension more than a month ago. In fact, his appointment coincided with the re-launch of a violent crime wave in the city complete with murders, shootings and armed robberies. Operation Jaguar is no more and Operation Restore Belize doesn’t seem to have made it off the pages of the brilliantly written presentation copy. There is no doubt that Belizeans will need a warrior to take on the battle of crime. We will need a fearless visionary, a man of integrity and focus and commitment who will lead the charge against the lawless, whoever they may be. But we got Doug Singh. In
an interview with Channel 7 on Wednesday night, his first real sit down since his appointment, Doug Singh says he has got this problem pegged and knows exactly what needs to be done to take care of crime in our city which has become a warzone. According to Singh, the Police Department needs a new gym where officers can work out and get in shape. Hmmm! Okay then! Sweaty men in spandex lifting weights might be just what the minister ordered, but we’re far from convinced that such an initiative will do anything to stop the bloodshed in the city. Seriously, though. We said from the beginning that Dean Barrow was not serious about fighting crime when he appointed Doug Singh. Mr. Singh’s inappropriate comment proves that we were right. The Police Department… It appears that the absolutely only thing the Police Department can get right is doing things wrong. The story about two minors who were picked up and detained for hours, questioned and beaten is crazy, really crazy. The fact that the recent Police modus operandi will cause very few people to question the truth of the allegations is sad. How can our guys be getting this basic stuff wrong? Isn’t there a sort of Police Procedures 101 that recruits must take before they pass out? Anybody on the periphery of the law will tell you that a minor cannot be questioned without the presence of a parent, guardian or social worker. It is just not done, end of story. But our Police Officers did it without blinking an eye. And then there is the brutality part, allegations of the minors being punch and hit with a machete and one of them being told that his finger would be cut off. What country are we living in again? Listen, everybody recognizes that the streets are getting tough and Police Officers must be tougher. But tougher and stupid are not synonymous terms. Tougher doesn’t mean breaking the law and abusing the human rights of detained persons. Hell, it’s no wonder the criminals out there are having a field day. The UDP Governance Policy… In addition to his completely inappropriate comments regarding the changes he would like to see in the Police Department, Doug Singh took the time to don his UDP Chairman hat and reveal the policy of the UDP. According to Singh, “the objective of a political party is to win elections. Really it's not to govern well, it's to win elections." While anybody with half a mind could have looked at the way the UDP is governing and seen that they don’t give a damn about working for the people, it is stunning that the Chairman of the UDP would come out so openly and say it. How arrogant has the UDP become when its Chairman will come out on national television and tell people that they are in the race to win elections, not to do the right thing and serve well? It doesn’t get much worse than that. I hope the people of Belize who put their faith and trust in Mr. Barrow are sitting up and taking note. Juliet, Audrey & Bev… The lesbian Senator of the United Democratic Party, Juliet Thimbriel, has been beside herself lately during her daily rant on WAVE Radio’s morning show. She is furious because the Belize Times has happened onto some documents which show that a close friend of hers, the CEO in the Prime Minister’s Office, has been given a house and lot in Belmopan for little or nothing, and has also been the beneficiary of two lots in Caribbean Shores for little or nothing. Juliet has taken the perceived attack on her friend personally. This week we expect her to go even more ballistic, as the Belize Times will highlight a house and lot in Belmopan which was sold to another of her close friends, the CEO in the Ministry of Natural Resources, for a paltry sum. In addition, we’ve received documents which show Juliet Thimbriel herself being given two large lots on the Western Highway for $1500. Juliet and her two friends are benefitting big from the UDP, so we shouldn’t be surprised when she expels so much hot air on their behalf because her bread is being well buttered to do so. There was a time when Juliet used to expend all her energies in defense of the poor people of Belize. Oh how things have changed.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BLUE MACHINE Cayo South Executive Expanded
On Tuesday, supporters of the Peopleâ€™s United Party met in the village of St. Matthews to strengthen the Cayo South Executive Committee. On hand were Party Leader John Briceno, Deputy Party Leader Dan Silva, Treasurer Julius Espat, Acting Secretary General Robert Cadle Jr., Executive Chair Maureen Leslie and other PUP members. During the meeting, five new and committed PUP members were added to the existing executive to make it battle ready to ensure a victory for the Party in upcoming elections.
Fort George Executive Convention
Last week Thursday the Fort George constituency elected a new executive committee which will lead the charge to a PUP victory in upcoming elections.
We Are The PUP
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
BELIZE’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY NOT IN CLEAR VIEW
On July 1, 2010 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed its annual Article IV consultations in Belize. During their meetings in country they met with the Prime Minister, government officials, private sector and civil society representatives. The IMF team conducted an assessment on Belize’s economic performance for 2009 and provides an outlook for the remainder of 2010. A preliminary review of their findings will be presented in addition to ascertaining Belize’s performance relative to the Latin American and Caribbean region. Economic activity when previously assessed was noted to be poor with negative growth recorded for 3 consecutive quarters with some positive improvement noted in the fourth quarter of 2009. The IMF concurred in their observation that inflation is on the increase due to increased fuel prices. For 2010 the IMF is projecting some modest level of economic growth due in part to some slight recovery in export prices of commodities alongside some tourism receipts. They also noted in their consultations that despite the recent tax revenue adjustment with the increase in GST to 12.5% this would not be sufficient to bridge government’s fiscal deficit for FY 2010/11, but instead that gap is expected to widen. Government continues to maintain current expenditures without any evidence of cutbacks; while the public debt continues to remain high. The IMF further noted in their preliminary statement that the banking sector appears very liquid but their concerns were registered for the high levels of nonperforming loans. This observation was substantiated by this columnist review of the banks’ performance as at the end of March 2010, which recorded that the Heritage Bank Ltd and Belize Bank Ltd
both had adversely classified loans as a percentage of total loans in excess of 28% of their loan portfolios. The IMF advised Central Bank to be vigilant in its supervision of both domestic and offshore banks to ensure that there are sufficient loan loss provisions to cover nonperforming loans. An elaboration of the IMF’s observation on their mission to Belize and clear recommendations to ensure sustainable economic recovery would be outlined when their Article IV consultation report is completed in a few months. Thereafter further assessment could be conducted on specific recommendation put forward to government. The IMF as part of its annual research and economic forecasting produces a regional economic outlook for the western hemisphere, the most recent being published in May 2010. A review of their projections for Belize’s economic performance is dismal as all projections for 2010 into 2011 is that the global shocks will persist resulting on low growth performance. The IMF in their analysis of regional economies classifies Belize as a tourism intensive commodity importing country. This is due to the fact that tourism revenue is an important component of GDP along with the economy being further characterized by a high external debt burden and limited integration with external financial markets. This characterization puts Belize alongside other CARICOM countries such as The Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados and Grenada among others. All indication for the remainder of 2010 is that these economies are expected to perform worst than other economies in the Americas. This is due to the fact that weak employment and labour market performance in the developed economies are directly linked to tourism arrivals in the Caribbean, which has experienced continuous
NOTICE “Notice is hereby given that the company named RGT DATA COMPANY LTD. has been dissolved and struck off the International Business Companies Register with effect from the 4th day of July, 2010.” Power Point Management (Belize) Limited Registered Agent
decline. In addition to low levels of revenue from tourism, the elevation in commodity prices will weigh negatively on these economies. The fact that Belize among other CARICOM countries has an extremely high external debt limits the ability for governments to have implemented any sustained or meaningful fiscal stimulus, so the effects of such policy options were never forthcoming, as is evident in Belize. The dilemma for Belize and the current government is how best to develop and implement economic policies to ensure economic growth in the face of prolonged recessionary conditions. The recovery of the tourism sector will be slow in coming and will required some targeted efforts by government to market Belize as a choice destination. The current level of external debt makes access to external financing rather limited. So with limited borrowing opportunities and government increased levels of domestic debt that has been assumed over the recent years due to significant legal judgments against the government, the question is where
will fiscal support come from. Government will be forced to reassess current expenditures to guarantee value for money spent, so that it contributes to increased productivity. This position also extends to the Social Security Board. The state pension fund makes a notable contribution to GDP, but its investment portfolio did not reflected any meaningful growth for 2009. The question is asked where is the people’s money going. This writer opines that the expectation is that SSB funds are being earmarked for investment in Belize Telemedia Ltd; however such an investment would not fit the risk profile for a pension fund. The IMF in their forecast challenges governments of the Caribbean and this writer concurs that government must be able to devise the necessary economic policies that will allow for the economy to weather the storm of recession that continues to blow. While the grass grows, the cows starve and Belizeans are in need of a better possibility because people’s livelihoods remain at stake. Gwyneth Sydney Nah Comments welcome at GwynethNah@gmail.com
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Uncle and son detained pending murder charges
A man was murdered last Thursday night in Cotton Tree Village, some 43 miles west of Belize City. The men Police detained pending charges are the victimâ€™s very own relatives. It all started early that morning when Eliazar Barrientos, 28, went over to his grandmother's house in the adjacent yard and started to peel and cut an orange on the dinner table. His uncle and one of the two men detained in the killing reportedly told Barrientos to use a cutting board, to which Barrientos had less than kind words. That did not sit well with the
uncle, who flew into a rage and chased Barrientos home with a machete. Relatives said they saw the uncle break a portion of the fence that separated the two yards and use threatening words as he pursued his nephew, who lived in a small wooden structure less than 50 feet from him. But when evening came the older man had still not calmed down, and was still pacing and threatening to kill Barrientos. For the family, despite the fact that the two never had a good past, the threats came as a surprise because they had never seen the uncle in such
a rage. But they still did not think that when Barrientos left home around 5:30 last Thursday evening for his regular evening bath in a small creek about 10 minutes away, that would be the last time they'd see him alive. When he did not return home by 7:00 that night, his concerned mother and her son-in-law visited the creek where they made the gruesome discovery of an almost decapitated Barrientos at the creek-side. His slippers and wet clothing were still on a stone where he was washing them after his bath. And on the ground were bloodstains
left from a machete hack to the back of the neck. There were no signs of a struggle, which suggested that either Barrientos did not see his killer or saw him but could not react in time. The next day Police recorded statements from the relatives who saw and heard the uncle threatening Barrientos and detained both the uncle and his son. But other than the threats before the actual murder, Police have very little to go on with no actual eyewitness to the murder itself. Thus, they have had to release both men pending further evidence against them.
The parents of two Belize City minors have indicated that they will file lawsuits against the Belize Police Department for ignoring the fundamental rights of their children and for not adhering to due process. The decisions follow an incident last Friday evening leading into the night when the two children were fingered in a burglary which the complainants say was a loss of over $1,000 in cash, clothing and other items. But their detention did not just end there as the parents say they discovered afterwards that not only did the Police not make an attempt to locate or inform them, but the officers brutalized them during their detention at the Queen Street Police Station. The mother of one of the children told the media this week that she met her 11 year old son fixing his bike at her sister's house and he asked permission to go pick up an axel at the house of a friend. But 20 minutes later, at around 12:30 police officers visited the boy's aunt looking for him and saying that he was wanted in connection with a burglary. A female officer in the vehicle also warned that the family better find him before she did. The family didn't and after Police found the boy they took him to the Faberâ€™s Road Police Station where they allegedly lashed him with a machete and ordered him to place a finger on the table. The officers then allegedly threatened the boy that if he did not reveal the whereabouts of the missing items they would chop off his finger. One of the officers also allegedly hit him near the temple. They then took him to the Queen Street Police Station and kept him locked up in a cell until his mother finally figured out where he was and went in search of him. When she asked to see him, she observed that the boy's temple and under his eyes were swollen - the effects of an assault he claimed, by the officers. The mother said that long after she asked to take her son to see a doctor, they provided her with a medico-legal form to do so. The other parent contends that police breached their duties when they did not try to inform him that they had been holding his child since much earlier that Friday. Aside from failing to adhere to proper procedures when detaining a minor, he will also sue for allegations of police brutality upon his young son. These are not the only lawsuits that the Police Department faces. Only last week this newspaper reported that PC Jermaine Mangar is contemplating a compensation
package from the department for tarnishing his name with a charge that it later had to withdraw for lack of evidence in connection with the series of high-profile burglaries
earlier this year. In addition to him, a recent mother, Tasha Herrera is suing the department for having subjected her and her newborn to the holding cell for a weekend after
they searched her place and filed charges for the trafficking of over two kilos of cocaine. It later turned out that the substance was nothing illicit, much less cocaine.
Parents Sue Over Police Abuse of Minors
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Perdomo's bodyguard shot during robbery
Cpl. Esrick Flowers
He provides safety and security to the Minister of Defense but early Wednesday morning someone could have killed a police officer, the body guard of Carlos Perdomo. Corporal Esrick Flowers was shot in his right ribcage and in his right hand as he tried to foil a robbery in progress at Yun Kee Grocery on Water Lane near its junction with West Street. The incident happened at a quarter to six that morning when the owner of the business, Jihua Zhu, prepared to open for business. Four men armed with guns and wearing masks accosted Zhu as she pulled up the shutters. They cornered the surprised businesswoman and once inside, pulled down the shutters
to avoid drawing attention to what was happening. Zhu, afraid that her family inside would be harmed, screamed as one of the gunmen attacked Zhu's husband, Guan Zhu, choked him and gun-butted hit him in his head. But while her screams for help alerted Flowers, who lived in the same building, the men were not deterred, and they proceeded to steal telephone cards and money. By this time, Flowers was on his way to the spot where he heard the screams, but he was quickly rendered incapacitated by the gunshots. Another officer, Constable Norman Bol, who also lives in the building, grabbed his service weapon and fired back at the men who had shot his colleague, but none of his shots hit their target. The gunmen ran with the undisclosed amount of cash and phone cards. Police have not arrested anyone for the attack and shooting but are following one lead. Their colleague, Esrick Flowers, is recuperating from his wounds and is expected to make a full recovery. Originally from Roaring Creek Village, Flowers was honoured in 2003 as an officer assigned to San Pedro Police Station as the Officer of the Month for August of that year. He was stationed at the Minister's Caribbean Shores Divisional Office up to the time he was shot.
Another Murder in the City
Phillip Anthony Barrera
There was another murder in the old capital this week and yet another mother is mourning the senseless slaying of her son. What makes the killing of Phillip Anthony Barrera more bizarre is that he was on his way to catch a bus to go look for his four children and grandson named after him in Orange Walk when he was gunned down. The incident happened on Sunday morning at around 8:45 while standing in front of Fit-Fit Shop at the corner of King Street and Amara Avenue. While Police comb through the evidence to make sense of this latest
murder, the family cannot come to grips with what has happened and does not understand why anyone would want him dead. Instead they believe he just was at the wrong place at the wrong time because of the area where the incident occurred. It is reported that a man on a bike rode up to Barrera and emptied a handgun at him, hitting him in the throat and chest. It is a loss that Barrera's children have reluctantly accepted, that his presence will no longer be felt in their home in Orange Walk on the weekend and that the visits he paid to his first grandchild have come to an untimely and abrupt end. Barrera's mother, Alvina Barrera, is so moved to anger that she has said she does not have much faith in the justice system. Pointing to the loopholes in the justice system, she said that like most other murder trials that rarely end in convictions, her son's murder could also go down as just another statistic. Alvina Barrera uttered bitter words of disgust toward the reality in Belize where youths are senselessly gunned down and little is ever brought to light to bring the perpetrator to justice.
NOTICE â€œNotice is hereby given that the company named SUPER SCORE INTERNATIONAL LTD. has been dissolved and struck off the International Business Companies Register with effect from the 4th day of July, 2010.â€? Power Point Management (Belize) Limited Registered Agent
Arthur Young Handed Over by Mexican Authorities
Belize's most wanted man, Arthur Young, 35, who has eluded local authorities since April, was back in Police custody on Monday after Mexican authorities handed him over to their local counterparts at the northern border. Young, who was apprehended at the Chetumal Airport trying to board a flight to Mexico City using a fake passport, was in a Mexican jail since his apprehension in May because of his claim that some Police Officers in Belize wanted him dead. The law wasted no time with him and on Monday the notorious figure was escorted to the Magistrate's Court to face drug trafficking charges along with possession of a controlled drug and keeping a gun silencer. His not guilty pleas did not prevent him from prison bars because of the nature of the offences with which he is charged. Young joins his good friend, Errol Haynes who was charged in April for the same offenses after Police searched
a house in the Vista del Mar area which Haynes rented and allegedly found an assortment of drugs, gun parts, silencers and explosives. Young was not present at the time but because Police discovered three of his identification cards in the house, they felt that was enough to land a conviction against him. His next court date is August 26. Young was released from prison in February after a murder charge against him fell through the cracks. But he was quickly back in custody for a series of incidents dating back to January. On his arrest then, Police claim that Young assaulted a Police officer and resisted arrest. Young pled not guilty to all charges and was remanded until March 10th. But Young was taken back to Court and charged with failure to report to the Police as a deportee, a charge to which he also pled not guilty. In November of 2007 when Calvin Young, 20, was fatally stabbed in his Belama home it attracted a lot of attention since Calvin Young was the son of James Young, another well known figure, and street talk was that the elder Young would retaliate against the prime suspect, Arthur Young. But shortly after the killing Arthur Young fled to the United States and was not charged until 18 months later, in June of 2009 when he was deported from that country. U.S. Authorities apprehended Young in Texas for illegal entry.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Overturned container on Hummingbird causes day-long traffic inconvenience
Today soft drink and beer lovers would be in their glory at the sight of so many bottles of beverage strewn across the belly of a 40 foot container which squatted for an entire day across the Hummingbird Highway at mile 29. The container, driven by Jack Ranguy, 36, of Punta Gorda, was transporting the 1,800 cases of beers and soft drinks from Belize City to the PG Distribution Centre when a traffic mishap occurred at around 8:00 pm on Tuesday night. The loaded container lost momentum as it tried to mount one of the many hills in that area and started to roll back down the hill. Surprised by what was happening, Ranguy jumped out of the towhead to the street and watched helplessly as his freight lost control and slammed onto its side and blocked the entire width of the highway.
Zenaidaâ€™s Political Woes
When the UDP made a decision in the middle of May to permanently ban Belize City's first female Mayor, Zenaida Moya Flowers from the party, she gave all indications that she would challenge the decision. It appears, however, that the Mayor has had a change of heart, as the 30-day window of opportunity to appeal that decision has lapsed without her filing any formal challenge. What it means is that Zenaida Moya Flowers, the woman who led the UDP slate to municipal victory in 2006 and who has been known for her candid criticisms of the UDP party leader, has been unceremoniously dumped by the wayside by that same party - hence, she is no longer officially a UDP. The decision against her follows her sharp public comments of Prime Minister Dean Barrow as she exited the courtroom after she was read 22 counts against her last October for uttering false documents and failing to adhere to City Council Regulations. A new mother at the time, Moya Flowers lashed out at her leader, suggesting that someone who would go after a mother who had just delivered was lacking in masculinity, so to speak. Moya did write a letter on the decision taken against her, but that was not considered an appeal because in it she did not challenge the findings against her, but merely appealed to the party on grounds that the decision was harsh. The decision will not affect her office much, since she will continue to function as the sitting Mayor of Belize City, but as an independent one. She will continue to work with the 10 UDP Councillors, though maybe now on more perilous grounds, since it is no top secret that most of them did not support her in her bid against Anthony Michael for the UDP Mayoral candidate in October 2008. But while an expulsion from her political party now renders here persona non grata, Moya still has another chance at her political future with the UDP. She can apply to be re-instated. One classic example of a former UDP who was expelled and who is now prominently fixed in a government position is the present Attorney General, BQ Pitts. He was expelled from the party a couple decades ago, but if his current post suggests anything, it's that the UDP does kiss and make up with their stalwarts after dishing out a harsh dose of punishment. We'll see if Z gets this kind of treatment.
Ranguy was not injured, but the tedious task of unloading the container and preparing temporary space to avoid a total traffic closure took many hours as personnel from both Bowen and Bowen and the Ministry of Works in Belmopan worked round the clock to correct the problem before it would cause an accident involving approaching vehicles to that section of the highway. Throughout the day on Wednesday the work crew separated broken bottles from usable beer and
beverages and stored them in a waiting container heading to PG. Many of the men who worked without gloves suffered minor cuts in their palms and to their foreheads as pressurized sodas burst in their hands after the hard fall. Many of them had to quench their thirst in the broiling heat with the same sodas that were not damaged in the mishap. Works personnel had to use an excavator at first to nudge the towhead a little before more heavy duty equipment were brought in to pack soil on a section of the curve to make a passageway for other small traffic to pass through. While drivers of smaller vehicles were lucky to be assisted through, those in bigger trucks and containers had to dodge the unforgiving sun under their vehicles as the crew worked feverishly to clear away the wreckage. But that was taking too long to do and so the crew decided to push the half empty container further to the side and create a wide space for other containers and large vehicles through. It wasn't until
in the afternoon that they were allowed to pass through, but by then, many of them had already lost their wages for the day because their own freight was not going to make it to their destinations in time for business. Some of them had been waiting in the backed up traffic since six or seven on Wednesday morning observing the extent of the loss and the work the crewmen had ahead of them. The broken glass soda bottles and lost beverage and beers are still being tallied, but it is estimated that thousands of dollars were lost in the traffic incident. That stretch of the Hummingbird Highway is prone to these types of incidents because of the winding curves and steep hills that loaded containers must navigate. Many containers have gone barreling into gullies below after their drivers lost control of their gears trying to mount a hill. None of them in recent years have claimed any lives, but one of the fears is that if such an incident should involve a fuel truck, it could prove deadly for many lives if a spill occurs.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Coye Injustice Continues
The long awaited trial of the Coye family and several other employees charged for money laundering ended in frustration and disappointment last Tuesday, 30th June. The case against Melonie Coye, her mother Marlene Coye, her father Michael Coye, her brother Jude Coye and four other persons did not get under way on Tuesday for several reasons. The previous Judge Justice Gonzalez was assigned to Belmopan Court on Monday the 29th. Judge Lucas returned from Court sessions in Dangriga and informed the persons that he would not be able to deal with their case until the SeptemberOctober Sessions. The accused persons have been clamoring for trial since January 2009 when they were first charged based on a large quantity of money being found in one of the family member’s homes. The case was scheduled to be tried in the
AN UNLAWFUL COURT
One of the knee jerk, harebrained schemes of Dean Barrow on becoming Prime Minister was to set up a Jamaica/ Iraqi type Court in which certain persons would be hastily tried and convicted. This court would deal with gun offences and revenue offences only. Jamaica has a gun court which originally was plagued with legal and constitutional problems. In Iraq there are special courts where the government interferes in the decisions of the Magistrates and Judges. Barrow’s dictatorial tendencies were blocked by the Chief Justice who as Chairman of the Crime Control Council discouraged the harebrained scheme. One of the many reasons he has it in for the Chief Justice. Now that the same Barrow has succeeded in chasing the Chief Justice from office, the scheme is back. Belmopan has employed an attorney and has a Special Unit in the Police Department which will take control of the Prosecution Branch for all Magistrate Court matters. One Court will deal with those matters the Government wish to fast track and get convictions. The Magistrate for that Court is handpicked by Belmopan as the Court to function along the lines of a special court. Persons who the Government target will have their trial put in that court. During the last UDP administration, Dean Barrow as Attorney General had set up a system of quick trials to target certain persons. The Police used the Court to rush through hasty trials of young men. The scheme was subverted when Broaster who worked with CYDP back then started getting special treatment for certain persons who worked with his programme. Now they are back. The Court now being turned into a Special Court is Court Number 3 and last week quietly started this strange function of singling out certain persons for speedy trials.
Melonie Coye Magistrate’s Court in early 2009 but on the day of trial the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) who is prosecuting the case informed the Magistrate that the case would be changed to a preliminary inquiry and sent to the Supreme Court. The case was sent to be tried in January 2010 but the FIU did not send any documents to the Supreme Court. Again in the April
Marilyn Williams - FIU Session no trial date was set because the FIU had not presented the indictment. Now finally when the indictment was presented in June the FIU lawyers say that they will be on vacation. The Coye family and the other accused have complained bitterly as their passports are being held and they cannot leave the country. All their savings
accounts have been frozen and their bills are piling up. None of them can apply for jobs while this matter is hanging over their heads and it is now a year and a half since they were first charged. It may be recalled that the FIU released information to the media about large numbers of false money application forms and other prejudicial information. The FIU had charged businessman Dean Fuller for money laundering of six million dollars ($6,000,000.00) but his passport was not taken away and he was allowed to leave the country as he pleased. The Court of Appeal had made scathing remarks about the behavior of the FIU and the whole case collapsed when it went for pre-trial hearing. Fuller’s lawyer Eamon Courtenay was very critical of the behavior of the head of the FIU and there is a distinct likelihood that she will face a huge lawsuit for damages to Mr. Fuller’s character and business.
THE BELIZE TIMES
WHO WILL PAY?
On July 1, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its Statement of the 2010 Article IV Consultation Mission to Belize. The result of the consultation was presented to the Government of Belize (GOB), the private sector and civil society who, up to date, have not given any response on this issue. Let us recollect that when Dean Barrow and the UDP were in opposition, whatever the IMF said was gospel…so we hope that we do not hear now that the IMF’s findings are unacceptable, or some other excuse. Perhaps the defunct ACB and the Unions should find some life to comment on the IMF report and just perhaps they could explain to us how we can imagine the possibility of lowering fuel prices, curbing inflation and reducing poverty. It would be very interesting to hear from the GOB about the strategies, if any, which are being discussed to reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth. The 43% of poor Belizeans are patiently waiting for the Government to announce the measures that will be taken to improve their lives; after all the IMF is saying in their statement that inflation is picking up and is being driven by high fuel prices. Well, did we need the IMF to tell us this? Everyday Belizeans feel the brunt of increasing oil prices on
every item they buy and on every service they pay for. But wasn’t it Prime Minister Dean Barrow who promised that he would cap fuel prices at $7.00 per gallon and then later on promised to do it at $8.00 per gallon? The promises of low fuel prices were just the usual useless verbiage given to us on a daily basis by this Prime Minister apparently. The IMF report states that despite the recent tax revenue actions (increase in GST) and supposed measures to strengthen the management of the customs department, the overall fiscal deficit is likely to widen in FY2010/11, owing largely to upward pressure on primary current spending. This is an indictment on the management as it clearly demonstrates that the increase in GST coupled with an increase in recurrent expenditure will be responsible for the widening of the deficit. This is telling us what any housewife would know when trying to make ends meet at home with her budget. She knows that if income decreases, then its time to buckle your belt and prioritize spending. But we don’t see the GOB prioritizing spending. These people are spending like there is no tomorrow. They are buying the most expensive vehicles for Ministers and cronies. In most cases Ministers have more than one vehicle parked in their yards or in front of their
houses. Ministers also now have increased their travel and along with their CEOs travel only first class even on the shortest of trips. And what is the GOB going to do about the fact that the commercial banks are, according to the IMF well capitalized and liquid, yet there is a rise in nonperforming loans. Non-performing loans are increasing by the day. We only have to read the newspapers and the Gazette on a weekly basis to appreciate how hundreds of Belizeans are losing their houses. Yet banks cannot and will not make adjustments to interest rates for housing mortgages and will not refinance at a lower rate to make it more affordable for homeowners to make their monthly payments. This only highlights the lack of leadership and incompetence of the government to deal with alleviating the daily challenges faced by ordinary Belizeans. The issue of the non-performing loans can become an issue for the banking system and ultimately generate our own housing crisis as what happened in the USA. All in all, this latest IMF report only documents what we have been saying all along. This UDP Government lacks vision, doesn’t have a plan and offers no hope to the Belizean people. It would be amazing if indeed the GOB would take the IMF’s
Sunday, July 11, 2010
recommendation to strengthen fiscal and external buffers to deal with external shocks. This would come as a surprise simply because when every other country was preparing for the negative impact the US meltdown would have on their local economies, the Belizean government was oblivious to the fact that it would indeed affect us. It is my belief that this recommendation given to the UDP Government will be another fallen by the wayside and or shelved to gather dust. Because, according to the PM we Belizeans are a resilient people and we can adapt and we can cope with whatever hardships are thrown our way. Lastly, the IMF cautioned on the growing liability the GOB has with respect to the Public Service Pension System. We strongly advise the Public Service Union to keep their ears and eyes open with respect to this issue. This is an issue that, according to the rumour mill in the corridors in Belmopan, the GOB will deal with ASAP. Watch out public officers, the belt tightening will start with you. You will take the brunt of narrowing the gap of the fiscal deficit; you are the ones that will be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the IMF recommendations are implemented, and if they fail you will also be blamed!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
THE BELIZE TIMES
Remanded To Prison for Touching Minor
BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 11, 2010 James T hompson, 58, an unemployed man of Caesar Ridge Road who allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a 12 year old girl, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared yesterday in the #4 Magistrate’s Court. Thompson pled not guilty to the charge. He was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until August 17. The incident occurred on Sunday, July 4. The girl, accompanied by her adult cousin, went to the Police and reported that she was standing in front of a Chinese shop on Orange Street when a man who appeared intoxicated passed by and grabbed her on the right side of her buttocks. She said she was offended by the man’s action so she decided to make a complaint against
him. The Police investigated the report and their investigation led to the arrest of Thompson. Thompson was detained and charged on Monday, July 5.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Businessman Caught In Bed with 13 year Old Charged for Carnal Knowledge BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 7, 2010 Sandhill businessman Wilhelm Leslie Jr. 43, who the Police alleged they caught with a 13 year old girl in his bed was charged with 2 counts of carnal knowledge when he appeared yesterday in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that she would not take a plea because the offences are indictable. She also explained to Leslie that the Court could not offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded him into custody until August 7. The first incident occurred in April, 2006 and the second one for which he was charged occurred on July 2, 2010. The girl reported to the Police in the presence of a social worker that sometime in April, 2006, while she was at Leslie’s house he took her into the bedroom and had sex with her. She said that Leslie’s common-law wife was using the bathroom at the time. She told
Police that she would go to Leslie’s house 6 times per week and he had sex with her 3 times each week and each time he waited until his common-law wife was in the bathroom. She reported that in March, 2010, Leslie’s common-law wife left him and went to Ladyville to live. She said she began to work in Leslie’s shop from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. each day of the week and Leslie paid her $8.00 per day from Monday to Friday and $10.00 on Saturdays and Sundays. She reported that Leslie had sex with her at around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 2 and they went to sleep. She said she was awakened from sleep when the Police came shortly after midnight and found her in bed with Leslie. The girl was examined by a doctor who certified that she was carnally known and classified the injury to her vagina as grievous harm.
Babysitter Charged With Manslaughter For Baby’s Death
BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 7, 2010 Donna Banner, 22, the babysitter of a 2 year old baby, Vernice Rodriguez who died from head trauma, was arraigned on a charge of manslaughter yesterday in the #4 Magistrate’s Court. Banner, a resident of Ladyville, was charged almost 14 months after Rodriguez died. No plea was taken from Banner because the offence is indictable. She was offered bail of $6,000 which she met, and her case was adjourned until August 23. The incident occurred between May 7 and May 18, 2008. The Police reported that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 18, 2008 and they saw baby Vernice with bruises to her back and abdomen and there were burns on her feet. A post-mortem examination revealed that the baby died from head trauma and indications are that she was beaten in her head with a blunt object. Haydon Rodriguez, the father of the baby said he left her in the care of Banner because he operated a bar in Cayo. He said his daughter was left in his care because he made a verbal agreement with her mother that when she reached 9 months of age he would be responsible for her.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Bootsville Resident Freed of Chinese Shopkeeper Charged Attempted Murder Charge For Sexual Assault of Customer
Herman Egbert Card
BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 11, 2010 Her man Egbert Card, 44, an unemployed man residing in Bootsville who was charged with attempted murder and other related charges, was freed of the charges
on Monday, July 5, when they were struck out for want of prosecution because the case file was not available. Charges of dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm against Card was also struck out. Card was charged after the Police investigated a stabbing incident which occurred around 7 p.m. on July 25, 2009. The complainant, Darwin Ferguson, 22, reported to the Police t h a t h e wa s s t a n d i n g o n B o o t s Crescent conversing with a friend when he was approached by Card. He said a struggle ensued between him and Card and during the struggle he was stabbed 4 times. Ferguson was admitted to ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where the doctor who examined and treated him classified his injuries as dangerous harm.
Zhen Wen Feng
BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 11, 2010 Zhen Wen Feng, 22, a shop keeper of #64 Cemetery Road who has a temporary employment permit, was
charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature when he appeared in the #6 Magistrate’s Court on Monday, July 5. Feng pled not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Dorothy Flowers offered him a bail of $12,000 which he met. She adjourned his case until August 16. T he incident occur red on Saturday, July 3. A 17 year old girl who was a customer in Feng’s shop reported to the Police that while she was inside the shop Feng pushed his hand through the bars and touched her on her breast. The police investigated the report and detained and charged Feng later the same day.
Duppy Found Not Guilty Of Murder and Manslaughter in Death of Michael Gladden
Keon Williams Myvette
BELIZE CITY, Wed. July 11, 2010. Keon Williams Myvette, 27, a.k.a “:Duppy”, who was charged with the murder of Michael “Pappa” Gladden, 32, was acquitted of the charge yesterday in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. The jury of 6 men and 6 women deliberated for about 2 ¾ hours before it arrived at its verdict. The jury also found Myvette not guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter after they deliberated for another 2 ¼ hours. The verdict was unanimous. During the trial in which there were three jury selections, the prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Christobelle Wilson, had sought to prove that between 1:00 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. on February 28, 2007, Myvette shot and killed Gladden on Lovely Lane for no justifiable reason. To help to prove its case the prosecution called Gladden’s brother, Elton Tingling, to the witness stand. Tingling testified that he saw Myvette shoot his brother with a black handgun and he saw his brother lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the side of his head. Levi Brown a witness for the prosecution who had testified at the first trial did not testify. The prosecution had sought to get Brown’s statement admitted as evidence but it was not allowed. A caution statement, however, from Myvette in which he said he acted in self defense, was admitted as evidence. Myvette, who was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre, gave a statement from the dock in which he said he was at his father’s house when the incident occurred. At the first trial which was in 2008, the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
On June 2, 2008 the Kendall Bridge was washed away during Tropical Storm Arthur. It is now July of 2010 and this UDP administration still cannot replace this critical bridge.
on s g n i Writ the
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
EMS says: Friday, July 2, 2010, 6:57 Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why they are unable to effectively, provide leadrship and govern the country, they are too busy enriching themselves, relatives, and cronies. Apparently, Nepotism and cronism is most certainly the order of the day with ths UDP government. While crime and poverty are spiraling out of control. Apparently,everyday nameless faceless Belizeans are victimized either by the UDPs’ so-called leadership style or by the criminals in the society. Imagine the possibilities, there exist an urgent need for a change in the jewel. How much longer must Belizeans suffer before bringng this leadership crisis to an end. Al says: Tuesday, July 6, 2010, 9:11 The Bible says that when the right man is in power the people are happy. The people of Belize need to remember all the vile things that are happening to them, and make the necessary changes in the next election. Every other country have some form of tribunal that prosecute elected official for attrocities against the people. Who is responsible for holding these band of thieves who call themselves a part of government for their crimes against the people? Do away with independence, go back under the crown. conspiracy theorist says: July 5, 2010 at 11:38 pm Oh, Dean O., what you are doing to our beloved country, we know. The humble elected public servant now turns up at us his nose. Sad will be his days of reckoning, for he shall experience many woes. On the eve of general elections will begin his many afflictions. And humility to him shall have returned But the voters… the voters will have already learned.
rod says: July 6, 2010 at 9:19 am people of belize bar association lawyers judges we need to get rid of this pm lets start asking for his resignation he is useless ever since he became pm this country has gone downhill he is useless with everything going on in belize especially with crime all your children are dieing for no reason just because he will not honor the wishes of the people bring back the hanging penalty lets march on this impotent gov and demand this pm resignation before it is too late for your family march belizeans march demand the hanging penalty demand the resignation of this pm who is useless. Robert says: July 6, 2010 at 1:07 am This is just too much, too much. How can a case file IN THE CUSTODY OF THE POLICE get lost? I don’t care if the police who lost it is corrupt or incompetent. Whoever lost it should serve the sentence for Reneau. That’s what the Romans did, if a policeman let a prisoner go, the policeman went to prison to finish the sentence. If a policeman cannot protect the public that pays him, then take his uniform and his badge off him, because he is worse than useless, he is a danger to the public. Lany says: July 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm If all the murderers are getting off , what do they expect to happenn>>> less crime . hell no . More crime. Stupid stupid. …. Fi thief pint >>>8 years, fi beat somebody>>> 1 year or fine, fi Kill somebody no time. sm says: July 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm I guess if we want justice for our murdered love ones all we have to do is day they stole something too because it seems that murderers walk freen thiefs gets thrown the book at them, ONLY IN BELIZE!
s i h t r e d n U t n e m n r e Gov only
THE BELIZE TIMES
owns CEO Beverly Castillo already a fancy home in Belize city...
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Now she has one in Belmopan thanks to the UDP - a fully develope d house and lot for only $42,000
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
UDP s e i n Cro and s w o r Bar ! t fi e Ben
THE BELIZE TIMES
Carnival Bands refuse to play ‘indecent’ songs!
At its general Meeting of Saturday July 03, 2010, members of the St. Lucia Carnival Bands Association voted to adopt a common position regarding the playing of songs with indecent lyrics during the Carnival Monday and Carnival Tuesday Parade of the Bands. Members of the association, including representatives of Junior Carnival Bands, noted that several songs released during the 2010 season had overstepped the bounds of good taste, good humour and common decency and that many actually contained obscene lyrics. It was therefore decided that such songs would not be included in the play lists handed to live bands and DJs for public play and live performance on music trucks operated by SLCBA member bands. The actual selection of songs to be excluded from play lists will be decided at the
discretion of individual band leaders. This will also influence the selection of artists allowed to perform live on music trucks in the hope of capturing the Road March Title. While CBA members very much value the strong ties between bands and the music fraternity, the Association hopes that this resolution will send a strong signal regarding the quality of music produced for this season and in the future. The association is also contemplating a code of conduct for revelers within member bands in an effort to curb excessively indecent behavior on the road. The Association’s collective concern is that carnival should continue to reflect a spirit of revelry, creativity and freedom of expression but that excessive vulgarity should not become the predominant public image of the festival.
Finance ministry director on fraud, corruption rap
CHERRY Gordon, the director in charge of taxation policy in the Ministry of Finance has been slapped with several fraud-related and corruption charges. Gordon, who has been with the ministry in excess of 16 years, has been charged with six counts under the Corruption Prevention Act, a further six under the Customs Act, forgery, conspiracy to deceive and conspiracy to defraud. The charges follow an alleged duty-waiver scam that resulted in a shortfall of approximately $1.2 million in customs revenue, according to the police. The police are alleging that between February 1 and 3, Gordon prepared or caused to be prepared a fraudulent waiver letter advising Customs that waiver had been granted
for an imported 2005 Nissan Titan pickup truck. Gordon, the police allege, signed the letter on behalf of the financial secretary, knowing that she was not authorised to do so. According to the police, the waiver order was not previously brought to the attention of the finance minister nor was it approved by the minister. Customs officials, it was further alleged, only found out that the waiver letter was a scam after acting upon it. Gordon was taken into custody last week Thursday and a day later charged following questioning by Fraud Squad detectives. She was offered $300,000 station bail and is to appear before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on July 19.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Monument proposed to honor Maradona
An Argentine legislator has proposed building a monument to honour Diego Maradona, whose future as Argentina coach has been uncertain since the team was eliminated by Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals. Juan Cabandie, a member of the lower house of the Argentine congress, sponsored a bill Tuesday to honor Maradona “as an icon of popular Argentine culture.” One of Maradona’s assistant coaches has publicly urged him to stay in the job after the team was thrashed 4-0 by Germany on
Saturday. A senior member of the Argentine Football Association has said the decision rests with Maradona, who has yet to make his plans clear. Maradona has also received encouragement from Argentina President Cristina Fernandez, and yesterday two of his players —starting midfielder Angel Di Maria and substitute goalkeeper Mariano Andujar—offered their public support. “The Argentine people have shown that when it comes to Maradona, the results are not important,” Cabandie said. “Having been eliminated in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa, in a lopsided loss, thousands of people came to the streets to meet him and his 23 players.” Maradona is reported to be shut away in his house in the Buenos Aires suburb of Ezeiza. Some newspaper reports suggest he is depressed and wants to quit. But his unpredictable nature leads few to say for certain he will step away, with the South American continental championship— the Copa America—just a year away and Argentina the host nation. Building a monument would officially place Maradona in the pantheon of national icons, joining former President Juan Peron, his second wife Eva, and Carlos Gardel, the most important figure in the history of tango.
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) -Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, has challenged leaders to make the Conference of Heads of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), now underway in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the turning point for the region. He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the 31st Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads on Sunday evening. Golding said that there was disillusionment among some Caribbean nationals who felt CARICOM had not fulfilled its mandate and were calling for leaders of the integration movement to "shut up or put up". "There is no shortage of cynics who watch as we gather in Montego Bay and sigh and say 'There they go again'," he stated However, he said many of these persons had not taken into consideration the progress that had been made by the regional group, and that the impatience expressed was "oblivious of the need to make sure we get it right, to make sure that it will endure". His declarations were similar to those made by outgoing Chairman of CARI-
COM and Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, who said that the region had achieved as much as it realistically could under the current circumstances. "No one can convince me that our region is any less endowed today than it was 15 years ago," he added. Skerrit also cautioned his colleagues against pressures to meet timeframes and deadlines, saying that haste could result in more problems for the region. "The fact is at this time it is proving very difficult to advance the processes of free movement and the single economy as originally conceptualised in all territories. colleague Heads, I believe the people we represent are quite capable of understanding that some member states are in survival mode and as a result certain initiatives which CARICOM and its related organs began pursuing multilaterally have become excessively demanding and may have to be revisited in keeping with global trends," he said. However, he said Heads should work together to resolve the issues that were within their power to fix. Golding noted also that there were several issues which Heads must work on with dispatch, such as addressing CARICOM's governance structure, the crime and economic problems, and building understanding and trust among CARICOM nationals. "As leaders who are held accountable by our separate constituencies, we have the sometimes difficult task of ensuring and convincing our people of the consistency between community goals and national aspirations," he said. The opening ceremony has set the tone for the topics to be discussed in the week of meetings ranging from efforts to restore Haiti following the January 12 earthquake; regional integration and trade; the global economic crisis; and crime and security.
Jamaican PM urges heads of government to make CARICOM meeting a turning point
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
What would you do if? My Mom & Daddi were talking with me about the teenagers and children who were kidnapped and reminding me to be careful. It really is sad and scary that there are adults who will hurt children. This is why we must be careful and tell our parents if anyone, even a relative or family friend, does something to make us feel uncomfortable.
What would you do if? What If... something was bothering you and you did not know what to do about it? Who might be able to help you? Answer... People you trust, such as a parent, another relative, neighbor, teacher, guidance counselor, school nurse, police officer or pastor. What If... someone touched you in a way you did not like and offered you a candy bar, a brand new doll or something else you really wanted to keep a secret? Answer... Say "NO!" and tell someone. What If... a stranger offered you a ride in a shiny new car? Answer... Never accept rides from a stranger. What If... someone tried to grab you or take you away with them? Answer... Scream as loudly as you can for help, kick, bite and run away as fast as you can. If there are other adults nearby tell them what happened and ask for help to call the police. What If... you did not want to be hugged by a particular adult? Answer... Say "NO" to that adult. You may like the person, but you may not want to be hugged at that time. What If... you got a "bad feeling" or felt "yukky" when a grown-up gave you a hug or a big squeeze? Answer... Tell the person you do not like it. You have the right to decide when you want to be hugged or touched. Trust your feelings about the way people touch you. What If... someone is tickling you and it starts to hurt? Answer... Tell them to stop. If they will not stop, call for help. What If... someone you do not know comes to take you home from school? Answer... Never go with a stranger unless the stranger gives you the special code word that you and your parents use to let you know it is okay to go with this person. Talk to your parents about making a code word.
Remember if anyone, a friend, relative, someone at school or a stranger makes you feel uncomfortable, touches you in a way you donâ€™t like or hurts you in anyway tell your parents or another adult you trust. No one will know unless you say something, so donâ€™t be afraid to protect yourself.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Team Belize wins 1, loses 1 in 2010 Centrobasket
Team Belize fell to Mexico 6282 in their 2nd game on Tuesday, after opening with a 80-71 win over Trinidad and Tobago in the Centrobasket tournament in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic
on Monday. Team Belize was up 15-13 in the 1st quarter, led by team captain Milton Palacio, who scored 15 game points. Unfortunately Mexico led by Oscar Quintero who had 19pts, had taken
over a slim 33-32 lead at the half time break. Belize had 18turnovers which the Mexicans took advantage of to open up a 17pt run in the 3rd quarter that was only answered by 4pts from team Belize, and Mexico led 60-44 at the end of the quarter. I n m o n e y t i m e, t h e p r e s s u r e was on Belize to score, and while Richard Troyer drained in a 3-ptr to narrow the lead, other shot attempts were hurried and did not score. The Belize defense in their efforts to hold back the Mexican offense got into foul trouble early and Mexico converted from the free throw line. Team Belize’s shooting was also off, as they shot only 42% from the free throw line, compared to 76% the day before. Team Belize did better on Monday, when they dominated Trinidad and Tobago 80-71, Milton Palacio leading the attack with 16pts, dishing out 5 assists and snatching 3 steals. Ian Young led Trinidad’s attack with 15 pts to lead 17-14 in the 1st quarter. Alex Carcamo answered with 16 pts for Belize, grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 2 assists, while Richard Troyer added 14pts, grabbed
9 rebounds and handed out 3 assists to lead 40-38 at the half. Trinidad took over the lead briefly after the break, but Leon Jacobs added 8pts to Belize’s score, Charlie Burgess added 4pts and Belize led 63-54 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Trinidad matched Belize 17-17 in the last quarter, but Belize led 80-71 at the final buzzer. Te a m B e l i z e p l a y s C u b a o n We d n e s d a y, C u b a h a s wo n t h e Centrobasket tournament 4 times and on Friday, Belize faces the defending champs, Puerto Rico, which has won Centrobasket 10 times. Only the top 2 teams from each group advance to the semifinals over the weekend; it will be curtains for the remaining 6 teams. Belize would need to be among the semifinalists to qualify for the FIBA Americas tournament, from which the top 3 advance to the 2012 Olympics. Belize will be among the top 8 teams who qualify for the Central American and Caribbean Games to be held in Puerto Rico later this month. The top 3 from Centrobasket also qualify for the 2011 Pan Am Games to be held in Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, in Mexico.
Belize & Venezuela win 1 each in basketball friendlies
Team Belize went 1-1 with Team Venezuela in a 2 game series of friendlies at the Belize City Center last Thursday and Friday to prepare for the Centrobasket tournament in Santo Domingo. Team Venezuela won Game 1 on Thursday night - 83-77. Team captain Milton Palacio led Belize’s attack with 14pts to give Belize a 26-23 at the end of the 1st quarter, but Joan Herrera responded with 12 pts for Venezuela, Rafael Perez added 10pts and Axiers Sucre was good for another 9 pts as they took over the lead 49-44 at the half. Venezuela’s Joan Herrera hit 2 long treys in the 2nd half, David Cubillon followed suit with a trey to finish with 10pts, Hector Romero added 8pts and Windy Gizaterol added 4pts. Luis Valera drained in another long trey to lead 66-55 at the end of the 3rd quarter. In money time, Kenton Paulino stepped up big time with 2 treys to finish with 15pts, and Keenan Jourdan added 13pts. Troyer also hit 2 treys to finish with 10pts, while Alex Carcamo had 8pts. Charlie Burgess drained in a trey to add 6pts and Leon “Sonny” Watson chipped in 4pts. In Game 2 on Friday, Team Belize
came back strong, blowing out the Venezuelans 83-64! This time Alex Carcamo led with 18 game pts. Roger Troyer added 11pts, and team captain Milton Palacio had 9pts and Belize dominated the 1st quarter 27-9. Kenton Paulino hit a long trey to finish with 12pts and more buckets from Darwin “Puppy” Leslie and Leon Jacobs gave Belize a 40-28 lead at the half. Venezuela’s Rafael Perez hit a long trey as he scored 12pts, Axiers Sucre added 8pts, Jesus Urbina hit a trey to add 7 pts and Joan Herrera had 5pts. Palacio and Burgess answered each with a long trey, and more buckets from Carcamo, Troyer and Keenan Jourdan, and Paulino scored 5 from the charity stripe to give Belize a 64-43 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. Venezuela’s Hernan Salcedo drained in 2 treys as he led with 12pts in the 2nd half, Hector Romero added 7 pts, Gregory Vargas chipped in 4pts and Jose Bravo added 5pts, but they were out-rebounded by Team Belize. Carcamo grabbed 9 rebounds while Troyer snagged 7, Milt Palacio captured 6 rebounds, Burgess also caught 5 rebounds. Sonny Watson punctuated the 83-64 victory with a final dunk. Belize’s top scorer with 10 treys or 40pts in our
silver medal win at the COCABA championships in Cancun last year, Marlon Garnett, could not join the squad, because the Belize Basketball Federation could not provide the earnings compensation insurance, to
compensate for Garnett for lost earnings should he be injured in the tournament. As Garnett is getting towards the end of his career, he did not wish to risk his anticipated earning by a possible injury without insurance.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Belize #1 Sports Page
Hattieville United & Survivors win in BDFA U-15 football The Hattieville United and Sur vivors posted big wins in t h e B e l i z e D i s t r i c t Fo o t b a l l Association’s under-15 football competition at the Hattieville field last Saturday, July 3. The Hattieville United club hosted the Brown Bombers for a 3-2 win in Game 3 of the day. Jarron Myvett blasted in the 1st goal to give Brown Bombers a 1-0 lead, but Hattieville’s Noel Thompson soon delivered the equalizer and Trevaun Rhaburn drilled home a 2nd goal to lead 2-1 lead at half. In the 2nd half, Devaugn Zuniga booted in the equalizer for the Bombers to make it a 2-2 ball game. The Bombers’ defense fell apart in the late stages of the game and Noel Thompson
scored Hattieville’s 3rd winning goal. The Survivors also ran over the Ladyville Rural Strikers 3-1 in Game 1 of the day. Survivors’ Kadeem Anderson scored the 1st winning goal in the 30th minute of play, and Jonathan Guardado collected a pass from Anderson and ran away from the Ladyville defenders to blast a 2nd goal into the net to lead 2-0 at the half time break. In the 2nd half, Kadeem Anderson made it 3-0 with a 3rd goal, but the Ladyville boys did not give themselves up as done for, and played on. Leon Sedacey’s perseverance paid off when he scored a consolation goal for the Ladyville boys, but the Survivors’ defenders Louis Alvarez, Jerome and Jovan Usher held up and shut
down the Ladyville attack to secure the 3-1 win. The Alberts’ U-15 football club got the easy bye to
their first win: 3-0, when the Yabra team failed to take the field the scheduled Game 2 of the day.
San Pedro FC & Brown Bombers win in BDFA U-19 football T he San Pedro U-19 FC and the Brown Bombers U-19 posted big wins in the Belize District Football Association’s under-19 football competition at the MCC garden on Sunday afternoon. The San Pedro FC burned t h e B. W. E . L . F l a m e s 7 - 3 i n Game 1. Jesse Guerrero scored a hat trick for San Pedro to lead 3 - 0 . B. W. E . L . F l a m e s ’ D av i d R a m o s, D e n r oy M c C o r d a n d Gilbert Neal also scored 3 goals but San Pedro’s Edilberto Caliz scored the 4th winning g oal, Geovannie Reyes added the 5th
and 6th goals, and Akeem Eiley bombed home a 7th goal for the 7-3 win. T h e Br own Bo m b e r s U - 1 9 blasted the Yabra U-19 6-0 in Game 2. Bombers’ John King converted a penalty early in the first half to lead 1-0 at the half t i m e b r e a k . I n t h e 2 n d h a l f, Clinton “Pin” Jorgenson added a 2nd goal, Ceton Martinez scored the 3rd g oal and Avian “Chichis” Crawford delivered a 4th goal. Kendice “Suba” Williams o u t r a n t h e Ya b r a d e f e n s e t o score the 5th and 6th goals for the 6-0 win.
Gentle Touch & Millennium lead national female football playoffs Defending female football champs Gentle Touch of Esperanza and the Millennium girls of Belize City lead the national female football playoffs each with blowout wins on Saturday. Gentle Touch blew away Pumas Auto Rentals of Dangriga 11-2 at the Esperanza field, while Millennium girls spanked the Placencia Pearls 5-1 at the MCC grounds in Belize City. Gentle Touch’s top striker Nataki Alvarez scored a hat trick plus 2 goals against the Dangriga girls. Pumas’ Karen Garcia scored 2 goals, but ‘Ranza’s Kimberly “Brazilian” Perez also scored a hat trick, while Indira Spain, Tatiana Flowers and Cynthia Salazar each scored a goal for the 11-2 win. Kara Kisling and Shinelle Gentle led the Millennium
girls’ attacks in the 1st half, with the help of Margarita Aguilar and Miriam Villamil on the wings and supported by midfielders Adelma Broaster, Lynette Gabourel and Kursha Pollard. Placencia’s Denise Glenn held down the visitors’ defense with the help of Kira Eiley, Karisa Rhamdas and Khadijah Asales, but Kara Kisling outran them to blast in the 1st goal, and Shinelle Gentle added a 2nd goal to lead 2-0 at the half. Placencia’s Kaina Martinez, Maylin Martinez and Sabina Eiley counterattacked, but could not get by Millennium’s Shadalee Ho, Geanne Cayetano, Sara Arzu and Kara Kisling. Kaya Cattouse and Salambu Munnings
entered the ball game in the 2nd half to replace Aguilar and Villamil and test the Placencia midfielders Shari Lopez, Natasha Gibson and Jeena Casey. Salambu Munnings ran thru the Placencia defenders to blast in a 3rd goal and Shinelle Gentle added a 4th goal. Lynette Gabourel added a 5th goal to lead 5-0 before Placencia’s Kaina Martinez broke through for a one on one with Millennium goalie Ermine Ferguson. Kaina won to give the visitors their only consolation goal. The playoffs continue with return matches on Saturday; Millennium goes to Placencia while Gentle Touch will visit the Pumas at the Carl Ramos Stadium.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Belize #1 Sports Page
Shalini Zabaneh wins BCA National Road Championship, Aiden Juan wins Youth race
T e a m S a g i t u n ’s S h a l i n i Zabaneh won the Belize Cycling Association’s national female road championship, while Aidan Juan won the Youth category in the road race, sponsored by the Belize Bank and Love FM, on the Western and Northern Highways on Sunday, July 4. Shalini clocked 3:49:33 on the 74.2 mile ride from the Caves Branch Blue Hole national monument village on the Hummingbird Highway, along the
Western Highway to Hattieville, through the Burrell Boom bypass road on to the Northern Highway to the finish line in front of the Belize Bank northern highway branch in Belize City to win the national road champion’s jersey. She led most of the way, winning 8 station prizes; in Armenia village on the Hummingbird highway, at Belmopan Comprehensive, at Mile 40 in Cotton Tree Village, at St. Matthews Village and at mile 25
at La Democracia Village. Team Belize Bank/BEL’s Alicia Thompson led passing Rockville at mile 23 and at the Hattieville Police Station; but Shalini Zabaneh soon took over the lead to sweep the next 3 station prizes, at the Burrell Boom Bridge, in Ladyville by the entrance to the old Airport junction, and at the Divine Mercy Church at mile 4 on the Northern Highway. Alicia Thompson rode in over three minutes later to take the silver medal, while Team Te l e m e d i a S wo o s h ’s A n t h e a Sutherland took 3rd place for the bronze, clocking 4:40:19. Shalini had also won the individual time trials, clocking 28:21 seconds on the 11 mile course on the Burrell Boom bypass road on Saturday to set a new record of 23.28 mph. Alicia Thompson clocked 30:04, while Anthea Sutherland clocked 32:53. Sheena Castillo had clocked 33:54, but she did not finish the road race on Sunday.Team Cayo High Road’s Aiden Juan won the Youth Championship clocking
3:40:44 over the same course as the ladies on Sunday, finishing almost 9 minutes before Shalini. Aiden led the race the entire way, winning all 10 station prizes. Te a m I N D E C O ’s J o e l Borland clocked 3:45;02 to win the silver medal, while Team Crystal Cycling’s Oscar Quiros clocked 3:49:22 to win the bronze. Team Cayo High Road’s Juan Umana Flores outsprinted Team INDECO’s Giovanni Lovell for 4th place, Lovell took 5th. Team C-Ray Cycling’s Marcus Lewis was 6th. Adrian Linares, riding unattached, was 7th clocking 3:53:26, while Team Clear the Land’s Jafari Castro was 8th clocking 3:58:11. Te a m C a y o H i g h R o a d ’s Christopher Alex Sandoval was 9th clocking 4:02:41 seconds; Team C-Ray’s Riis Cattouse was 10th; Zahir Morgan of the Crystal Cycling Team was 11th, and Team INDECO’s Brandon Morg an clocked 4:21:18 to finish 12th.
Leroy Cassasola wins BCA National Road Championship, Giovanni Choto wins U-23
Te a m B e n n y ’s M e g a by t e s ’ Leroy Cassasola won the Belize Cycling Association’s national road championship road race and Giovanni Choto won the Under23 division, in the race sponsored by the Belize Bank and Love FM, on the Southern, Hummingbird, Western and Northern Highways on Sunday, July 4. Cassasola clocked 5:34:12 on his 117.4 mile ride from
the Silk Grass Village on the Southern Highway, along the Hummingbird Highway to Belmopan, on to the Western highway to Hattieville, through the Burrell Boom bypass road on to the Northern highway to the finish line in front of the Belize Bank northern highway branch in Belize City to win the national road champion’s jersey. He led most of the way, winning eight station prizes. Glen
O’Brien had led in the early stages of the race to win two prizes at Pomona and at the Top of the Gap. Cassasola took over the lead at the Top of Cisco Hill, forming a 3-man breakaway with Team Western Spirit’s U-23 rider Geovanni Choto and Tram Zamir’s Arnidez Rivas passing through Armenia Village, and Cassasola won the next 2 $50.00 station prizes at Mile 40 and at the Belize Zoo at mile 33. They opened up a 3 minute gap from the main peloton and were never caught before they entered the city. Cassasola swept all remaining station prizes in the Masters category at the Burrell Boom Bridge in Ladyville by the entrance to the old Airport junction, and at the Divine Mercy Church at mile 4 on the Northern Highway. Angel Tzib won the first 3 $50.00 station prizes in the U-23 category at Pomona, Top of Gap and at the Top of Cisco Hill. Geovanni Choto swept all seven $50.00 station prizes in the U-23 category, while Arnidez Rivas won all ten $50.00 station prizes in the elite category. Geovanni finished 8 seconds behind Cassasola to win 2nd place for the silver, while Rivas placed 3rd for the bronze.Team. Zamir’s Gregory Lovell clocked 5:35:08 as he outsprinted Team Benny’s Megabytes’under-23 rider
Byron Pope for 4th place, and Pope took 5th. Pope set a new record of 26.685 mph when he clocked 24:44 in the individual time trials over the 11 mile course on the Burrell Boom bypass road on Saturday. Lovell’s teammate Peter Choto was right behind to take 6th place and Team C-Ray’s Brandon Cattouse placed 7th. The 2006 Cross Country champ, Shane Vasquez of the Western Spirit team clocked 5:35:19 as he rolled in 8th and his teammates: Roger Troyer, Masters’ rider Jose Choto and Kyne Gentle were 9th, 10th and 11th respectively. Team M&M Engineering’s Robert Liam Stewart won bronzed in the masters division as he rolled in 12th in 5:39:51. Team INDECO’s Under 23 rider Hernan Ocaeta was 13th clocking 5:42:02, while Team Zamir’s Masters rider Mateo Cruz clocked 5:42:02 to place 14th. Team INDECO’s Under 23 rider David Henderson was 15th in 5:42:02, while Team Typhoon’s Jairo Campos of Orange Walk was 16th. Team C-Ray’s Ron Mckenzie was 17th, Team INDECO’s Geon Hanson was 18th in 5:44:28, Tteam Zamir’s Masters rider Glenn O’Brien was 19th and Cassasola’s teammate George Abraham Jr. rounded out the top 20.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Belize #1 Sports Page
C-Ray’s Eduar Burns wins BCA Junior National Road Championship
Team C-Ray’s Eduar Burns won the Belize Cycling Association’s national junior road championship road race, sponsored by the Belize Bank and
Love FM, on the Hummingbird, Western and Northern Highways on Sunday, July 4 while Daniel Choto set a new record in the
individual time trials on Saturday. Burns clocked 4:13:05 on his 80.8 mile ride from the St Margaret’s Village on the Hummingbird Highway to Belmopan, on to the Western Highway to Hattieville, through the Burrell Boom bypass road on to the Northern Highway to the finish line in front of the Belize Bank northern highway branch in Belize City to win the national road champion’s jersey. Team Cayo High Road’s Kristopher Chuc had led in the early stages of the race winning the first 4 $50.00 station prizes in Armenia Village on the Hummingbird highway, at Belmopan Comprehensive, at Mile 40 in Cotton Tree Village and at St. Matthews Village. Team Clear di Land’s Bernard Trapp took over the pace, rolling past La Democracia Village to win a $50.00 station prize, then Eduar Burns surged ahead to win the prize at Rockville at mile 23. Bernard Trapp regained the lead to win the next $50.00 prize by the Hattieville Police Station; but Kristopher Chuc was also jockeying for the lead to take the next prize
at the Burrell Boom Bridge. Trapp challenged Chuc to win the next prize passing thru Ladyville by the entrance to the old Airport junction then it was Burns establishing his dominance as he took the lead at the Divine Mercy Church at mile 4 on the Northern Highway. Kristopher Chuc placed 2nd clocking 4:13:05 for the silver; Trapp was right behind to place 3rd for the bronze. Trapp’s teammate Deezan Spence was 4th in 4:27:12, with Ethan Lennox Neal of the CGI/Ezone Belize team taking 5th and last year’s road champ, Richard Vera of Cayo High Road was 6th. Team C-Ray’s Melvin Tillett was 7th clocking 4:33:12; while Cayo High Road’s Daniel Choto was right behind to place 8th. Daniel had also won the junior individual time trials, to setting a new record of 26.688 mph as he clocked 24:44 minutes over an 11 mile course on the Burrell Boom bypass road on Saturday. Team M&M Engineering’s David Tillett was 9th and Team Clear di Land’s Steven Dixon rounded out the top 10.
Youth for the future win 3 back to back in Interoffice basketball
The Youth for the Future posted their 4th win of the 2010 Interoffice basketball competition, when they scorched KHMH 54-50 at the Belize City Center on Monday, July 4. Ervin 'Herbal' Moguel led the Youths with 18 pts, grabbing a rebound and handing out 2 assists, while Lonnie Trapp tossed in 12 pts, grabbed 4 rebounds and a steal and made 2 assists. Rosney O' brien led the KHMH medics with 14 pts, grabbing 8 rebounds and 2 steals, and Andrew Pilgrim added 11 pts, snagged 2 rebounds and a steal and handed out an assist. In Monday night’s Game 2, the Port of Belize bottled up Bowen & Bowen 60-45. Leroy 'Fayah' Forbes led Port with 10 pts, grabbing 6 rebounds and 2 steals, while Ian 'AC' Augustine tossed in 9 pts, captured 17 rebounds and handed out 2 assists. Milton Flores
led Bowen with 13 pts, grabbed 6 rebounds and handed out an assist, while David Cruz added 9 pts, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked a shot. The Youth for the Future had posted their 3rd win when they scorched the National Fire Service 49-46 on Sunday. Bernadote Felix led the Youth for the Future with 14 pts, grabbing 3 rebounds and a steal while dishing out an assist and Collin Griffith added 8 pts, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 2 assists. Kenroy Roca led the firemen with 13 pts, grabbing 14 rebounds and 4 steals, and Tyrone Palmerston added 13 pts, snatching 4 rebounds and 2 steals while handing out 2 assists. In Game 2 the K.H.M.H. medics taxed Customs 5749. Ryan Miller led the medics with 10 pts, grabbing 7 rebounds and a steal while dishing out / 2 assists; Norman
Humes added another 10 pts, grabbing 8 rebounds and handing out an assist. Oliver Solis led Customs with 22 pts, grabbing 9 rebounds, and handing out an assist, and Customs’ Dalton Anderson added 7 pts, grabbed 5 rebounds and handed out an assist. In Game 3, the Belize Water Services Ltd pressured Guardian/ Housing 57-49. Jamir Enriquez led “Pressure” with 21 pts, grabbing 6 rebounds and handing out an assist, while Karim Thompson added 8 pts, snagged 7 rebounds and dished out an assist. Guardian’s Bernard Felix top-scored with 23 pts, grabbed 4 rebounds and 3 steals while making 4 assists, and Zachary Young added 9 pts and grabbed 5 rebounds. In Game 4, Alamilla's/Cellular Plus shocked Belize Electricity Ltd “Megawatts” 67-
35. Alamilla's Steve Bonnell led with 17 pts, also grabbing a rebound and a steal. John Rudon added 12 pts, grabbed 5 rebounds and a steal while dishing out 2 assists. BEL’s Emmett Avila had 11 pts and grabbed 9 rebounds and a steal, blocking one shot. Brandon Cadle added 7 pts, grabbed 5 rebounds and 4 steals and handed out an assist. In Game 5, First Caribbean Bank/ Quan's Trading Co. deposited a 63-59 win on Belize Telemedia Ltd. Jacob 'Snake' Leslie led FCIB with 24 pts, grabbing 7 steals and 4 rebounds and blocking 3 shots, while Jerome 'Penny' Ellis added 9 pts, grabbed a rebound and 6 steals. Telemedia’s Jamaal Kelly scored 14 pts, while grabbing 5 rebounds and 2 steals, dishing out 2 assists. Devon Lozano added 11 pts, grabbed 3 rebounds and a steal.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Get the Answer In answer to a question from Thomas, at a time when the disciples were in a frenzy and concerned and uncertain as to how the future would work out, “Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life...” John 14: 6 This declaration is very comforting and assuring. In Belize and the world today there is a lot of searching and questions. We wish we knew the answer to every question particularly the things that trouble us and bring us happiness or fulfillment. Things like our family, relationships, jobs or bills. How do we …? Or what is the problem with….? Or when will …? We are plagued with questions. But Jesus is the answer. “Truth shall spring up from the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” Psalm 85: 11. In fact the scripture is more direct in this teaching by Ephesians 4: 21, the prophet writes, “Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him].” This is even reflected in the Old Testament “The works of His hands are [absolute] truth and justice [faithful and right]; and all His decrees and precepts are sure (fixed, established, and trustworthy)”. Psalm 111: 7 But not only is He the answer but he is the correct answer and the liberating clarity that we need to lead a full and prosperous life. “Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.” Psalm 51: 6 The well known bible verse is often times ready for us to cling on to, “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” John 8: 32 When we tell others, “Jesus is the answer,” it is only fair for them to ask of us: what is the question? To what question or questions is Jesus the answer? You must answer that for yourself. I considered why Jesus did not answer the question of who exactly he was to John the Baptist but then after reading the scripture again I realized. See Jesus did not answer, but merely reported on what was happening through Him. “Go and tell John, Jesus says, what you have heard and seen. Blind people see, the lame walk, lepers are healed and are now allowed to touch and be touched, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news.” Matthew 11:2-7 See the point was that in the same way that Jesus had revealed himself to doubting Thomas who wanted to touch the crucifixion scars of Jesus and he was allowed to. In the same way God gives us evidence of his truth. It is all around us: the fact and unavoidable truth of Jesus and his supremacy over our problems. Jesus surely is the answer. No one can take this away from believers. We must seek this answer: “Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart [solely, reverently] to fear and honor Your name.” Psalm 86: 11. The way of destruction and confusion is not the way of truth and the way to the answers we seek “Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” Ephesians 4: 15 At the end of all our questioning, and searching for other things, we will find that horoscopes, card readers, agnostic science and obeah are wrong. There is only one answer and that is Jesus. His promise is clear so as I end this week singing the popular evangelical song by Andrea Crouch: “Jesus Is The Answer For The World Today, Above Him there's no other, Jesus Is The Way” remember 2 Samuel 7: 28 “And now , O Lord, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to your servant” Jesus is the answer.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Dean Barrow’s ‘Zen-enema!’
By: Mike Rudon Jr. Slum (n.) A heavily populated urban area characterized by substandard housing and squalor. Late last week I had the great misfortune of watching what turned out to be the stupidest movie I have ever seen in my life, called Mega-Piranha. This movie was so bad that if Siskel and Ebert were still around they would not only have given it a ‘thumbs down,’ they would have amputated their hands at the wrist in despair. It was that bad. I guess I only watched it because it was filmed in Belize, and sexist pig that I am I’ll admit that the first 30 seconds of the movie (featuring a beautiful young Belizean woman in scanty bikini) was inspiring, but the rest was sheer, unadulterated, unapologetic garbage. And since we’re on the subject of garbage, could somebody please vandalize that ridiculous billboard on the Northern Highway…the one that features Zenaida Moya smiling like a dummy with arms extended; the one that says Welcome to Belize City. Thank the good Lord it doesn’t say Welcome to ‘beautiful’ Belize City – even Zenaida isn’t that stupid or brazen. But what an amazing journey it must be for visitors to our shores for the first time…leaving the airport, turning on to the pockmarked and rutted Northern Highway, passing mile 7 which has been under repair for almost a year, driving past that beautiful, bright, colorful billboard and then entering the slums of Belize City. Oh joy and glory! See, I can’t help but feel that the UDP City Council is getting a free pass. Yes, it absolutely IS a UDP City Council and a UDP Mayor who were placed there to take care of the old capital. Old balls-less (so Zenaida insists) baldy wants to wash his hands of that little thing, but not so fast, buddy. For all the signs of life coming from the Mayor’s office, we might as well dance around chanting ‘ding, dong the witch is dead.’ Hell, from the looks of things at the Council it wouldn’t be too far off to extend the chorus to ‘ding, dong, every-
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body who swore to work their asses off for the people are dead too.’ Really! So Mr. Barrow has thrown in the towel and the people of Belize have thrown in the towel. Everybody expects NOTHING from the Council and that is just what they get – NOTHING! At this point you might be wondering about the connection between a stupid movie, a stupid and useless Mayor and a city covered in filth. Well, the thing is that while Mega-Piranha was filmed in
Belize City, it was set in Venezuela…a garbage infested, dirty, squalid slum of Venezuela, to be exact. Anybody watching the movie would immediately recognize a lot of main streets in the old capital…main streets! You understand? Our main streets in Belize City were used to simulate a slum in Venezuela and it worked. It was a perfect match. The cameras rolled and voila…garbage everywhere, poverty everywhere, dirt everywhere, instant slum. When the producers saw Belize City they must have been ecstatic…no need to create a slum, we’ve got one right here, boys. Somebody just called and told me that it is official – Mayor Zenaida Moya has been kicked out of the United Democratic Party. So what? She came in under the UDP and she messed up under the UDP and wrecked the city under the UDP and mismanaged funds under the UDP and misappropriated funds under the UDP. SO SHE’S A DAMNED UDP…END OF STORY! She was Dean Barrow’s baby girl since the beginning. Everything she did, she did while she was under Dean Barrow’s protection. Dean Barrow was aware then and is aware now of everything that Zenaida Moya did in City Hall. His silence and inaction provided the Mayor with all the
Sunday, July 11, 2010 approval she needed to continue with her nonsense in City Hall. This thing is Dean Barrow’s fault. He caused this mess. And now he thinks his crap smells like roses because he’s had a ‘Zen-enema!’ Hell no, Dean, that doesn’t work like that. UDP Chairman Doug Singh (who’s fodder for another story altogether) says - no worries, we can’t take her out of City Hall but we’ll ask the other real UDP Councilors to work along with her for the betterment of the city. Boss, you need lashing. This city hasn’t seen better since the UDP took over City Hall way back in 2006. It didn’t see better when Mayor Moya was at the top of her game. It didn’t see better when there was a UDP municipal administration and a UDP Central Government. It didn’t see better when Dean Barrow still thought that the sun rose and set on his golden girl. How the hell can you expect us to believe that we will see better now? There ain’t no way, you idiot. We Belizeans have been silent on this issue too long. We need to get our asses over to City Hall and remind the Mayor of one of her favourite phrases back when she was still a sweaty, disheveled ‘pretending to be one of us’ wannabe politician – RESIGN OR BE REMOVED!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Independent Media Where Art Thou? It is time for our independent journalists, especially the corrugated ones, to start raking Prime Minister Honorable Dean Barrow over the coals for not fulfilling his promise of accountability and transparency that he made to the country when he was Leader of the Opposition. In fact, it seems to us that he has blatantly disregarded it, shamelessly leaving it by the wayside. With all that has been happening just now in the government of Mr. Barrow as it pertains to possible malfeasance, there is no way that the independent journalists should let him off the hook for perhaps being duplicitous to the people. Actually, we expect nothing less of the watchdogs of our democracy. After all, it is only their jobs to sniff out the truth wherever it may be. We cannot forget that Mr. Barrow himself, while out groveling for votes on the campaign trail, pronounced that as Prime Minister he would have zero tolerance for even the slightest whiff of corruption in his government. In other words, as long as he was Prime Minister, there would be no exploitation of any governmental position, ministerial or otherwise, for personal gain. This was the line of attack used by Mr. Barrow to score political points. And to show that he was dead serious, he reiterated that stance after the United Democratic Party swept the 2008 General Elections, admonishing his elected area representatives, political appointees, and anyone affiliated with the UDP to walk the straight and narrow at all times. We bought it hook, line, and sinker. Sadly, once we move beyond the bombast of Mr. Barrow, the opposite of his elegant words is oftentimes what he really intends to say. Of course, nowhere is this more obvious than in his much ballyhooed promise to make accountability and transparency the guiding principles of his government. That has turned out to be a complete
farce, no doubt about it. We know that Mr. Barrow has surely not been responsible to anyone for his actions and that he has governed with a dictator’s heavy handed style. He has also contemptuously excluded the social partners who were very instrumental in his victory from any meaningful participation in his government and has been dismissive of anyone pointing out corruption in his government, blasting that person as a mischief maker. Perhaps there is something wrong with the olfactory sense of Mr. Barrow or perhaps he is not a man of his word, but since he and the UDP took office, the stench of corruption has hung in the air. While it seems to us that the stench lingers at every governmental level, it is foulest at the Cabinet level where there have been many ‘rags to riches’ stories such as that of “Clear the Land.” What is more - perhaps none of the elected officials has been a greater source of that odor than our dear Prime Minister himself. Indeed, the list of transgressions of Mr. Barrow is a lengthy one, but for reasons of space, let us just say that those who are closest to him, especially his ex wife and First Wife Emeritus Lois Young and their children Anwar and Deanne have been raking in the cash hand over fist on account of possible abuse of his office.
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It’s been days since the Kendall Bridge was washed away. How much longer must we wait for a new bridge, Mr. Prime Minister?
This has not been a secret, far from it, with the evidence bared for all to see. Following closely in the footsteps of his boss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Gaspar Vega has evidently milked his office for what it is worth. This once failing businessman with a questionable past turned politician has seen his fortune grow exponentially in less than two and a half years with no obvious legitimate source to account for it. If we were to guess though, the unfettered control of Mr. Vega over crown land, distribution and reacquisition, and granting of oil exploration licenses and possible abuse of that authority, the possible kickbacks for his signature on land documents used for speculation as well as the part that he may play in the alleged evasion of millions of dollars of customs duties by his siblings are perhaps the foundations of his newfound wealth. Yet, it truly troubles us that the independent journalists have apparently turned a blind eye to the alleged rampant corruption taking place just now. Aside from Mr. Barrow and Mr. Vega, the other ministers, ministers of state, backbenchers, their close family and friends, failed politicians, and UDP cronies such as the Office of the Prime Minister’s haughty Chief Executive Officer Audrey Wallace reek of the stench of corruption. Clearly, there are too many in the UDP who have been living way beyond their means, courtesy of the public trough that has turned the privileged into gluttons. But their excesses are unconscionable when one considers that the rest of us are barely making ends meet, are losing our homes for nonpayment of mortgages, have our utilities turned off or cannot afford to feed our children much less educate them in this
29 era of rising cost of living. Still, we have to give Mr. Barrow his due. He may not be a man of his word, but he is surely one hell of a politician. It seems to us that from early on in his term, he realized that he could get a free pass from the independent journalists for his extravagances and failures as Prime Minister if he somehow managed to neutralize their pen and tongue. He was apparently successful in his undertaking by seducing them with government largesse and his wiles. Mr. Barrow appointed a few of the independent journalists to quasi governmental boards, permitting them to hobnob with the government’s glitterati, while he swept others off their feet with instant access to him, their demigod. And if that were not enough, he massaged their egos by constantly making reference to their prolific exploits as journalists when speaking publicly. Meanwhile, the pursuit of truth went out the window. To be fair to our colleagues, there have been a few who have done their jobs as they should and have drawn attention to cases of the alleged rampant corruption in Mr. Barrow’s government. But at the same time, they have been too quick to temper their bite by implying that the People’s United Party was as bad, if not worse, when they constituted the government. These independent journalists carry on as if somehow that disclaimer makes it right for Mr. Barrow and the UDP to allegedly fleece the government coffers for personal enrichment, to use their office for personal gain, or to use their office to victimize their political opponents. Clearly, they fail to realize that when they do not perform their jobs doggedly, we are the ones who ultimately pay the price, figuratively and literally.
THE BELIZE TIMES
UDP Cronyism in San Pedro
This is not the first time I have mentioned that like the Belize City Transport Department, the San Pedro Transport Department is also in a complete mess. From all appearances, it seems that there is no order in the way the department is operated or it may well be a reflection of the UDP incompetence. I must say, however, that generally the traffic officers are the friendliest and most courteous employees at the Transport De par tment, but I wish I could say the same for the rest for those heading the office. In the past, there have been r e g u l a t i o n s a n d l aw s t h a t we r e implemented across the board for people who intended to bring in vehicles on the island. Fine, those laws are perfect because no tourist wants to come to San Pedro and be caught up in a traffic jam. But when the laws are applied to certain sectors of society then that is when I see a problem. One of the past Chairmen of the Transport Board, namely Harry Longsworth, was fired by Mayor Elsa Paz when he issued an order to impound a vehicle belonging to the driver of Manuel Heredia. The Mayor and the Area Rep gave Mr. Chi the green light to bring in his SUV on the island without a permit. Of course Chairman Harry would not allow that to happen even more so when it was exposed in the local papers. So when Harry sent a letter to the Police to impound the vehicle, the very evening Mayor Paz and Junior discharged Harry from his responsibility. Harry did not go down easy and in the months that followed, he sent weekly letters to island based media houses where he exposed Junior, Elsa and the UDP Town Council. Like the rest of San Pedro, I miss those letters, Harry. With one hand on the Bible and the other on her chest, Mayor Elsa swore to the people that even after Harry’s termination, she would ensure that Chi’s illegal vehicle gets off the island as soon as possible. In fact the new Transport Chairman, one of the Guerrero brothers, went as far as to say that the vehicle was already on the barge and heading off the island. Some people swallowed that story hook, line and sinker but I didn’t. You see, Mr Chi is no ordinary man, he holds the keys to Junior and Elsa’s dirty works and even his personal secrets so there was no way in hell that Chi would be told to ferry his SUV back to Progresso. Months after the incident, Chi’s vehicle remains on the island. Chi was told by the Mayor that if he
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gets an auto dealer’s license plate, she could allow him to keep the vehicle on the island. Chi’s vehicle remains on the island and is driven around town with one auto-dealers license plate. Strict orders were given to the transport officer to “not to interfere” with the vehicle owners. To the island residents, Chi is the first person to bring in a vehicle without an importation permit and allowed to drive around with an auto dealer’s plate. But Chi is just one case - many wealthy, non-Belizeans who are well connected to Elsa and Junior have been allowed to own and use as many vehicles as they want on the island. If you are not “well connected” to the UDP (Elsa and Junior in specific) chances of you allowed to obtain a permit for a vehicle or cart is slim to none. The favoritism as to who can get a permit or not, is one of many failures at the San Pedro Transport Department, but the incompetence goes beyond that. The cronyism of the UDP is obvious and I sometimes wonder “what the hell” is inside the heads of Elsa and Junior. Government owned vehicles should be driven by a specific driver or the individual the vehicle was assigned to. Well in San Pedro, it seems that every family member or their crony can drive the vehicle/carts assigned to the Area Representative and the Mayor and even some councilors. The Mayor allows any one of her relatives to drive her government issued cart. The same with Junior Heredia; one minute you see his children driving in his government issued cart and vehicle then the other minute you see his children’s husbands driving around. T here is no respect for the government assets by our local elected officials; they fail to realize that those vehicles are ours. But what can we expect from these individual who want to run their show as they please without respect for the laws. In fact the Mayor is yet to say if she compensated the Town Council for the use of the Town Council tr ucks to fill her lagoon side bar (Zac Bajo). When a caller questioned her about her actions on a morning show, she quickly said, “I don’t know what the caller is speaking about.” Anyone can go around Zac Bajo and look at the transformation; from swamp land to high, sandy and solid land. Do you know who paid for it? Clearance of the land was done by the Town Council workers during working hours, transportation of materials was done using the Town Council vehicles and material came from the Town Council as part of the arrangement from those dredging for material on the south of the island. Do you know who paid for the beautiful transformation of Zac Bajo? We the tax payers paid for the expenses, if you don’t believe, ask the Mayor to prove otherwise.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
DOMINGO 11 de JULIO , 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Issue No. 4701
The Truth Shall Make You Free
OTRO ASESINATO EN LA CIUDAD
Se cometió otro asesinato en la antigua capital esta semana y lamentablemente otra madre está de luto por el asesinato sin sentido de su hijo. Lo que hace el asesinato de Felipe Antonio Barrera extraño es que él estaba en camino para tomar un autobús para ir a buscar a sus cuatro hijos y un nieto que lleva su nombre en Orange Walk, cuando fue baleado. El incidente ocurrió el Domingo por la mañana a las 8:45, mientras que se encontraba de pie delante de la tienda Fit-Fit en la esquina de King Street y la avenida de Amara Mientras que la policía a través de las pruebas trata de dar sentido a este último asesinato, la familia no puede
resignarse con lo que ha sucedido y no entiende por qué alguien querría verlo muerto. Ellos creen que sólo estaba en el
lugar equivocado en el momento equivocado debido a la zona donde ocurrió el incidente. Se ha informado de que un hombre en una bicicleta se acerco a Barrera y vació una pistola contra él, alcanzándole en la garganta y el pecho. Es una pérdida que los hijos de Barrera se niegan a aceptar. Porque su presencia ya no se sentirá en su hogar en Orange Walk los fines de semana y que las visitas que hizo a su primer nieto han llegado a un final prematuro y precipitado. La madre de Barrera, Alvina Barrera, esta tan conmovida con ira que ella ha dicho que no tiene mucha fe en el sistema de justicia. Señalando a las lagu-
MEDIOS INDEPENDIENTES ¿DONDE ESTAN?
Es hora de que nuestros periodistas independientes, especialmente los más abusados, empiecen a rastrillar al Honorable Primer Ministro Deán Barrow sobre su promesa de cumplir rendición de cuentas y transparencia que hizo al país cuando era líder de la oposición. De hecho, nos parece que lo ignora descaradamente, sin vergüenza alguna. Con todo lo que ha estado sucediendo ahora en el gobierno del señor Barrow en lo que respecta a posible malversación, no hay forma de que los periodistas independientes le dejen en paz por quizá ser engañoso con la gente. En realidad, no se espera nada menos de los perros guardianes de nuestra democracia. Después de todo, es su trabajo olfatear la verdad donde quiera que sea. No podemos olvidar que el propio Barrow, mientras que se arrastraba para obtener votos en su campaña, declaró que como el Primer Ministro tendría cero tolerancias por el más mínimo olor de la corrupción en su gobierno. En otras palabras, siempre y cuando fuera Primer Ministro, no habría la explotación de cualquier posición gubernamental, ministerial o de otro tipo, para beneficio personal. Esta fue la línea de ataque ultilizada por el Sr. Barrow para ganar puntos políticos. Y para mostrar que estaba hablando muy en serio, reiteró que la postura después de que el Partido Unido Democrático barrió en las elecciones generales del 2008, reprendió a su área de representantes electos, funcionarios políticos, y a todo miembro del UDP a caminar el camino recto en todo momento. Y nosotros ciegamente Lo compramos anzuelo, línea y plomada. Tristemente, una vez que sobrepasamos más allá de la grandilocuencia del Sr. Barrow, al contrario de sus palabras elegantes es a menudo lo que realmente tiene la intención de decir. Por supuesto, en ninguna parte es esto más evidente que en su promesa tan cacareado para hacer la rendición de cuentas y la transparencia de los principios rectores de su gobierno. Eso ha resultado ser una farsa completa, no hay duda. Sabemos que el Sr. Barrow seguramente no ha sido responsable ante nadie por sus acciones y que ha gobernado con mano dura al estilo de un dictador. También ha excluido con desprecio a los interlocutores sociales que fueron muy decisivos en su victoria y en cualquier participación significativa en su gobi-
erno y ha sido despectivo de todo aquel que señale la corrupción en su gobierno. Tal vez hay algo malo en el sentido olfativo de Barrow o tal vez él no es un hombre de palabra, pero desde que él y el UDP llegaron al poder, el hedor de la corrupción ha colgado en el aire. Si bien nos parece que el olor persiste en todos los niveles gubernamentales, es más sucia a nivel de gabinete donde se han producido muchos historias de trapos a riquezas "como la de" Clear the Land. " ¿Es más - tal vez ninguno de los cargos electos ha sido una mayor fuente de ese olor que nuestro querido Primer Ministro. De hecho, la lista de transgresiones de Barrow es largo, pero por razones de espacio, sólo vamos a decir que aquellos que están más cerca de él, especialmente su ex esposa y primera esposa Eméritus Lois Young y sus hijos Anuar y Deanne han metido las manos sobre el puño de efectivo a cuenta de un posible abuso de su cargo. Esto no ha sido un secreto, ni mucho menos, con las pruebas al descubierto para que todos vean. Siguiendo de cerca los pasos de su jefe, el Vice Primer Ministro y Ministro de Recursos Naturales Gaspar Vega evidente que han ordeñado su oficina como les ha venido en gana. Este hombre de negocios, una vez en su defecto con un dudoso pasado político ha visto crecer exponencialmente su fortuna en menos de dos años y medio sin fuente legítima obvia para dar cuenta de ello. Si tuviéramos que adivinar, sin embargo, el control total de Vega sobre la tierra de la corona, la distribución y la re adquisición, y concesión de licencias, exploración de petróleo y un posible abuso de esta autoridad, los sobornos posibles en su firma en los documentos de las tierras utilizadas para la especulación, así como la parte en la que él posiblemente juegue un papel en la supuesta evasión de millones de dólares por derechos de aduana a sus hermanos son tal vez los cimientos de su nueva riqueza. Sin embargo, realmente nos preocupa que los periodistas independientes, aparentemente, se han hecho de la vista gorda ante la supuesta corrupción rampante que se esta llevando acabo en este momento. Aparte de Barrow y el Sr. Vega, los demás Ministros, Ministros de Estado, compinches, su familia y amigos cercanos, políticos frustrados, y la soberbia oficina del Primer Ministro, el Jefe Ejecutivo Oficial Audrey Wallace
llevan el obvio hedor de la corrupción. Está claro que hay demasiados en el UDP que han estado viviendo más allá de sus medios, cortesía del canal público que se ha convertido en los privilegiados glotones. Pero sus excesos son inmorales cuando se considera que el resto de nosotros apenas a fin de mes, estamos perdiendo nuestras casas por falta de pago de las hipotecas, tenemos nuestras utilidades desactivadas o no podemos darse el lujo de alimentar a nuestros hijos y mucho menos para educarlos en esta era de creciente costo de la vida Aún así, tenemos aceptar que el Sr. Barrow puede que no sea un hombre de palabra, pero es sin duda un excelente político. Nos parece que desde el principio de su mandato, se dio cuenta que podía obtener un pase libre de los periodistas independientes por sus extravagancias y fracasos como Primer Ministro si de alguna manera lograba neutralizar su pluma y lengua. Al parecer, fue exitoso en su cometido por seducirlos y callarles la boca con generosidad del gobierno y sus artimañas. El Sr. Barrow nombro algunos de los periodistas independientes a cuasi juntas estatales, que les permite codearse con glitterati del gobierno, mientras barría a los demás de sus pies con acceso instantáneo a él, su semidiós. Y si eso no fuera suficiente, les masajea su ego constantemente haciendo referencia a sus hazañas prolífico como periodistas al hablar en público. Mientras tanto, la búsqueda de la verdad se fue por la ventana. Seamos justos con nuestros colegas, ha habido algunos que han hecho su trabajo honestamente y de buena manera, de esta manera honrando al periodismo y exponiendo la corrupción dentro de nuestro Gobierno. Pero al mismo tiempo implican que la administración anterior era igual sino más corrupta que la presente. Estos periodistas independientes actúan como si esas alegaciones le da el derecho a la administración UDP vandalizar los cofres públicos para su enriquecimiento personal, utilizar sus oficinas para ganancia personal o para victimizar a la Oposición. Es claro que ellos no se dan cuenta que al no hacer su trabajo de una manera detallada y concisa nosotros ultimadamente seremos los que pagaremos el precio, figurativa y literalmente.
nas del sistema de justicia, dice que como la mayoría de otros juicios por asesinato, rara vez terminan en condenas, el asesinato de su hijo también podía quedar como otra estadística más. Alvina Barrera pronunció palabras amargas de impotencia y repugnancia hacia la realidad en Belice, donde los jóvenes son baleados sin sentido y poco se ha hecho para traer a los malhechores a justicia.
TIO E HIJO PENDIENTE DE CARGOS
Un hombre fue asesinado la noche del pasado Jueves en Cotton Tree Village, unos 43 kilómetros al oeste de la ciudad de Belice. Los detenidos con los cargos pendientes son parientes de la víctima. Todo comenzó temprano en la mañana cuando Eleazar Barrientos, de 28 años, se acercó a la casa de su abuela en el patio adyacente y comenzó a pelar y cortar una naranja en la mesa del comedor. Su tío y uno de los dos hombres detenidos en el asesinato supuestamente le dijo a Barrientos que utilizara una tabla de cortar, a la que Barrientos utilizo menos que amables palabras. Eso no le cayó nada bien al tío, que montó en cólera y persiguió a su casa a Barrientos con un machete. Los familiares dijeron que vieron a su tío romper una parte de la cerca que separaba los dos patios y el uso de palabras amenazantes mientras perseguía a su sobrino, que vivía en una pequeña estructura de madera a menos de 50 pies de él. Pero cuando llegó la noche el hombre de más edad aún no se había calmado, y seguía amenazando de muerte a Barrientos. Para la familia, a pesar de que ninguno de los dos tenía una buena relación en el pasado, las amenazas fueron una sorpresa porque nunca habían visto al tío con tal rabia. Pero todavía no creían que cuando Barrientos se fue de casa alrededor de las 5:30 el Jueves pasado para tomar su acostumbrado baño en un pequeño riachuelo a unos 10 minutos, que sería la última vez que lo verían con vida. Cuando él no volvió a casa para las 7:00 de la noche, su madre en cuestión y su yerno, visitaron el arroyo donde se hizo el horrible descubrimiento de un Barrientos casi decapitado en el arroyo del lado. Sus zapatillas y ropa mojada aún estaban en una piedra donde el los había lavado luego de su baño. En el suelo yacían manchas de sangre en donde el machetazo se le había propinado a la izquierda de la parte posterior del cuello. No había señales de lucha, lo que sugiere que Barrientos no vio a su asesino o lo vio, pero no pudo reaccionar a tiempo. Al día siguiente la Policía tomo las declaraciones de los familiares que vieron y oyeron al tío amenazando a Barrientos y los detuvo, tanto al tío y a su hijo. Pero aparte de las amenazas antes de que el asesinato fuera cometido, la Policía tiene muy poca evidencia para concluir. Por lo tanto, han tenido que liberar a los sospechosos en espera de nuevas pruebas en su contra.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Políticas UDP, como siempre
Abuso del Gobierno El Miércoles un vehículo del Gobierno, un ultimo modelo Mitsubishi Montero asignado al Ministro de Estado Edmond Castro se encontraba en la carretera del Norte. Estaba siendo ultilizado como un vehículo de servicio para dos ciclistas que forman parte del equipo de ciclismo de Castro. Esta no es la primera vez que este vehículo ha sido descubierto en la carretera haciendo lo mismo. Durante meses este mismo vehículo ha sido utilizada por Castro para su equipo personal de ciclismo.Lo hemos dicho y otra vez: ¿por qué los contribuyentes tenemos que pagar para que Castro, sus hijos y sus amigos puedan ejercitarse? Pagamos para combustible, mantenimiento y para el conductor que pacientemente espera en las unidades en frente de los ciclistas durante horas en extremo. ¿Esto es sólo una instancia de abuso absoluta entre muchos? Estaría dispuesto a proporcionarnos combustible mensualmente este Gobierno? ¿Estaría dispuesto a mostrar a los Belicenos cuánto en factura de combustible se utiliza en el servicio del pueblo y cuánto se está utilizando para la conveniencia de Ministros, compinches UDP y miembros de su familia.
Hosteleria insostenible…. El Vice primer Ministro de nuestro país pobre tercer mundista, anda luciendo un flamante ultimo modelo de lujo Lexus SUV. Nuestro Primer Ministro luce un Land Cruiser de lujo de un cuarto de millón de dólares. Nuestro Ministro de salud está conduciendo un Toyota SUV de lujo de 160.000 dólares. Hay varios Ministros que tienen dos SUV de lujo a su disposición, uno de los cuales es utilizado por su cónyuge o algun ser amado siempre que sea necesario. El Sr. Barrow acaba de crear dos puestos Ministeriales más que obligarán a los contribuyentes para la compra de lujo más dos vehículos deportivos utilitarios. La flota de vehículos del Gobierno debe haber costado millones enensamblar y parece que al igual que los contribuyentes se han acostumbrado a ver a sus representantes en un paseo de fantasia y a que ese representante resulte con otro modelo más tarde. Esto es insostenible. Si fueramos una poderosa superpotencia, nuestros representantes podrían conducir un paseo de lujo manufacturados en Alemana los diferentes días de la semana. Pero no!somos Belice, es un país pobre. Nos dicen que tenemos que reforzar nuestras cinturones en esta época de recesión. Ha subido el costo de los alimentos básicos. El alto costo de la educación está obligando a los alumnos abandonar las escuelas.Las empresas están cerrando. Belice está perdiendo sus hogares.Pero nuestros Ministros y compinches UDP andan sentados en sillas de cuero y la comodidad de aire acondicionado. Nuestro Sistema de Justicia……
El lunes después de un fin de semana sangriento, la alineación del noticiero básicamente resume la historia de las cosas en Belice, al menos en la parte frontal de la delincuencia. Fue la primera historia de un asesinato brutal, un hombre joven muerto con una bala en la cabeza en una concurrida calle cerca de los autobuses de la terminal. La segunda historia fue un resumen de seis disparos en la ciudad durante el fin de semana. Y el tercero fue la historia de un hombre en prisión preventiva por asesinato que salio libre porque la acusación no pudo producir ningún expediente del caso. Realmente, es lo que está sucediendo en Belice en pocas palabras. Hay marcada violencia en las calles, agravadas por los criminales dándose cuenta de que en algún lugar entre la investigación de la policía y la Oficina de la DPP, algo muy probablemente irá mal y hay una muy buena oportunidad que salgan en libertad. Esto no es nada personal contra la señora DPP– esta es la realidad en nuestras calles, la realidad que aflige a las madres y los seres queridos que dejaron deben enfrentar cada día. Comentarios Inapropiados El nuevo Ministro de policía y seguridad pública ha estado silenciosa desde su ascensión hace más de un mes. De hecho, su nombramiento coincidió con el relanzamiento de una ola de delitos violentos en la ciudad de que se completa con asesinatos, tiroteos y robos a mano armadas. Operacion Jaguar no existe más y operación Restauracion Belice no parece haber sido una presentación brillantemente escrita. No cabe duda de que Belice necesitará un guerrero para tomar las riendas en la batalla de la delincuencia. Vamos a necesitar a un intrépido visionario, un hombre de integridad y enfoque y con el compromiso que conducirá a la carga
contra la anárquica, quienquiera que pueda ser. Pero tenemos a Doug Singh. En una entrevista con el canal 7 el Miércoles por la noche, su primer entrevista desde su nombramiento, Doug Singh dice que tiene este problema friamente calculado y sabe exactamente lo que necesita hacer para cuidar de la delincuencia en nuestra ciudad que se ha convertido en una zona de guerra. Según Singh, el departamento de policía necesita un nuevo gimnasio donde oficiales pueden ejercitarse y ponerse en forma. Hmmm! esta bien, a continuación sudorosos hombres en trajes spandex levantando pesas podría ser justo lo que el Ministro ha ordenado, pero en realidad estamos convencidos de que esta iniciativa logre detener el derramamiento de sangre en la ciudad?. En serio, aunque hemos dicho desde el principio que Dean Barrow no hablaba en serio cuando se trata de la lucha contra la delincuencia al nombrar a Doug Singh. El Inadecuado comentario del Sr. Singh demuestra que teníamos razón. El Departmento de Policía…… Parece que la única cosa que el departamento de policía hace bien es hacer las cosas mal! La historia alrededor de dos menores que fueron recogidos y detenidos durante horas, interrogados y golpeados es realmente una locura! El hecho de que la policía modus operandi reciente hará que muy pocas personas cuestionen la veracidad de las denuncias es triste. ¿Cómo pueden nuestros chicos estar recibiendo este material basico equivocado? ¿Existe una especie de 101 de procedimientos policiales que los reclutas deben saber antes de que pasan? Nadie en la periferia de la ley le dirá que un menor no puede ser cuestionado sin la presencia de un padre, tutor o trabajador social. Sencillamente, no se hace, fin de la historia. Pero nuestros oficiales de policía lo hicieron sin parpadear.Y, a continuación, la parte de la brutalidad, las denuncias de los menores siendo golpeados con un machete y uno de ellos que se le dijo que su dedo sería cortado. ¿En qué país estamos estamos viviendo otra vez? Escucha, todo el mundo reconoce que las calles nesecitan oficiales de policies de character fuerte , pero fuerte y estúpido son términos no sinónimos. Ser mas fuerte no significa romper la ley y abusar de los derechos humanos de las personas detenidas. Caramba, no es de extrañar que los criminales ahí fuera están teniendo un día de campo. La Poliza de la Gubernatura UDP….. Además de sus comentarios completamente inadecuados en relación a los cambios que le gustaría ver en el departamento de policía, Doug Singh tomó el tiempo para quitarse el sombrero de Presidente de UDP y revelar la política del UDP. De acuerdo con Singh, "el objetivo de un partido político es ganar las elecciones. Realmente es no gobernar bien, es ganar las elecciones." Mientras que cualquiera con la mitad de un cerebro puede mirar la forma de gobierno UDP y ya ha visto que al UDP le importa un reverendo bledo trabajar para el pueblo. Aun asi es sorprendente que el Presidente del UDP salga tan abiertamente y decirlo. ¿Cuan arrogante se ha convertido el UDP cuando su Presidente sale en televisión nacional y decirle a las personas que para ellos lo importante es ganar las elecciones, no para hacer lo correcto y servir bien? Espero que la gente de Belice que puso su fe y confianza en el Sr. Barrow esten sentados y tomando nota. Julieta, Audrey & Bev… La lesbiana senadora del Partido Democrático Unido, Juliet Thimbriel, se encuentra últimamente hacienda rabieta durante el show de la mañana de la radio WAVE. Ella está furiosa porque el Belize Times ha encontrado informacion en algunos documentos que demuestran que un amigo suyo, el Director General de la Oficina del Primer Ministro, se le ha dado una casa por poco o casi nada en Belmopán y también ha sido el beneficiario de dos lotes en costas del Caribe por una bagatela! Julieta ha tomado personalmente el ataque. Esperamos que esta semana se ponga incluso más balística, cuando el Belize Times hable de una casa en Belmopán, que fue vendido a otro de sus amigos cercanos, el Director General en el Ministerio de recursos naturales, por una suma insignificante. Además, hemos recibido los documentos que muestran que ella misma está dando dos lotes grandes en la carretera del Occidente por $ 1500.Juliet y sus dos amigos son grandes beneficiándose del UDP, por lo que no deberíamos sorprendiernos cuando ella expulsa mucho aire caliente porque su pan está siendo bien mantequillado de am bos lados. Hubo un tiempo cuando Juliet solía gastar todas sus energías en defensa de las personas pobres de Belice. Oh cómo las cosas han cambiado!
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Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Deán Barrow “Zen – enema”
Por: Mike Rudon Jr Barriada (n.) Un área urbana densamente poblada caracterizada por viviendas precarias y la miseria. La semana pasada tuve la desgracia de ver lo que resultó ser la más estúpida película que he visto en mi vida, llamada Mega-Piraña. Esta película era tan mala que si Siskel y Ebert lo hubiesen visto no le hubieran dado un "pulgar hacia abajo," sino que se habrían amputado las manos de la muñeca en desesperación. Fue tan pésima! Supongo que sólo lo mire, porque fue filmado en Belice, y el cerdo machista que soy, voy a admitir que los primeros 30 segundos de la película (que ofrece una hermosa joven Beliceña en escaso bikini) fue inspirador, pero el resto fue pura, no adulterada basura! Y ya que estamos sobre el tema de la basura, podría alguien por favor destrozar ese cartel ridículo en la Carretera del Norte... el que cuenta con Zenaida Moya sonriendo como un idiota con los brazos extendidos, la que dice Bienvenidos a la ciudad de Belice. Gracias al buen Dios que no dice Bienvenido a la 'hermosa Ciudad de Belice - incluso Zenaida (no es tan estúpido o valiente para decir algo así!) Pero que viaje asombroso debe ser para los visitantes a nuestras costas por primera vez... salir del aeropuerto, pasar por la carretera deplorable y lleno de baches del Norte, pasando por la milla 7 que ha estado en reparación desde hace casi un año, pasar ese cartel bello y colorido y luego entrar en los barrios pobres de la ciudad de Belice. Que alegría y que gloria. Mira, no puedo dejar de sentir que el Ayuntamiento del UDP está recibiendo un pase libre. Sí, eligieron a un Concejo Municipal UDP y a un Alcalde UDP, para cuidar de la antigua capital. El Calvo quiere lavarse las manos de esa responsabilidad, pero no tan rápido, amigo. Para todos los signos de vida procedentes de la oficina del Alcalde, puede ser que también bailan alrededor cantando 'ding, dong la bruja está muerta. "Rayos! desde el aspecto de las cosas en el Consejo no sería sorprendente ver como amplían el coro a 'ding, dong, todos los que juraron trabajar para el bienestar de la gente han muerto también! "¡De verdad! Así que el Sr. Barrow ha tirado la toalla y el pueblo de Belice también ha tirado la toalla. A estas alturas nadie espera nada del Consejo y ¿que es precisamente lo que recibe? - ¡NADA! Se estará usted preguntando sobre
la conexión entre una película estúpida, una estúpida e inútil Alcalde y una ciudad llena de suciedad. Bueno, la cosa es que mientras que Mega-Piraña fue filmado en la ciudad de Belice, se estableció en Venezuela... un cubo de basura infestado, sucios, sórdidos tugurios de Venezuela, para ser exactos. Cualquiera que vea la película inmediatamente reconocería varias de las calles principales de la antigua capital... las principales calles! ¿Comprendes? Nuestras principales calles de la ciudad de Belice se utilizaron para simular un barrio pobre en Venezuela y funcionó. Fue un partido perfecto. Las cámaras rodaban y voila... basura por todas partes, pobreza en todas partes, suciedad por todas partes, los barrios marginales instantáneos. Cuando los productores vieron la ciudad de Belice debieron haber estado en éxtasis... no hay necesidad de crear un barrio, tenemos una aquí, muchachos. Alguien acaba de llamar y me dijo que es oficial - la alcalde Zenaida Moya ha sido expulsado del Partido Unido Democrático. ¿Y qué? Entró en el UDP, metió la pata y destruyó la ciudad bajo el UDP y los fondos mal administrados bajo el UDP y malversación de fondos bajo el UDP. Todo bajo el UDP... FIN DE LA HISTORIA! Ella era la niña consentida de Deán Barrow desde el principio. Todo lo que hizo, lo hizo mientras se encontraba bajo la protección de Deán Barrow. Deán Barrow era consciente entonces y ahora es consciente de todo lo que Zenaida Moya hizo en el Ayuntamiento. Su silencio e inacción proveyó al alcalde toda la aprobación que necesitaba para continuar haciendo y deshaciendo en el Ayuntamiento. Claro que el culpable es Deán Barrow. El inicio este lío. Y ahora él cree que su insensatez huele a rosas porque ha tenido un 'Zen-enema! "Claro que no, Deán, esto no funciona así! El presidente del UDP Doug Singh (que es tema para otra historia) dice no pasa nada, no podemos sacarla de la alcaldía, pero vamos a pedir a los otros Consejeros reales UDP para trabajar junto con ella por el mejoramiento de la ciudad. Jefe, usted necesita despertarse!. Esta ciudad no ha visto ningún tipo de mejoría desde que el UDP se hizo cargo de la ciudad en el 2006. No vio mejoría cuando el alcalde Moya estaba en la cima de su juego. No vio mejoría cuando había una administración municipal y un Gobierno Central UDP. No vio mejoría cuando Deán Barrow todavía pensaba que el sol salía y se ponía en su chica dorada! ¿Cómo diablos se puede esperar que nosotros creamos que vamos a ver mejor? No hay manera, idiota! Nosotros los Beliceños hemos guardado silencio sobre este tema por mucho tiempo. Tenemos que tomar nuestros traseros, ir al Ayuntamiento y recordarle a la alcalde de una de sus frases favoritas cuando ella era todavía una sudorosa, despeinada "haciéndose pasar por uno de nosotros" aspirante a político - RENUNCIAR O SER RETIRADO!
El 1 de julio, el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) dio a conocer su declaración del 2010 de la Consulta del Artículo IV Misión a Belice. El resultado de la consulta fue presentada al Gobierno de Belice (GOB), el sector privado y la sociedad civil que, hasta la fecha, no han dado ninguna respuesta sobre esta cuestión. Recordemos que cuando Deán Barrow y el UDP estaban en la oposición, cualquier cosa que dijera el FMI eran palabras provenientes del evangelio... así que esperamos que no se diga ahora que las conclusiones del FMI son inaceptables, o alguna otra excusa. Tal vez la extinta ACB y los sindicatos deberían encontrar un poco de vida al comentar sobre el informe del FMI y tal vez podrían explicarnos cómo podemos imaginar la posibilidad de bajar los precios del combustible, la reducción de la inflación y reducir la pobreza. Sería muy interesante escuchar al Gobierno hablar sobre las estrategias, en su caso, que se están debatiendo para reducir la pobreza y promover el crecimiento sostenible. El 43% de los Beliceños pobres esperan pacientemente a que el Gobierno anuncie las medidas que se tomarán para mejorar sus vidas, después de todo el FMI está diciendo en su declaración de que la inflación se está acelerando y está siendo impulsada por altos precios del combustible. Bueno, ¿es necesario que el FMI nos diga esto? Todos los días sienten los Beliceños el peso de los precios del petróleo cada vez mayor en todos los artículos que compran y en cada servicio que pagan. Pero ¿no era el Primer Ministro Deán Barrow, quien prometió que él sería el tope para los precios del combustible en 7,00 dólares por galón y más tarde se comprometió a hacerlo en 8,00 dólares por galón? Las promesas de bajar los precios del combustible solamente era palabrería inútil habitual que se nos da a diario por este Primer Ministro al parecer. El informe del FMI señala que a pesar de las acciones recientes de los ingresos fiscales (aumento del GST) y las medidas supuestamente para fortalecer la gestión del departamento de aduanas, el déficit fiscal global es probable que se amplíe en FY2010/11, debido en gran parte a la presión al alza sobre el gasto corriente primario. Esta es una acusación sobre la gestión, ya que demuestra claramente que el aumento del GST junto con un aumento en los gastos recurrentes se encargará de la ampliación del déficit. Esto nos está diciendo lo que cualquier ama de casa sabe cuando se trata de ganarse la vida en casa con su presupuesto. Ella sabe que si disminuye la renta, entonces es tiempo de amarrarse el cinturón y priorizar el gasto. Pero no vemos al Gobierno de Belice priorizando gastos. Estas personas están gastando como si no hubiera mañana. Están comprando los vehículos más caros a los Ministros y secuaces. En la mayoría de los casos los Ministros tiene más de un
vehículo estacionado en sus patios o en frente de sus casas. Asimismo, los Ministros ahora han aumentado sus gastos de viaje y junto a sus directores ejecutivos viajan sólo en primera clase incluso en el más corto de viajes. Y que hará el Gobierno de Belice con el hecho de que los bancos comerciales están, de acuerdo con el FMI, bien capitalizado y líquido, sin embargo, hay un aumento de la morosidad. Los préstamos en mora están aumentando día a día. Sólo tenemos que leer los periódicos y el Gafete cada semana para apreciar cómo cientos de Beliceños están perdiendo sus casas. Sin embargo, los bancos no pueden y no hacen ajustes en las tasas de interés para las hipotecas de vivienda y no refinancian a una tasa más baja para que sea más accesible para los dueños de casa hacer sus pagos mensuales. Esto sólo pone de relieve la falta de liderazgo y la incompetencia del gobierno para hacer frente a aliviar los retos diarios que enfrentan los Beliceños ordinarios. El problema de la morosidad puede llegar a ser un problema para el sistema bancario y en última instancia, generar nuestra propia crisis de vivienda como lo que ocurre en los EE.UU.. Con todo, este último informe del FMI sólo documenta lo que hemos estado diciendo todo el tiempo. Este Gobierno UDP carece de visión, no tiene un plan y no ofrece ninguna esperanza al pueblo de Belice. Sería sorprendente si es que el Gobierno de Belice toma la recomendación del FMI para fortalecer amortiguadores fiscales y externos para hacer frente a choques externos. Esto vendría como una sorpresa, simplemente porque cuando todos los demás países se estaban preparando para el impacto negativo de la crisis de EE.UU. que tendría sobre sus economías locales, el gobierno de Belice fue ajeno al hecho de que, en efecto nos afecta. Es mi creencia de que esta recomendación hecha al Gobierno UDP será otra recomendación ignorada/ o dejada a un lado para recoger el polvo del olvido. Porque, según el Primer Ministro de Belice somos un pueblo resistente, nos adaptamos y hacemos frente a las dificultades que sean lanzados en nuestro camino. Por último, el FMI advirtió sobre la responsabilidad cada vez mayor que el Gobierno de Belice tiene con respecto al Sistema Pensionario del Servicio Publico. Se recomienda a los Servicios Públicos de la Unión para mantener sus oídos y los ojos abiertos con respecto a este tema. Este es un tema que, según los rumores en los pasillos de Belmopán, el Gobierno de Belice tratará lo antes posible. Cuidado con los funcionarios públicos, la austeridad comenzará con usted. Tendrá que tomar el peso de reducir la brecha del déficit fiscal; que son los que cargarán con la responsabilidad de asegurar que las recomendaciones del FMI se apliquen, y si no usted también tendrá la culpa!
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
THE BELIZE TIMES
Belize - Adventure Destination or Crime Destination?
It was a wonderful and sunny day to be in Belize and thousands of curious visitors had disembarked on to the shores of what is marketed as one of the world’s best adventure destinations. Some of the visitors who came ashore went on tours while others decided to embrace the diversity of the Belizean culture and explore Belize City. The day was June 10, 2010 and the body of Andre Trapp lay on the ground in front of the Supreme Court riddled with gunshots from the gun of a brazen killer. Just prior to the shooting, a large number of unsuspecting tourists began to make their way across the swing bridge and into the downtown areas of Belize City. However, before they could get a sense of what the City is all about, the sound of the shots that fatally wounded Andre Trapp drove the visitors back to the safe confines of the cruise ships. This is definitely not the adventure that they had anticipated and eagerly awaited! Instead of being on a holiday, the day turned out to be a traumatic experience for many. It is generally accepted that tourism is potentially the single most powerful
generator of jobs, investment, and economic growth in Belize. The economic activities stimulated by tourism are very vital to the livelihood of thousands of Belizean all across the country. Recent years have however seen Belize gaining an international reputation for high levels of crime and social instability. In fact, Belize is now the tenth most violent country on earth. Crime, violence and social unrest remain the most immediate and challenging threats confronting the Belize’s aspiration to become a globally competitive tourist destination. In order for Belize to grow as a destination, stakeholders have to invest a tremendous amount of money to control the message that is being disseminated in the international arena. Instead of investing in infrastructure and the necessary amenities to compete on a global scale, a lot more financial resources have to be invested to combat the negative press that is being generated from the senseless violence on our streets. For the last 2 ½ years, crime has been increasing at alarming rates and has now reached epidemic proportions. Yet the good folks at the Ministry of
Tourism and the Belize Tourism Board are pretending that crime is not affecting Belize as a tourist destination. In fact, the Director of Product Development of the Belize Tourism Board, Laura Esquivel Tourism has stated publicly that crime is having little or no impact on tourism in Belize. If the people heading the tourism industry are oblivious to the impacts of crime on the industry’s growth and development, one day they will be faced with a rude awakening. Crime has negatively impacted other destinations, with cruise ships “pulling out” and overnight tourism experiencing declines. Jamaica, for example has had to do significant damage control to deal with the crime and violence plaguing that country. Jamaica's unprecedented crime level is threatening to derail the Caribbean island's vital tourism industry by scaring away visitors and hurting investment, claimed Jamaica’s tourism minister Aloun
N' Dombet Assamba. Speaking at a political meeting on Sunday, she said that no amount of overseas advertising dollars could counter the negative publicity associated with the island's worsening crime wave. "There is nothing I can do ... to move us forward if we are constantly having to fight the battle against crime," she said. "Too much of our resources are lost that way, too much of our people are lost that way." Belize has great potential as a tourist destination but as the economic crisis continues to cannibalize the disposable income for many people around the world, the destinations that are seen as safe, have the infrastructure and the human resources, and offer value for money will record the growth levels to. The people running tourism have to be vigilant about the issue of crime in Belize before it is too late. They must “wake up and smell the coffee!!!
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, July 11, 2010