Page 1


The Belize Times

Established 1957

16 FEBRUARY 2014 | ISSUE NO: 4882

The Truth Shall Make You Free | $1.00

PUP to ComPol: Prosecute

Penner or Else!! Belize City, February 13, 2014 The Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca through an attorney has written the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie advising him that if there is no move by the Police to prosecute corrupt UDP Area Representative Elvin Penner by Tuesday February 18th, the People’s United Party will immediately seek the Court’s intervention in order to force the ComPol to do his job!

On behalf of the Opposition Leader, former Solicitor General Senior Counsel Edwin Flowers wrote the ComPol on February 7th, laying out an entire case as to why Penner should be criminally prosecuted. Flowers indicated that the ComPol’s inaction would be detrimental to justice, as the six month statute bar for

Pg. 10

CitCo Tax Suckers! Another Million for Brother B Pg. 3

New $10 vehicle inspection fee angers city residents

Pg. 8



UDP defeat!


“I, at the top of the pyramid, run completely straight,” says PM Barrow… as another MILLION is paid out to Brother Denys in legal fees

Pg. 9

CUSTOMS Stephen Kuylen

Pg. 31



Pg. 8

2 02



First Corruption, now PM Barrow redefines Integrity?


Dear Editor, UDP Leader Dean Barrow has been heard attempting to redefine the word “Corruption” for disgraced UDP politicians Elvin Penner and Edmond Castro, and now he seems to want to redefine “Integrity” for a UDP crony who he wants to have as a member of the esteemed Integrity Commission. After ignoring the important constitutional body for five long years Barrow finally appointed Government’s members last week. But I want to tell your readers that it wasn’t out of any genuine intention. On the contrary, Barrow had to cave in to international pressure for greater check and balance over his administration. Uncle Sam is watching this crowd closely. Remember the Castro recording at the US Embassy? Readers must ask the UDP Government what special relationship they have with Armead Gabourel. This lady seems to enjoy special treatment by the Barrow Administration. Aside from the Integrity Commission, she apparently sits on the Belize District liquor licensing board, the Elections and Boundaries board and the KHMH board. But she was also a Board Director of the Belize Airport Authority! This is cause for great concern for us. Gabourel is part of the notorious set that was forced to resign from the BAA for allowing and condoning the payment of BAA funds to the Minister of

LOCAL 14 Feb

16 FEB



15 Feb

16 Feb

17 Feb


Give the Teachers a Raise of Pay No Matter What!

Nepotism, Favouritism & Corruption


Respect Mr. Editor, When I heard Edmond “Clear the checks” Castro say that he who is without sin should cast the first stone, I just wished one of our representatives would have stoned him. The reason being is that Castro’s misdeeds are in the category of outrageous; an abomination and very corrupt, not just distasteful. He is a heathen!! To make it worst, it is the same Castro who went to Taiwan and was “tempted” to make a fool of himself with his official chaperone. It is the same Castro who was fired by no other than his boss Barrow for taking money from a Belizean American woman for land that turned into a scam, it is the same Castro who is accused of being involved in a big money visa hustle and it is the same Castro who recently dipped his hands into the funds of the airport authority and got the Board to issue checks for a bike shop, dentist, for a funeral and so many other things. As for being “poor”, Castro really made a fool of himself because he has a take home pay of $2,900 but yet probably hustles three times over in the streets. Castro has made us humble dreads look bad. To us in the streets, Castro has gone from Clear the Land to Clear the Checks. Had I been given that chance, I would have stoned him on behalf of Rural North and Belize. That dread really mek tings dred! Signed, Ras Tench



Dear Editor, Teachers lay the foundation upon which the educational system and our society stand. Teachers work unceasingly, spend extra hours preparing teaching plans, checking papers and preparing assignments at late hours in the night, giving extra classes to children when needed, even spending their own money to educate our children, our nation. The Ministry of Education overburdens them with so many additional requirements, subjects and topics to their already heavy laden syllabus. Too much is expected and demanded from teachers by the Ministry. To top it up, it was Ministry of Education who left teachers completely limp and at the children’s advantage when corporal punishment was removed. Today children without shame much less consideration stand up to teachers and tell them in their face: “You can’t do anything to me, just touch me and I’ll take you to court”; children disrespect and threaten teachers protected by law in Belize. No wonder so many teachers’ health are deteriorating with an Continued on page 20

Someone PLEASE stone Castro!

State in the Ministry of Transport, Edmond Castro, for his personal and political use. To Barrow, the fleecing of funds may have been distasteful but not corrupt, but for us Belizeans it was outright hustling. Tens of thousands of dollars from the public coffers handed over to Castro via dozens of cheques approved by the Board. According to fellow Board member Lindsay Garbutt, the Board was just providing “social assistance” that turned into political assistance to Castro. This Board


approved the cheques for Castro’s mother’s funeral service, they maintained his son Jafari Castro with hundreds of dollars weekly, paid for Castro’s bicycle repairs and for chicken and beers at his political events. Every action of the UDP Leader Dean Barrow indicates that his Party is unraveling in Government and acting in total desperation. Belizeans, please open your eyes…stop buying into the cover up of the UDP’s wrongdoing. They must go!! Signed, Frank Edwards

2618Mar Feb


Dear Editor, I saw an article in the BELIZE TIMES last week about nepotism at City Hall and had to add to it. Mrs. Barbara Miller who was asked to resign from the Belize Airport Authority because of questionable checks written to Minister of State Edmund Castro, is the mother of the Belize City Administrator Mrs. Candice Burke. Now Mrs. Miller is one of a few approved persons who got one of those booths at the BTL Park. The Mayor’s mother-in-law also got one. Now you will tell me that it is just by coincidence? This is why the Mayor had no choice but to defend the fact that Councillor Michael Theus got one also. The truth that Mrs. Miller got one of the booths must have slipped quietly because no one must have made the connection between the two. Now Mrs. Burke sits on the Trade Licensing Board but does Continued on page 20


The Belize Times

Established 1957

14 APR 2013


The Truth Shall Make You Free

ISSUE NO: 4840



serving Belize since 1957 as the longest continuous newspaper. Founder: Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, People’s United Party Leader Emeritus EDITOR


Chris Williams


Roberto Peyrefitte Printed and Published By The Belize Times Press Ltd. Tel: 671-8385 #3 Queen Street P.O. BOX 506 Belize City, Belize

27 Mar Feb 6 19 Feb


Exchange rate of One Belize Dollar

United States (USD): $ 0.50

Barbados (BBD): $ 1.01

Eastern Caribbean Euro (XCD):$ 1.36 (EUR) : $ 0.37

Sterling Pound Guatemala Quetzal CANADIAN DOLLAR (GBP): $ 0.30 (GTQ): $ 3.94 (CAD): $ 0.56


Trinidadian (TTD) : $ 3.22


16 FEB



Rotten from Top to Bottom Belize City, February 10th 2014 The Prime Minister has finally decided to activate the Integrity Commission after this body has laid dormant and inactive during the entire first term of the UDP administration and after two years into their second term. One of the persons appointed by Mr. Barrow to sit on this prestigious Integrity Commission is one Armead Gabourel a rabid UDP fanatic who seems to be a favourite of the Prime Minister. The Prevention of Corruption in Public Life states that the members of the Integrity Commission shall be “persons of integrity and high national standing.” The BELIZE TIMES’ probe into the scores of cheques issued by the Belize Airports Authority to Minister of State Edmund Castro or for his constituents puts into question how high up on the integ-

rity totem pole sits Ms. Armead Gabourel. You see Ms. Gabourel is a member of various UDP appointed Boards including until the Castro scandal broke, a member of the Belize Airports Authority. A close inspection of many of the cheques issued by the BAA for the benefit of Edmund Castro shows that they were countersigned by the said Armead Gabourel. This racket according to the Prime Minister was distasteful and wrong. In the opinion of most Belizeans, it was plainly corrupt. Several of these cheques signed by Armead Gabourel were made payable to CDS Gas Station on the Burrell Boom road for Minister Castro. There are cheques drawn on the Airport’s bank account paid to different high schools for constituents of Minister CasContinued on page 8

03 3

4 04


on the

Amend the Firearms Act!! By Francis W. Fonseca The events of the week of January 26, 2014 which saw the conviction and sentencing of Police Cpl. Gino Peck brought to the fore the fiery debate that has been brewing for some time now in respect of the perceived harshness and inequity of Belize’s Gun Laws. At the time these laws were passed, the PUP strongly objected to the amendments proposed and warned that they would indeed lead to abuse, inequity, and injustice. And so it has come to past.

Serious concerns have been raised by social advocacy groups like COLA and by individual citizens about the provisions of the FIREARMS ACT AND THE CRIME CONTROL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT affecting the right to bail, the stripping of the constitutional right of presumption of innocence, and the imposition of a harsh mandatory minimum five year sentence. Fortunately, and I believe justly, Cpl. Peck was spared imprisonment but every other person convict-

ed with Firearm offences has not enjoyed similar good fortune. The PUP with able guidance from our young team of bright legal eagles, particularly the Party’s Legal Advisor Anthony Sylvestre Jr.,has proposed three principal amendments as follows:1. Repeal s. 64 of the Firearms Act which deems various classes of persons to be automatically in possession. This section we believe to be an infringement of sec-

16 FEB

2014 tions 5 (freedom of liberty) and 6 (presumption of innocence) of the Constitution of Belize. 2. Repeal s. 32 of the Firearms Act taking out the minimum mandatory sentence and enlarging the discretion of the Magistrate in respect of sentencing. 3. In respect of the Crime Control & Criminal Justice Act, it is recommended that s. 16(2) (i) be amended to specify the quantity of ammunition or firearms a person charged must exceed before the Magistrate’s discretion to grant bail is removed. We recognize fully the need to remain vigilant and tough on crime and in particular to effectively monitor and control the use of firearms in our society, but it is abundantly clear that the gun laws as they presently stand, are leading to injustice and inequity and it is therefore our duty to respond to the cries and concerns of the Belizean people and to fix these bad gun laws. The proposed amendments cited above can lead to greater justice and equity.

16 FEB



05 5



hhh, the irony in a name: Belmopan Bandits. It’s almost as though John Saldivar was taking us for cunu munu when he decided to come up with such a name for his football team, rubbing it in our faces and giving us a gentle reminder that the people we have chosen to represent us in Belmopan are, in fact, Bandits. According to the Thesaurus, a Bandit is an outlaw, a crook, a robber, a thief and a thug. How fitting. Was John thinking about his fellow Ministers, Castro and Penner, when he came up with this name? The irony of the whole situation is that last week, the Belmopan Bandits (football team) won the Belikin Cup; and, in the next few weeks the real Belmopan Bandit (Elvin Penner) will, if Dean Barrow has his way, escape the long arms of the law. This week, the Attorneys for the People’s United Party issued a formal demand to the Commissioner of Police to immediately investigate, arrest and charge Elvin Penner for what many Belizeans see as clear and uncontroverted evidence that Penner committed grave criminal acts against our nation. Trained and bush lawyers alike, have weighed in on the evidence, which by all accounts, should be a slam dunk for the DPP if she were to prosecute Penner. Based on her performance on Channel 5’s Open Your Eyes, the DPP actually appeared enthused at the thought of a possible prosecution. But indeed, looks are often times deceiving. Why is it that the DPP ordered her own sep-

arate investigation into the Reynaldo Verde case, where high ranking police officers were said to be protecting Verde, but yet, she has not done the same in the case of Penner? Is it because the Prime Minister has gone on record to say that “no criminal offence was committed by Penner”? In truth and in fact, the Prime Minister does not have legal standing to weigh in on the guilt or innocence of his fellow colleague. That is the job of the police, the DPP, and the judge. But what the Prime Minister should do, if he were serious about stomping out corruption in his government, is to be a witness for the Crown. According to Barrow, he saw with his own eyes, instances of more wrongdoings by Penner at the Immigration Department, which left him with no choice but to rinse Penner from his Cabinet. The truth is, if Barrow does not cooperate with the police, he will go down in history as a knowing accomplice to the worst criminal offence ever committed against our young nation. Barrow’s forecasted failure to cooperate will of course not surprise anyone, since Barrow already has a stellar track record on fighting crime within his government. Who can forget Mark King, who was restored with full Ministerial rank even after being caught on camera assaulting a police officer? And what about Denny Grijalva, who destroyed our precious Mayan temple, Noh Mul. Barrow will, in short order, be endorsing Grijalva as his pick for the UDP in Orange Walk Central. So then, while John Saldivar may on paper be the owner of the athletic Belmopan Bandits, the real man keeping the Bandits in power and defending their every criminal move, is none other than 666 – Dean Oliver Barrow.

6 06


Mayor suffers black eye for BTL Park nepotism Councillor Michael Theus claims “feelings are hurt”

Belize City, February 12, 2014 The wave of negative public reaction towards shady dealings at the UDP Belize City Council heightened since the BELIZE TIMES exposed the scandal about City Councillors personally benefitting from the new BTL Park. City Hall stinks of Nepotism to high heaven!! The Mayor’s father is employed by City Hall and given special privileges because he is a political crony. The Mayor’s law firm is paid by City Hall to handle legal matters involving City Hall. The Mayor’s mother in law has a contract with the City Council to operate a business in the park. Councillor Michael Theus, who is no stranger to conflicts of interest, was given permission to open a business too. And one more Councillor, a former Deputy Mayor, is opening a bar in the park with a person of notorious fame fronting for him. Mayor Bradley has defended the

Councillor Michael Theus awarding of these special business licenses to his family and close political friends, employees of the Council. Thinking city residents are fools, the Mayor claimed that he was not aware that his own mother in law’s business at the park. But the Mayor

didn’t claim ignorance in the cases of the two Councillors. He said he fully supports their exploitation of the park. The Mayor’s arrogance, stubbornness and “faceyness” has been obvious to everyone. While claiming to work in a “spirit of transparency”, the Mayor rejected the notion that the public could perceive the BTL park dealings as nepotism or conflict of interest presented by the media, saying “I don’t care how it is perceived”. The arrogance has even rubbed off, or is simply now coming out of the Councillors who are slowly surfacing from the darkness to defend their deeds. Theus, a do-nothing Councillor who got away with running as an illegitimate candidate in the last Belize City Council election, called into the Krem WUB morning show on

16 FEB

2014 Wednesday morning after the host declared that he found the nepotism offensive. Theus didn’t call in to apologize and announce his revocation of the conflicting business agreement with the Council. Instead he called to whimper and tell the show host that his “feelings are hurt” by the comments. But the host, fortunately, did not let off. The new BTL Park is a City Council driven project and the outcome should be to provide greater benefits to the residents whom they serve, not City Councillors, the host explained. The Mayor, who was in studio at the time, was treated with kid gloves and spared much deserved live television scolding. Not only for wrecking the city, but for leading with pettiness, nepotism and callousness. The host lacked any real punches, and chose not to discuss that the involvement of the Mayor’s mother in law. It took Independent Mayoral Candidate Ernesto Torres to call in and “light up” the Mayor. The Mayor chuckled away the criticism, but his face was filled with embarrassment, fully cognizant that in the eyes of residents he was losing credibility fast.

16 FEB



The full PUP Social Justice Agenda is available at

07 7

0 88

Barrow predicts UDP defeat!

Belize City, February 13, 2014 “O, but they say the tongues of dying men Enforce attention like deep harmony: Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain, For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.” – John of Gaunt, Richard II Like a cold and ageing man sensing his solemn hour, Dean Barrow has been speaking of the UDP’s future in the bleakest ways. Just days after his Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega predicted that the PUP under the leadership of Francis Fonseca would be “going back” into office in the next three years (the next general elections is due in 2017), PM Barrow has begun to sing the same tune. Last Wednesday February 5, 2014, after yet another House Sitting in which the UDP had to defend more acts of corruption and embrace the likes of disgraced Edmond Castro and Elvin Penner, Dean Barrow limped out of the national assembly to admit to reporters that he felt that his administration was crumbling apart. Very early in his second term, Barrow has had to deal with a slew of scandals including the KHMH baby deaths scandal, Penner Passport scandal, the Visa Hustling scandal, the Castro Sex/Taiwan scandal, the SIF hustling scandal, and the Castro/BAA fleecing scandal. This is after surviving scandal after scandal in their short first term (4 years) which included the KHMH pharmaceutical hustling scandal, the Castro land hustling scandal, the Social Security insider trading scandal, the Human Trafficking scandal involving high Government officials (which continues), and the Vega land scandal. Having withstood so much scandal, PM Barrow is an ailing man. He leads a wounded and bleeding party of hustlers and scavengers waiting for their next turn. Recognising that the Belizean people have had enough, Barrow accepted that the weight of scandals will undoubtedly lead to their demise. “…I fully understand that if it happens once, twice, thrice, 4 times, 5 times, 10 times, it doesn’t matter what action I take. It will cause my administration to come unstuck…triggering elections…I must live with the consequences, which would no doubt be a loss of the consequent general elections,” declared Barrow. It nearly sounded as if the Prime Minister was crying out for Belizean voters to alleviate his grief and sorrow that has come from being surrounded by scoundrels who he claims have been causing him to take “hits” at his “personal credibility”. But that fool deserves no pity. As leader of Government and the ruling party, Barrow has been allowing his scoundrel ministers to do as they please under the cover of his credibility. When he felt that his Party had expended too much credibility, he strategically invited the likes of Godwin Hulse and Lisel Alamilla to the UDP table, but they have proven to be no different. Barrow has made his doom and gloom predictions for the UDP. Unlike what he did to the people, voters must not let him down.

16 FEB


CitCo Tax Suckers!

New $10 vehicle inspection fee angers city residents

Belize City, February 12, 2014 The UDP Belize City Council is hell bent on making life much harder for city residents. Without serving notice, the Council has begun to charge a $10.00 fee when going for a vehicle inspection which is a requirement to license a vehicle. The Council has not explained why there is a new fee, while the service has not improved and remains below average. The service is offered from a one man booth, left abandoned on a street side. There is no proper parking and the Council took extraordinarily long to provide a simple latrine for the workers or customers to use in case they needed to. Clients must form lines under the sun or rain. It is terrible. While city residents must now cough up an extra $10.00 before paying the license fees, taxi drivers must pay an additional $10.00 to the council monthly. The cost of drivers’ licenses, whether applying for a new one or renewal, has shot up by 50%, from $40.00 to $60.00, even though the Minister of Local Government warned the Mayor that such an increase was against the law. Again, there is no rhyme nor reason for these increases, except being sucked dry by a UDP City Council with a Mayor and Councillors who lack any ideas for economic development. To make up for their expenses, the Council’s only plan is to tax the already financially burdened residents of Belize City.


Rotten from Top

to Bottom Continued from page 3

tro signed by Armead Gabourel. One cheque for $5,156.55 payable direct to Edmund Castro was signed by Armead Gabourel. There are also cheques counter-signed by Ms. Gabourel payable to other members of the Airport Authority: Kenworth Tillett, Barbara Miller, Lindsay Garbutt. Were these board members getting salaries not honorariums? No wonder the Cabinet had to fire the entire Board. But the Minister of State Castro remains a Minister. And fired Armead Gabourel has been promoted to the Integrity Commission.

16 FEB


Another Million for Brother B Belize City, February 13, 2014 While the nation is being sidetracked by Edmund Castro’s abuse of BAA funds and Elvin Penner’s attempt to escape the criminal justice system, PM Barrow is sitting at the top of the pyramid looking down at all the corruption in his administration and thankful that his dirty little secrets are not being exposed. But all that is about to change. The BELIZE TIMES has received reliable information that Denys Barrow, the brother of the Prime Minister, has once again received another million dollar payment in legal fees from the public coffers. Just last week the Minister of Gangs and Princess Casino’s public enemy number 1, Mark King, recorded his fellow Minister, Edmund Castro, lambasting the Prime Minister for being so pious, when he is the most nepotistic Prime Minister Belize has ever had. According to our source, Castro and Penner are outraged that Barrow could get away with being so self-righteous, when he was the one who installed his son Anwar at the helm of the most lucrative company in Belize, BTL; he was the one who appointed his ex-convict son, Shyne Po, to be Belize’s musical ambassador; he was the one who approved the granting of an oil concession to his nephew, Kimano Barrow; and the list goes on. But by far, the most disgraceful act of nepotism, according the outcast Ministers and the over 60 UDP lawyers at the Bar, is Barrow’s awarding of lucrative legal contracts to his first lady, Lois, and his brother Denys. According to our inside source, “Long-Throat”, Lois still leads the race, having received approximately $7 million in legal fees from her hubby, while brother Denys is close behind and will more than likely surpass that mark before the end of Dean’s second term in office. No one is quite sure why Brother B was paid another million this week, but the Prime Minister has already been preparing his response in the event he is questioned about the payment. According to “Long-Throat”, Barrow is expected to say that his actions “may be distasteful, but they are not corrupt”.

09 9


Where have we heard that one before? The news that Barrow will now be coming under fire has been extremely welcoming to Castro and Penner, who say that they have a response of their own for Barrow the next time he dares to chastise their hustling: “Nuh Watch We, Watch Yuself!!!” It is time Belize, it is time.

Liquor License NOTICES Notice is hereby given that MARQUITO MOGUEL is applying for a Beer Liquor License to be operated at “M&R Snack Shop”, situate at Corner Stadium and Sylvestre Streets, Orange Walk Town, Orange Walk District under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that ERLINE MOORE is applying for a Publican Special Liquor License to be operated at “Wish Willy Bar and Grill”, situate at Caye Caulker Village, Belize District under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that RAKESH MURJANI is applying for a Shop Liquor License to be operated at “Orkay Imports”, situate at 16 Cemetery Road, Belize City, Belize District under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980.




PUP NOTICE Cayo Central Standard Bearer Convention The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Cayo Central Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday, April 27, 2014. Application are available from the Constituency Committee Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat, Independence Hall, #3 Queen Street, Belize City. Completed applications must be filled and returned to the Chairperson and the Secretary General. The non-refundable fee is to be submitted to the Secretariat along with the necessary documentation to complete the application package. Deadline for submission is Thursday February 18, 2014.

PUP NOTICE Belize Rural South Standard Bearer Convention The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Belize Rural South Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday, June 22, 2014. Application are available from the Constituency Committee Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat, Independence Hall, #3 Queen Street, Belize City. Completed applications must be filled and returned to the Chairperson and the Secretary General. The non-refundable fee is to be submitted to the Secretariat along with the necessary documentation to complete the application package. Deadline for submission is Thursday March 28, 2014.


16 FEB


PUP to ComPol: Prosecute Penner or Else!!

Continued from page 1

criminal charges in Penner’s case would come to an end in March. ComPol Whylie has refused to act despite clear evidence that Elvin Penner committed a very serious offence under the Passport Act. In September of last year, the scandal broke that Penner had provided Belizean nationality and a passport to a South Korean national, the notorious Won Hong Kim, who was at the time in a prison in Taiwan. Penner signed the nationality document awarding the international fugitive Belizean citizenship. And then he personally ensured that a passport was processed for the same person. Under our nationality laws, a person who applies for nationality must be in the country for no less than 5 years and must also undergo a rigorous exam phase, providing among other things a police report and an HIV test. Kim Won Hong could not have been in Belize to fulfill any of the requirements because at the time he was sitting in a

jail cell in Taiwan. Yet, he obtained the documents and attempted to use it to frustrate an extradition process to South Korea. Penner was immediately fired as a Minister of State, but that has been the end of any castigation it seems. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said that his decision to fire Penner is sufficient punishment in his view. He has rejected the notion that there was any criminal wrongdoing, which seemed to have been deemed as a sort of executive order against anyone who may want to prose-


FREQUENCY Bandwidth 40 MHz in 5.8 GHz FCC/IC Band ( 5.725 – 5.850 GHz ) 40 MHz in 5.8 GHz FCC/IC Band ( 5.725 – 5.850 GHz ) 40 MHz in 5.8 GHz FCC/IC Band ( 5.725 – 5.850 GHz ) 40 MHz in 5.8 GHz FCC/IC Band ( 5.725 – 5.850 GHz ) 40 MHz in 5.8 GHz FCC/IC Band ( 5.725 – 5.850 GHz ) 40 MHz in 5.8 GHz FCC/IC Band ( 5.725 – 5.850 GHz )

cute Penner. Even the Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lin Vidal has seen evidence of criminal wrongdoing, and despite public pronouncements by her that there is enough to criminal charge Penner, the ComPol has not budged. This is not the first time the ComPol is slow to act on important cases, but the Penner scandal is not just any scandal. It brought Belize into international disgrace and caused a global blackeye. Furthermore, Penner is the perfect example of a corrupt politician that

2014 should be made an example of. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the PUP’s legal advisor Anthony Sylvestre Jr., explained that the purpose of putting pressure on the ComPol is simply to ensure that justice is served for the Belizean people. “It’s not as though the Belizean public are on a witch hunt with respect to Penner or the persecution of Penner, but we just wish to simply see that the rule of law is applied as is the case that the criminal law is applied every day to persons who may not have the connection or may not be in the high standing as Elvin Penner,” said Sylvestre. The letter sent to the ComPol is reproduced on pages 16 and 17 of this newspaper issue.

call 650-8429

STATUTORY NOTICE TO CREDITORS IN THE ESTATE of BERTRAM ALEXANDER VANSEN Deceased of Belize City, Belize District, Belize Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 36 of the Administration of Estates Act, Chapter 197 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000, that all creditors having any claims or demands upon or against the Estate of BERTRAM ALEXANDER VANSEN, deceased, late of Belize City, Belize District, Belize who died on the 10th day of June, 2012, and in whose estate Grant of Administration has been granted to MARGARITA MAGANA, should lodge such claims or demands with the said MELISSA BALDERAMOS MAHLER c/o MUSA & BALDERAMOS, Attorneys-at-Law of No. 91 North Front Street, Belize City, on or before the expiration of three months from the first publication hereof AND NOTICE IS ALSO HEREBY GIVEN that at the expiration of the said three months the said MELISSA BALDERAMOS MAHLER shall proceed to distribute the assets of the said BERTRAM ALEXANDER VANSEN, deceased amongst the beneficiaries entitled thereto, having regard only to claims and demands of which they shall then have had notice. DATED this 7th day of February, 2014.


Attorneys at Law for MELISSA BALDERAMOS MAHLER Administratix in the Estate of Bertram Alexander Vansen

16 FEB






16 FEB


9 FEB 16





NEWS Ernestine’s Valentine Treat: “You got the loving”

Location: Spoonaz Cafe, Belize City

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is a new song released by Belizean songstress Ernestine Carballo. The title of the new song is “You got the loving”, a collaboration with Nego Heights “The Warrior”. The reggae song featuring In The Mood Riddim is described by Ernestine as a “nice lovers’ tune”, which is what makes its debut day even more special. The song was produced by D.O.V.E. Muzik. According to Ernestine, her fans will get a double treat because she is also working on a video for the new song. Ernestine, who was crowned Soca Artist of the Year, shared some more good news. Her song entry in the 2014 CARICOM song competition has placed in the top six spot, and she is encouraged by the support.

Kayli • • • •

Height: 5’ 6” Career Plan: Nurse Sign: Taurus Favourite Food: Relleno

TOP MODEL Clothing and Accessories provided by CATWALK FASHIONS

• • •

Likes: Traveling and spending time with family and friends Lives in: Belize City Fav. Quote: “Live Life to the Fullest”

visit us at or Facebook/ Belize Times

Cor. North Front Steet & Queen Street Belize City

Follow us on facebook



16 FEB


Belmopan Bandits

are Belikin Cup football champs Belmopan, February 8, 2014 The Belmopan Bandits are the 2013-14 Belikin Cup football champions, blasting FC Belize 5-1 in the finals played at the FFB stadium on Saturday night. Deon Macaulay scored 4 goals as he led the Bandits to victory with Denmark Casey also scoring the 2nd goal. Macaulay’s 1st goal came in the 37th minute when he recovered a rebound from FC Belize goalie Glenford Chimilio, and despite FC Belize’s protests that David Trapp had fouled the ball, Macaulay’s shot into the net gave the Bandits a 1-zip lead. FC Belize counterattacked furiously and Michael “Soup” Hernandez set table perfectly for Mark “Kelo” Leslie to drive in the equalizer in the 9th minute. In the 45th minute of the 1st half, Denmark Casey’s right-away kick put the finish on a pass from Tyrone Pandy for the Bandits to take a 2-1 lead to the locker room at the half. Things looked bleak for FC Belize after their defender Mark Grant took down David Trapp and the referee ejected him from the ball game with a red card. Kevin Lino replaced Jorge Aleman in FC Belize’s midfield as Coach Nunes sought a solution, but Stephen Baizar compounded their problems when he inadvertently handled the ball as he tried to clear it. The referee awarded the Bandits a penalty which Macaulay converted to lead 3-1 in the

67th minute. Macaulay completed his hat trick when he finished a pass across the goal mouth from David “Mikey” Madrid, and Chimilio had no chance of stopping Macaulay’s shot from point blank range in the 69th minute. Macaulay scored his 4th goal when he escaped the defense in the 71st minute for a solo drive on the goal. George Estrada arrived too late to stop Macaulay’s lob over goalie Chimilio into the net for the 5-1 win. FFB President Ruperto Vicente presented the championship trophy and the 1st prize sponsored by Belikin – a $30,000 cheque to the Bandits, and the sub-cham-

pions trophy and the 2nd prize - a $15,000 cheque to FC Belize. Regular Season Awardees: Best Forward and Most Goals Scored - Clifton West of Police United Best Defender - Vallan Symns- Police United Best Goalkeeper Benito Moreira – Verdes FC Best Midfielder Orlando Jimenez – Verdes FC Most Valuable Player Franz Vernon - Paradise Freedom Fighters Best Coach - Pablo Cacho – Verdes FC Best manager Lionel Cutkelvin & Verdes’ Eric Vasquez Best Fan - Sgt. Gamboa Most Valuable Player (Playoffs) - Dion Macaulay

Joel Borland wins Smart Boom circuit race Burrel Boom, February 8, 2014 Team Telemedia’s Joel Borland clocked 2:09:00 to win the SMART - Cassasola 54-mile circuit race from Leslie’s Imports via the Boom bypass to the Data Pro junction and back on Saturday. Top Ten Finishers 2nd Gregory Lovell - Team Telemedia 3rd Brandon Cattouse – Team C-Ray 4th Brandon Morgan - Benny’s Megabytes 5th Giovanni Lovell – Team Telemedia 6th Tariq Cano - Capital City Cycling Club 7th Allen Castillo - Benny’s Megabytes 8th Mark Staine - Benny’s Megabytes 9th Rafael Choto - Cayo High Road Cycling Team 10th Herman “Hijo” Requena – Team SMART The Cycling Federation of Belize will hold the 19th annual Digicel Valentine’s Day Classic on Sunday, February 16. Elite and Masters riders will ride 90 miles from Leslie’s Imports to the Hector Silva airstrip on the outskirts of Belmopan and back; while the females and juniors will ride a 50 mile circuit to mile 26 on the George Price Highway and back.

Gaynair & Macaulay celebrate

Gwen Liz girls & Wesley boys advance to football nationals

Dangriga, February 15, 2014 The Gwen Lizarraga High School girls and the Wesley College boys will represent the Belize District division at the

high school football championships hosted by Stann Creek Ecumenical College at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Continued on page 15

Wesley boys

16 16 FEB FEB

2014 2014



UB girls & Galen Eagles win ATLIB basketball southern regionals Belmopan, February 8, 2014 The University of Belize girls and the Galen Eagles men will represent the Southern region at the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) national basketball championships, to be hosted by Galen University at the Sacred Heart College gymnasium on Saturday, February 22. The UB girls will meet the No. 2 team from the North: the Belize Adventist Junior College. The Galen Eagles will meet the No. 2 team from Northern region: St. John’s Junior College men. The UB men will take on the North zone champs, Wesley Junior College. The UB men had eliminated the EJC men: 51-42.

Nazarene boys lead high school softball Belize City, February 8, 2014 The Nazarene High School boys are leading the Belize District high school softball competition with a 3-0 record. Nazarene’s pitcher Jerome Carr struck out 8 in their 10-6 win against Wesley College at the Roger’s Stadium on Saturday. They also outlasted the St. John’s College boys 6-4 last Friday evening. The SJC boys enjoyed a 12-2 mercy rule win against the Gwen Lizarraga High School boys on Saturday, with

SJC’s pitcher Dillon Snagg striking out 6 batters; only Raheem Brooks and Raheem Trumbach scored for Gwen Liz. The Excelsior High School boys posted their first win when their pitcher Adolphus Pavon led them to a 19-9 win against the Anglican Cathedral College boys last Tuesday. The Ladyville Technical High School had walloped Pavon’s pitching for a 15-8 win against Excelsior on Saturday.

Galen Eagles team Nazarene boys team

Gwen Liz girls & Wesley boys

Lindsey Lopez takes to the air

advance to football nationals

Continued from page 14 this weekend, February 14-15. The Gwen Liz girls will face the Northern champs, Orange Walk Technical High School. The Western zone champs, the St. Ignatius High School girls, will take on the Southern zone champs, Delille Academy. The Wesley boys will challenge Northern zone champs, Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico. The Western zone champs, the Mopan Technical High School boys will face off with Southern zone champs, Independence High School. Friday’s winners advance to the championship finals on Saturday afternoon. The consolation game for 3rd place will be held on Saturday also.

Nazarene girls are undefeated in high school softball

San Pedro Tigersharks bite Smart No Limit 83-78 Gwen Liz girls

Nazarene’s Elma Wade



16 FEB


Penner admitted after the fact that the person for whom he signed the application for was not Won Hong Kim.

For reasons which follow, we are of the view that this email amounts to a confession statement which is admissible in a court of law by virtue of the Electronic Evidence Act and which can be used against the maker, Elvin Penner, at a criminal trial.

7th February, 2014 Mr. Allen Whylie Commissioner of Police Belmopan City Belize Dear Commissioner, Re: Investigation & Prosecution of Hon. Elvin Penner As you will know, for some time now, the nation’s eyes have been rivetted on the ongoing police investigation into the issuance of Belizean Nationality Certificate No. 28577/13 dated the 22nd April, 2013 to South Korean Won Hong Kim, and the issuance of Belize Passport P 0246777 issued to the said Won Hong Kim on the 9t11 day of September, 2013. We have been instructed by the Leader of Opposition, Honourable Francis Fonseca to write to you on this matter of national importance. This measure is taken having regard to the fact that five months have passed and the investigation continues. This poses grave concern to our client, who has a constitutional responsibility to, among other things, ensure that the rule of law is upheld in this country. In this regard, we commend to you the pronouncements of the Privy Council in a case from Trinidad & Tobago, that: “The rule of law requires that, subject to any immunity or exemption provided by law, the criminal law of the land should apply to all alike. A person is not to be singled out for adverse treatment because he or she holds a high and dignified office of state, but nor can the holding of such an office excuse conduct which would lead to the prosecution of one not holding such an office. The maintenance of public confidence in the administration of justice requires that it be, and be seen to be, even-handed.” Sharma v Brown (DPP), Virgil (Asst. Commissioner of Police) & Paul (Commissioner of Police) {2006} UKPC 57. It is our considered view, which we detail hereunder, that there is more than prima facie evidence which presently exists and for which criminal charges at this stage, ought to be brought against Hon Elvin Penner for commission of an offence under the Passport Act. Because the offence under the Passports Act is a summary offence, it is important that the necessary steps be taken to initiate criminal proceedings before the expiry of the six months limitation period in March, 2014. The Background Government Press Release As you will know as well, on the Thursday the 19th day of September, 2013, no less than the Office of the Prime Minister of Belize, by way of press release, announced that Hon. Elvin Penner was being forced to resign as a Minister of State in the current Administration as a result of Penner’s failure to “discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances, which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers.” In the same press release, the Office of the Prime Minister informed that an investigation was to be conducted into the circumstances surrounding the issuance of a Belize passport to a South Korean national: for ease of reference kindly find press release enclosed. Penner’s email to the media Hon. Elvin Penner, for his part, on the 27th day of September, 2013 sent an email to all media outlet. We have been able to obtain a copy of the said email sent to the news director of channel 5 and enclose a copy herein for ease of reference. In the said email, Hon. Penner sought to explain his role in the issuance of the passport to the South Korean national for which he was fired from Cabinet. Penner explained, in relevant parts, that: “What I do know is that a [sic) Asian person whom I have known through business trips, even before I entered politics, came to me for a signature so he could get his passport. He also mention that he needed it urgently since he was about to go on a trip and was more than willing to pay the regular one day service fee. The picture on the nationality document he presented to me, the Korean passport that he had with him and the passport size pictures that I also signed did not raise any suspicion since they were all of the same person, the person I knew as Mr. Kim. Wanting to help a business person I made sure that everything was in order on the application form and personally went with him to the passport office to see to it that he would get proper attention and would get his passport the same day. Now having seen the picture who is said to be Wonhong Kim on the news, who has been detained in Taiwan for some time now, it has become clear to me that the person for whom I signed the application for could never have been Mr. Wonhong Kim.” The statement reveals several important facts: (i) That an Asian friend of Penner came to him wanting a passport recommendation [legally referred to as Form 3-B Declaration of Recommender for Belize Passport Application]; (ii) Penner accompanied this Asian friend to the Nationality and Immigration Department to assist him in getting the passport the same day; (iii) Penner states that he made sure everything was in order on the application form; (iv) The name of the applicant on the form was Won Hong Kim; (v) Penner signed the passport recommendation declaration form on the 3rd September, 2013 verifying that he knew the applicant for three years: see Form 3-B enclosed as well; (vi) Won Hong Kim was not the person who accompanied Penner at the Immigration & Nationality Department.

Prime Minister’s statement in the House Then at a House of Representatives Meeting on the same Friday the 27th September, 2013, the Prime Minister stated: “With respect to the Nationality Section of the department the situation is completely different. It is the Minister who signs the nationality certificate. He doesn’t issue the passport but he signs the nationality certificate. In this case the nationality certificate that was involved in the whole chain of events that saw this South Korean national obtains the Belize passport. That nationality certificate was signed by Hon. Penner. Therefore, how are you going to look at the officers in the Nationality Section. They didn’t do anything except to provide the file in the normal course when the Minister calls for the file. They didn’t have to sign the nationality certificate. That is the reason why there is no focus on the Nationality Section in a way that can see the suspension of any of the officers there. In other words, who has had to fall on their sword with respect to nationality is the Minister of State and this administration will not in fact preside over a process where public officers are made to take the fall for the actions of politicians.” “The distinction as I said with respect to the Passport Section is that absent anything that the Minister had to do. There were requirements that they needed to follow and it appears from the investigation so far that those requirement weren’t completely followed.” “Hon. Penner signed this nationality certificate on the 9th of September. That certificate was dated 22nd of April. Hon. Penner said that he signed the certificate without dating it- something that I often do and so the question of who backed dated that certificate remains very much in issue.” “There can be no question in my mind of charging the Minister or the ex-Minister in any criminal way because on the face of it all appeared to be in order with respect to the nationality certificate, absent this issue of the date. Whether you believe him or not that he didn’t put in the date of April 22nd you will never be able to establish that in fact he didn’t.” “The thing is that what you can’t prove is very much in issue. What was eminently provable and what was obvious was enough for me to do what the duties of my office and what my commitment to the people of this country required me to do which is to get rid of Hon. Penner. I did so with a heavy heart. He is a colleague and there is no doubt that his actions have brought shame to this administration and he is paying the price. “ “What we would not do is try to cover over the actions of any minister.” ‘’Mr. Speaker, I will again apologize to the people of this country because one of my ministers has let down his colleagues, has let down the Cabinet and has let down the country.” [Extract taken from Channel 7 news of September 27th, 2013]. While the Prime Minister flatly rules out the possibility of criminal charges against Penner, he revealed that Penner signed the nationality certificate for Won Hong Kim on the 9th September, 2013, but the certificate was backed dated to the 22nd April, 2013. And it was this same nationality certificate that was used as the basis for the passport application of the person (purportedly impersonating Won Hong Kim) who accompanied Penner to the Immigration and Nationality Department. Thus, if Penner, by his own admission, had checked to see all the documents were in order, he would have noted that the nationality certificate he signed on the 9th September, 2013 was back-dated (by someone with obvious criminal intent). Interview given by Minister of Immigration to Jules Vasquez Then on the 2nd day of October, 2013, the Minister of Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse gave an in depth interview with channel 7’s Jules Vasquez (a copy of which is enclosed) in which he revealed, most fundamentally, that Won Hong Kim never set foot in Belize. The Law Having considered the above, we now consider whether any offences would have been committed under the Belize Nationality Act or the Passports Act. Commission of offence under the Belize Nationality Act? By section 22 of the Belize Nationality Act, it is an offence for “Any person who, for the purpose of procuring anything to be done or not to be done under this Act, makes any statement which he knows to be false in a material particular commits an offence and shall, on conviction after summary trial before a magistrate, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months.” It is a condition precedent, as required by section 10 of the Belize Nationality Act, that a person (amongst other things) must have been ordinarily resident in Belize for a period of five years immediately before applying for Belize Nationality. But Minister of Immigration Hulse confirmed that Won Hong Kim never set foot in Belize. Accordingly, section 22 would have been contravened in respect of the issuance of Belizean Nationality Certificate No. 28577/13 dated the 22nd April, 2013 to South Korean Won Hong Kim. Admittedly, there will be difficulty in pursuing criminal charges against any person in respect of the commission of this offence since (it is understood), no Belize Nationality Application file and supporting documents can be found at the Nationality & Immigration Department. Commission of offence under the Passports Act? Section 3(1)(h) of the Passports Act states that: “(1) Every person who, in respect of every passport(h) without having actual knowledge of the applicant for a passport, makes any declaration verifying the declaration of such applicant, or Continued on page 17

16 FEB


2014 Continued from page 16

vouching the fitness of such applicant to receive a passport or makes any such declaration merely on information obtained from the applicant or from any other person,” commits an offence under the Act.” By section 4:

“Every person who commits an offence against this Act shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for any term not exceeding one year, or to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment.”

Thus, an offence under the Passports Act is also a summary conviction offence for which charges must be laid within six months from the when the matter of the complaint arose; that is, at the latest, 19th September, 2013 when the Prime Minister fired Penner. Is there any evidence to support any charges? The Electronic Evidence Act, Cap 95:01 of the Laws of Belize, R.E. 2003, which came into force on the 31st January, 2003, by section 3, states that “Nothing in the rules of evidence shall apply to deny the admissibility of an electronic record in evidence on the sole ground that it is an electronic record.” Thus, as is made clear, electronic records are admissible in evidence in court proceedings, including criminal proceedings: see definition of “legal proceedings” in section 2 of the Act which refers to civil as well as criminal proceedings in a court. Critically, an electronic record is “data that is recorded or stored on any medium in or by a computer system or other similar device and that can be read or perceived by a person or a computer system or other similar device and includes a display, print our or other output of that data.” For present purposes therefore, an email is an electronic record that is admissible evidence in a court of law. This is of considerable importance because the email sent by Penner to the various media outlet is admissible evidence in court proceedings. And more importantly, it is evidence provided by Penner against himself with respect to his role in the issuance of the passport of Won Hong Kim. For reasons which follow, the evidence provided in the email amounts to a confession which can be used in a trial of Penner. As you will know, a confession is a statement (written or oral) which is wholly or partly adverse to the person who made it: para 15-341, Archbold 2001. A confession can be made to a person in authority such as a police or to someone who is not in authority. If the statement is given to a person in authority, then section 90 of the Evidence Act would apply. As Penner’s email to media is not to persons in authority, there will be no need to establish that the email was sent freely and voluntarily and was not induced to make it as a result of any promise of favour or advantage or by use of fear, threat or pressure All must be proved is that it was in fact Penner who sent the email. In this regard, this email has been published by both channel 7 and channel 5 since September, 2013 and there have been repeated reference to same on both channel 7 and channel 5, and never has Penner reportedly denied the authenticity of the email’s and its source. This is evidence in accordance with section 5 of the Electronic Evidence Act to prove the email’s authenticity. For these reasons, we are of the opinion that Penner’s email is admissible confession at a trial. Based on Penner’s confession, he has committed an offence under section 3(1)(h) of the Passports Act. As discussed above, Penner’s email is admissible evidence in criminal proceedings and has the effect of a confession. Allied with Penner’s confession evidence, there will need to be formal evidence from Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse, or the Director of Immigration or other relevant Immigration official (by virtue of their office) that Won Hong Kim has never set foot in Belize and other pertinent information necessary for the laying of charges against Honourable Elvin Penner for reasons already enumerated. Therefore, in our considered view, it seems prudent that: (i) A statement be recorded from the recipients of the email from Penner, such as the news director of channel 5 or channel 7. (ii) Statements be recorded from the Hon. Prime Minister, Minister of Immigration or Director of Immigration and Nationality with respect their first hand knowledge of the issuance of the passport to Kim by virtue of their offices as well as information provided to them by the Taiwanese authorities with respect to Won Hong Kim. What will be done if no action is taken? We are instructed to advise that if no actions are taken by the Police Department within seven days hereof, we are to initiate judicial review proceedings against the Commissioner of Police, (similar to that initiated in Claim No. 698 of 2006- Egbert Gordon Sr. v Commissioner of Police) for a writ of mandamus directing the Commissioner to take relevant statements and lay charges against Hon. Elvin Penner. We are cognizant that the remedy of mandamus is an exceptional one and a court is slow to grant such, but the circumstances set out above are indeed exceptional themselves and require the exceptional intervening hand of the court. Yours faithfully,

cc: Mrs. Cherlyn Vidal, Director of Public Prosecutions




16 FEB

THE BELIZE TIMES PUP NOTICE Queen Square Standard Bearer Convention

The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Queen Square Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday May 18, 2014. Application are available from the Constituency Committee Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat, Independence Hall, #3 Queen Street, Belize City. Completed applications must be filled and returned to the Chairperson and the Secretary General. The non-refundable fee is to be submitted to the Secretariat along with the necessary documentation to complete the application package. Deadline for submission is Tuesday March 18, 2014.

PUP NOTICE Albert Standard Bearer Convention The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Albert Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday May 25, 2014. Application are available from the Constituency Committee Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat, Independence Hall, #3 Queen Street, Belize City. Completed applications must be filled and returned to the Chairperson and the Secretary General. The non-refundable fee is to be submitted to the Secretariat along with the necessary documentation to complete the application package. Deadline for submission is Tuesday March 18, 2014.

PUP NOTICE Caribbean Shores Standard Bearer Convention The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Caribbean Shores Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday, June 1, 2014. Application are available from the Constituency Committee Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat, Independence Hall, #3 Queen Street, Belize City. Completed applications must be filled and returned to the Chairperson and the Secretary General. The non-refundable fee is to be submitted to the Secretariat along with the necessary documentation to complete the application package. Deadline for submission is Friday March 28, 2014.

PUP NOTICE Lake Independence Standard Bearer Convention The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Lake Independence Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday, June 8, 2014. Application are available from the Constituency Committee Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat, Independence Hall, #3 Queen Street, Belize City. Completed applications must be filled and returned to the Chairperson and the Secretary General. The non-refundable fee is to be submitted to the Secretariat along with the necessary documentation to complete the application package. Deadline for submission is Friday March 28, 2014.


Corozal Bay Standard Bearer Convention The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Corozal Bay Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday, March 30, 2014 from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

PUP NOTICE Joint Endorsement Standard Bearers Convention for Orange Walk Central, Orange Walk East & Orange Walk South The People’s United Party announces a Joint Endorsement Standard Bearers Convention for Orange Walk Central, Orange Walk East & Orange Walk South constituencies on Sunday, March 8, 2014.

PUP NOTICE Mesopotamia Standard Bearer Convention The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Mesopotamia Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday May 18, 2014. Application are available from the Constituency Committee Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat, Independence Hall, #3 Queen Street, Belize City. Completed applications must be filled and returned to the Chairperson and the Secretary General. The non-refundable fee is to be submitted to the Secretariat along with the necessary documentation to complete the application package. Deadline for submission is Thursday March 18, 2014.

PUP NOTICE Collet Standard Bearer Convention The People’s United Party Standard Bearer Convention for the Collet Electoral Division is scheduled for Sunday May 4, 2014. Application are available from the Constituency Committee Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat, Independence Hall, #3 Queen Street, Belize City. Completed applications must be filled and returned to the Chairperson and the Secretary General. The non-refundable fee is to be submitted to the Secretariat along with the necessary documentation to complete the application package. Deadline for submission is Tuesday March 4, 2014.

16 FEB



As BIG as you think you are... House #1


House #2 rented to a Judge, paid for by GOB

House #5

House #3

House #4 Juliet Thimbriel, UDP Senator

House #6 under co nstruction

2012 Infinity valued at $120K

you’re living in a small world MORE TO COME...

20 OUT Nepotism, Favouritism & Corruption Continued from page 2 not vote. Her mother, however, has voting power. So does Ms. Priscilla Banner, attorney, who used to live at the SAME address with Mrs. Burke and Mrs. Miller. Imagine that here are three closely related and associated members on the same board. Mrs. Burke has a salary and benefit package that is more than the Mayor ($72,000.00). The nepotism and special treatment does not end there. Mrs. Burke’s nephew-in-law Jermaine Hyde works at the municipal court (managed by City Hall) and another Devaughan Burke works there during holidays. One final thing. The City Administrator, in collusion with the Mayor, did not hesitate to terminate the services of the security staff. However, she is ungrateful. She has been benefitting from the services of the same officers who drive her around and guard the Lizarrage Avenue home where she and her mother live and where her close friend and member of the Trade Licensing Board once resided. If this is not rift with conflict of interest, favouritism and nepotism I don’t know what is. Signed, A disgruntled City Council worker


OUT Give the Teachers a Raise of Pay No Matter What! Continued from page 2 increase of disorders and diseases like: high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ulcers, colitis, high cholesterol and nervous disorders and breakdowns, due to the huge stress they go through in their overpopulated classrooms. All of these come as a result of the stressful conditions in the classroom; in addition not having enough money to pay their bills; yet GOB is playing deaf to their pleas. GOB refuses to give teachers a well-deserved raise of pay. Instead, the Minister ridiculously calls teachers all sorts of negative and offensive names. This is madness! This corrupt government refuses to concede a raise of pay without a sound good reason. They claim there is no money. But no one believes that stupidity; because there is money, remember about the almost 30 million in debt write offs to Social Security and DFC; almost 3 million in ham and turkey, 20 million setting up a National Bank to benefit their cronies, they bought out last General Elections which cost them millions of dollars; and millions and millions dollars more going into wrong pockets with their corruption, and financial scandals. So please, saying no money is insulting our intelligence. WE DEMAND NOW that GOB respect teachers and PROMPTLY give Caesar what is to Caesar, to God what is to God and to TEACHERS what is so LONG DUE to teachers. Cost of living is sky high while teachers’ salary is at a standstill. Wake up GOB, open your ears, your reasoning and your heart and give what is overdue to teachers NOW!! Signed, BNTU’s “LOVE BELIZE” Month Supporter.

16 FEB


16 FEB



Reid A Blessing or a Curse? By G. Michael Reid Never has the difference between Belize’s two major political parties been more evident than at last Wednesday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives. For the first time in recent history, all bills presented to the House were passed with bi-partisan support. There were many times during the past administration when fairly basic and commonsense bills were presented only to be met with stern and unreasonable opposition. The classic example was when there was the need for a two thirds majority to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), our final court of appeal. The PUP was the government at the time and needed the support of the UDP who was then in Opposition. This same Dean Barrow blocked the bill and refused to sign. Ironically enough, shortly after assuming office, this very same Dean Barrow immediately pushed through a bill establishing the CCJ as Belize’s final court of appeal. For the PUP, the interest of the country has always been more important than the interest of the party. For the UDP, it is all about party and sometimes, all about person! The focus at last Wednesday’s House Meeting was mainly on the shenanigans of members, four bills of major proportions were signed and pushed through. The Senate on Thursday added its usual rubberstamp and the bills were thereafter forwarded to the Governor-General on Friday for his signature. Belize must now send notification to the relevant authorities that the process has been completed and in so doing, fight shy of serious and far-reaching ramifications. PUP Leader and Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca, was well aware of the intricacies of those bills and has said that we can “complain but we must comply”. Again, he felt that the interest of

in the region who have failed to comply with regulations set out by these task forces. Guyana however, is not getting the bi-partisan cooperation like Belize and is perched precariously on the verge of blacklistment. Pressure is already mounting and even Guyanese citizens in the Diaspora are beginning to feel the pinch. They report facing problems with even just routine money transfers and transactions. According to reports, money transfer agencies such as Western Union and Money Gram are already being affected. The ramifications from not passing these current measures would have been huge and Mr. Barrow rightly warned that, “…these big countries and their proxies, their agencies are powerful and can collapse our system”. Of course, as difficult as it was, the signing of these bills into law might be the easier part of this exercise. Policing and forcing compliance will be the bigger side of this challenge. For now however, the demand is only to put in place the legislation to deter against and provide for penalties


commission. The passing of those bills bring into effect the PEP laws however. The designation “Politically Exposed Person” (PEP) dates back to the late 1990s in what was known as the “Abacha Affair.” Sani Abacha, a Nigerian dictator, was accused of raping Nigeria’s treasury and resources and putting them in the name of his family members and associates. Are we starting to the people was far above and more see some comparisons here? important than any selfish and Following an investigation in pompous resistance. 2001 and the Nigerian governThe bills passed were namely: ment’s attempt to recover the the Domestic Banks and Financial money, the concept “Politically Institutions Bill, the Financial IntelExposed Person” came to being. ligence Unit Bill, the Money LaunThis later led to the 2003 Unitdering and Terrorism Prevention ed Nations Convention against Bill, and the Mutual Legal AssisCorruption which interestingly tance and International Co-Operaenough, Belize remains one of the tion Bill. They were bills required to few countries who is not a signaensure compliance with guidelines tory. Not only that, Belize is also that have been set down by the Fione of the only countries not even nancial Action Task Force (FATF). rated by the annual Corruption PerFATF is the global watchdog ception Index (CPI), a list that is against financial crimes, and exrelease each year by Transparency amines how Belize and other counInternational. CPI rates a country tries in the Caribbean are meeting for its performance against corruption. Since assuming office, the UDP has not given inThis same Dean Barrow blocked the bill and refused formation to Transparency International and has also to sign. Ironically enough, shortly after assuming offailed to appoint an Integrifice, this very same Dean Barrow immediately pushed ty Commission. through a bill establishing the CCJ as Belize’s Mr. Barrow’s latest attempt at this Integrity Comfinal court of appeal. For the PUP, the interest of mission (also a requirethe country has always been more important ment of CFAFT) has seen than the interest of the party. For the UDP, it is all potential members jumping ship and running for about party and sometimes, all about person! the hills. Maybe, persons are just not ready to undergo the international obligations. FATF was for those who violate the laws. That “Onerous disclosure obligations”, founded in 1989 by the world’s has been done. As has been proven and then again, maybe they have largest economies and develops with Guyana, failure to do so would good reason to be afraid. Either policies aimed at combating monhave resulted in extreme hardship for way, it is high time that politicians ey laundering and the financing of all of us, but those being targeted are and corrupt individuals in Belize terrorism. primarily offshore bankers. It begs a understand that the jig is indeed In 1990, a year after FATF came serious question, how important is up. Corruption cannot continue to into existence, Caribbean and Cenoffshore banking to the economy of prevail unchecked and maybe we tral American leaders, including Belize? I will leave that question for owe these “big countries and their Belize, met in Aruba to form their the economists to answer. proxies” a vote of thanks instead own task force called CFATF (CaribOne thing for sure, we know of condemnation. Come now, Mr. bean Financial Action Task Force). that the passage of those bills have Barrow, “Sharpen a special maMember countries signed agreethrown a serious wrench into the chete with blades on two sides” ments to adopt and implement Prime Minister’s plans. The Integrity and “Let the consequences be measures based on and similar to Commission will also suffer. The PM damned, the people of this country those of FATF. The agreements beannounced last week, his appointdeserve better”. Those were your came known as Anti-Money Launment of several people who were words Mr. Barrow and this is your dering/Combating the Financing of supposed to sit on this long-awaited duty. Long live Belize! Terrorism (AML/CFT). A few years later, they met again in Jamaica and signed even more agreements. Whether Belize had to sign or whether we even knew what we were signing, is unclear. Many will remember when our now current Foreign Minister traveled to Israel and signed an agreement, written in Hebrew of all things! Many times these high-level officials attend these meetings and don’t even know what is going on. They just like to travel and see the world at taxpayers’ expense. They stay in high class hotels and are wined and dined while they sign away our future. Whether they signed wittingly or unwittingly, those agreements have come back a-haunting. But exactly who is being haunted? Belize and Guyana have been identified as two countries out of 30


16 FEB


Seek God for Wisdom

By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference The Serenity Prayer (Reinhold Niebuhr) People might be surprised to learn that the best time for me to write is at 3 o’clock in the morning. I love the stillness of the day. It is quiet, and I believe I get spiritual direction and insight that best works for me at this special time. I seek the advice of God before I write each article. Any-

time an idea comes to mind, I sit quietly to ask God for guidance on how to prepare my thoughts and on the direction He would like me to pursue. Sometimes I begin an article and I become stuck within my thought process. Sometimes, I silently hear to continue the article later, because it was not the message He would like me to transmit. I have never questioned God’s final decision because His message is clear in speaking to His children. God’s counsel of wisdom is timely and strong. It is He who guides me. I have no doubt or worry with His message, and His decisions are final. This week’s message is simple. When you are faced with a challenge, seek God for wisdom. Being spiritually centered has allowed me to sit quietly for His messages. For example, each time I wrote about child sexual abuse and its impact on our children, He wanted me to tell ev-


eryone to protect our children. The recent increase in sexual abuse crimes has angered many, but it is because more children have come forward to report cases. We can only imagine the amount of pain young victims experienced, so we must strongly support our children during difficult moments. If we fail to offer support, we will have a nation of damaged children who grow up to become broken adults. God wanted me to share with our children to pray during difficult times. During your prayer with Him, take the time to listen to the small voice He whispers as he motivates and gives you the courage to stand up to your abuser. Come forward and tell the truth. Your difficult decision to go to your parent, the police, school officials, or another adult will become easier as God guides you. Remember that God’s wisdom comes at the appointed time. He sees all and will not leave you. Our children need protection. I pray that the strength of the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2013, will send a strong message that predators cannot continue to violate our children and get away with it. In recent weeks, since the passage of the law, I became dismayed

and angry by the increase in child sexual abuses cases. It seems that the written law is for naught. What is happening to our children? I have had to request counsel from God to explain to me why sick individuals continue to take advantage of our children. During my moments of silence, God shares that He has not failed to keep his promise of protecting His children. He tells me that mankind has failed the children. People may be weak, but God’s messages and laws are strong. Today, children, God sees beyond your pain. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts, fears, or needs with Him. Stand strong, do not be afraid, come forward to tell your story, and remember that God will never leave your side. He has a plan for every problem you face. Take time to renew your trust in God and continue to request His guidance as He provides you with the strength and wisdom you need. Dr. Angela Banner Joseph holds a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Change from the Fielding Graduate University

Look like only Barrow fu eat! NEPOTISM = CORRUPTION

Lois Young Barrow (Ex-Wife)

Anwar Barrow (Son)

Shyne Barrow (Son)

Kimano Barrow (Nephew) PUC Board Member/Granted Oil Exploration Licence

Naima Barrow (Niece) Appointed to Election and Boundaries Commission

Liesje Barrow (Niece) Appointed to Belize Advisory Council

United Nations Ambassador

Appointed to BTL Board

Cultural Ambassador

Denys Barrow (Brother)

Appointed to Court of Appeal/Private Attorney for GOB

Cheryl Krusen (formerly Barrow) Appointed to Solicitor General


16 FEB




Home Economics

National Productivity & Pay Raise By Richard Harrison “Productivity is the ratio of output to inputs in production; it is an average measure of the efficiency of production. Efficiency of production means production’s capability to create incomes which is measured by the formula real output value minus real input value. “Increasing national productivity can raise living standards because more real income improves people’s ability to purchase goods and services, enjoy leisure, improve housing and education and contribute to social and environmental programs. Productivity growth also helps businesses to be more profitable. “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker. “In order to measure productivity of a nation or an industry, it is necessary to operationalize the same concept of productivity as in a production unit or a company, yet, the object of modelling is substantially wider and the information more aggregate. The calculations of productivity of a nation or an industry are based on the time series of the SNA, System of National Accounts. National accounting is a system based on the recommendations of the UN (SNA 93) to measure total production and total income of a nation and how they are used.” (Saari 2006, 9) One of the issues of highest priority to Belizeans at this time… is the reality that the cost of living is growing much more rapidly than their incomes… hence there is an increasing difficulty with which individuals and businesses are able to make ends meet. There is thus much agitation for salary adjustments among the unions, to seek to compensate for this reality. This suggests that REAL INCOMES are in decline… that the “improvements” seen from the last salary adjustments negotiated in 2005 were eroded since 2011. This suggests that productivity growth and competitiveness are also in decline… or that the benefits of increased productivity and competitiveness accrued to a small minority or a combination of both, when the cumulative performance of each sector is analyzed. Without this vital information… upon what basis can one demand higher pay rates? Or another deny it? National productivity and competitiveness is the sum total of public and private sector performance. Gains in public sector performance can be neutralized by losses in private sector performance, resulting in no net gain to the country… or perhaps even a net loss (as is evidently the case). But we know that BOTH sides have been having a hard time making ends meet (if our roads and private sector default rates do not reflect that, then nothing else will. Thus the challenge of productivity and competitiveness is a systemic one. It is due to our structural faults created laws, policies and practices that have been failing us for a very long time and which we refuse to fix….because our gov-

ernments, since Independence, have steadfastly acted in the best interest of the status quo establishment that benefit greatly from this structure rather than in the best interest of Belize and ALL its people. The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) is perhaps the only organization (and which is government owned and operated) in Belize which collects and collates statistical data related to the economy. Accuracy corroboration and analysis of these statistics needs to be enhanced with transparency. There is currently no measure of NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY calculated and analyzed by the SIB… and many express doubt regarding the veracity of its inflation estimates… which is central to any analysis of the changes in REAL INCOMES. Counting the change in the cookie jar should be just like counting the votes in the ballot box. After the raw data is brought in, there should be witnesses from the interested parties that take part in the collation, verification and other processes with representatives from unions and business organizations seconded to the SIB for the period during which this work is done and they should sign off on the “official” results that are to be ratified by an appropriate authorizing body, before being published. This way there can be no hanky-panky, nor argument/disagreement/doubt after publication. This would drastically improve the METHOD and PROCESS for arriving at national inflation and productivity estimates….with transparency and standardization….which is absolutely required for making sound decisions regarding opportunities and risks in the economy. An example of investment that could drastically improve national productivity within a short space of time is IRRIGATION. Since Belize’s economy is largely dependent on agricultural production at this stage… improvement in productivity of agricultural output would significantly improve the nation’s productivity… and irrigation (among other things) is known to significantly improve productivity of agricultural output. Belize has relatively large amounts of surface water and aquifers…and irrigation planning and development should become as important as road planning and construction. Productivity and competitiveness improvements are the principal drivers of new wealth creation. A nation that does not continuously measure and monitor these…and take steps to continuously and sustainably improve them…can hardly be said to be serious about improving the wealth and welfare of its people. Richard Harrison is a local businessman and investor in the manufacturing and service industries. Mr. Harrison holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University, United Kingdom. Send comments to

For Sale By Order of the Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd., a company duly registered under the Companies Act, Chapter 250 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition, 2000, and having its registered office at Cor. Albert and Bishop Streets, Belize City, Belize, hereby gives notice of its intention to exercise its power of sale as Mortgagee under:1) A Deed of Mortgage made the 15th day of January, 2007, between CARLOS R. ACOSTA of 9 Miles Stann Creek Valley Road, Stann Creek District, Belize of the one part, and SCOTIABANK (BELIZE) LTD., of the other part, and recorded at in Deeds Book Vol. 3 of 2007 at Folios 555 – 582;

THE SCHEDULE ALL THAT piece or parcel of land being Lot No. 106 comprising of 766.202 S.M. situate in Hope Creek Village in the Stann creek District bounded and described as shown by Plan No. 490 of 2006 attached to Minister’s Fiat No. 490 of 2006 TOGETHER with all buildings, erections and developments standing and being thereon. 2) A Deed of Mortgage made the 19th day of February, 2002, between CARLOS ACOSTA, of 9 Miles Stann Creek Valley Road, Stann Creek District, Belize of the first part and JOSEPH ACOSTA of 13 ½ Miles Stann Creek Valley Road, Stann Creek District, Belize of the second part, and Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd., of the third part, and recorded in Deeds Book Vol. 7 of 2002 at Folios 1027 – 1052;

THE SCHEDULE ALL THAT piece or parcel of land being Block No. 365B comprising 19.76 acres situate North of the Stann Creek Valley Road, Between Miles 13 & 14, Stann Creek District, bounded and described as shown by Plan No. 101 of 1998 attached to Minister’s Fiat Grant No. 101 of 1998 TOGETHER with buildings and erections standing and being thereon The said Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd. will at the expiration of two months from the date of the first publication of this notice sell the properties described in the schedules hereto. All offers to purchase the said properties must be made in writing and full particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained from the said Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd. DATED this 24th day of January, 2014. MUSA & BALDERAMOS 91 North Front Street Belize City Attorneys-at-Law for

Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd.


16 FEB



Recipe of the week

New York Style Cheesecake Ingredients 15 graham crackers, crushed 4 tablespoons butter, melted 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese 1 1/2 cups white sugar 3/4 cup milk 4 eggs 1 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup all-purpose flour Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the side and bottom a 9 inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix

in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour (do not disturb whilst baking). Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving. *Recipe notes: 1. Make sure that your ingredients are around room temperature, not cold. 2. Do not over beat batter. 3. Oven temperature may be adjusted to 325 degrees F. 4. The cake may also be baked in a water bath to keep moist – make sure the water is boiling not cold. 5. To secure the cake from water seeping in whilst baking place in an oven bag before putting it in the water bath. 6. Top with raspberry, strawberry or blueberry pie filling.

16 FEB




Celebrating Black History Month


African American Inventors

They Dared To Believe… Do you know?

Bessie Coleman (1892) She was the first African American woman to become a pilot. Specializing in stunt flying and parachuting, she earned a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks. As an activist for equality, Bessie Coleman refused to perform at venues unless the audiences were desegregated and everyone attending used the same gates. She was a pioneer in the field of aviation, as a woman and an African American.

Fast Fact: Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) putting her own life on the line dedicated herself to the liberation and freedom of her people from the tyranny of slavery. In 10 years, she made 19 trips leading over 300 slaves from the South to safety in the North as the most famous “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, which was a secret network of safe houses. These feats of bravery led people to nickname her “Moses” and she was loved among all who she saved.

France’s well-known Ecole d’Aviation des Freres Caudon in just seven months. The state of Chicago since 1992 celebrates “Bessie Coleman Day” annually on May 2. In 1995 she was honored with a U.S. postage stamp in her image.

Percy Julian (1899-1975) was a pioneering chemist whose work made him one of the most important contributors to science and health care in the 20th century. Although he was faced with many challenges because he was an African American, Percy Julian did not give up and he is regarded as one of the most influential chemists in American history. His first major discovery was synthesizing a compound from the calabar bean to create a drug treatment for glaucoma. He discovered how to extract sterols from soybean oil and synthesize the hormones progesterone and testosterone. He was also lauded for his synthesis of cortisone, which was used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Thurgood Marshall (19081993) studied law at Howard University and is the first Black Justice of the United States Supreme Court. As counsel to the NAACP, he used the courts to champion equality for African Americans. In 1954, he won the Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools. Fast Fact: During the Civil War Harriet Tubman worked for the Union as a cook, a nurse, and even a spy.

Fast Fact: Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1967, and served for 24 years.

Fast Fact: He was the first black chemist elected to the American National Academy of the Sciences (1973). In 1990 he was elected to the American National Inventors Hall of Fame. In1999 his synthesis of physostigmine (compound to treat glaucoma) was recognized by the American Chemical Society as “one of the top 25 achievements in the history of American chemistry.”


16 FEB






See answers NEXT WEEK

Answers for last week’s puzzle SUDOKU PUZZLE SOLUTION #52/2014

Answers for last week’s puzzle

See answers NEXT WEEK

16 FEB











Cure for love: Chemical cures for the lovesick 12 February 2014 by Helen Thomson ROSES are red, violets are blue, when you reject me, what can I do? As we discover more about love’s neural basis, we are getting closer to a way of curing its ills. While many might be wary of a chemical cure for heartbreak, there is an argument that such anti-love solutions could help people struggling with suicidal or delusional thoughts because of unrequited love, or those in the clutches of unrelenting grief. The morals of the use and misuse of such drugs are complex (see “Cure for love: Should we take anti-love drugs?”), but ethics aside, what could a cure for love look like? First things first: what is love? For Shakespeare, it “is an ever-fixed mark, that looks on tempests and is never shaken”. For neuroscientists, it’s less poetic: a neurobiological phenomenon that falls into three subtypes: lust, attraction and attachment – all of which increase our reproductive and parental success. Each aspect is grounded in a suite of overlapping chemical systems in the brain. There are ways to diminish each of them, says Helen Fisher at Rutgers University in New Jersey, but they aren’t always palatable. Take lust. Ever found yourself obsessing over the tiniest details of a person? Their hair, say, or the

hibitors, which are known to blunt extreme emotions and make it harder to form romantic bonds. This is an unwanted side effect for people with depression, but for those seeking to detach from someone, it could be welcome. What if it’s not lust but a lasting bond you want severed? Several chemicals play a role in helping Love has the same neural base as addiction (Image: us form attachments, and Benjamin Bechet/Picturetank) animal studies are showing how we could manipnumber of kisses in a text? This tun- ulate them to do just that. nel vision resembles some of the The prairie vole is famously monogsymptoms of obsessive compulsive amous – it forms one life-long bond. disorder, so Donatella Marazziti at the However, when Larry Young at Emory University of Pisa in Italy, compared University in Atlanta, Georgia, injected the brains of 20 people in the first female voles with a drug that blocked throes of love with those of 20 peo- either dopamine or oxytocin, they beple with OCD. came polygamous. “This suggests you Both groups had unusually low might be able to block oxytocin and sevlevels of a protein that transports er a long-term attachment,” says Young. serotonin – a hormone involved in But oxytocin is important for all reregulating mood – around the brain. lationships, not just romantic love. You Retesting the lovers a year later re- might cure your broken heart, but is it vealed that their serotonin levels had worth impairing all your other relationincreased, and that they no longer ships? reported an obsessive focus on their Young’s team has also shown that partners. blocking corticotropin-releasing factor Drugs that boost serotonin can (CRF), a hormone involved in the stress offer relief to people with OCD, so it’s response, stops the depressive bereasonable to think that they could haviour that prairie voles exhibit when also help to dampen lustful feelings. their partner dies. Young doesn’t recomThese drugs include antidepressants mend blocking CRF for unrequited love, called selective serotonin reuptake in- but he says it could be helpful to relieve

the depression that comes with persistent grief. Since love shares some of the neural underpinnings with addiction, you will need to replace your fix of oxytocin or dopamine. You can do this without popping a pill, says Young. Exercise ramps up dopamine levels, and bodily contact and social interaction can raise oxytocin. Should we expect to see quickfix solutions offered off label or in some anti-love black market? “I think there would be a real market, but I certainly don’t recommend it,” says Young. Ultimately, time is the answer, says Fisher. Her team is the first to study the neural mechanisms involved as love fades away. She has found that people who are pining after a lost love have greater brain activity in the ventral pallidum, involved in attachment, than people who were happily in love. This activity diminished over time, suggesting that their attachment also waned. Other groups are trying to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder replace a memory with another that is less emotionally fraught. “Hypothetically, you could imagine a similar therapy being used to dampen the memory of love,” says Fisher. One day it might even be possible to use brain stimulation to decrease activity in the ventral pallidum, to speed up the healing effects of time, she says. Until then, it seems what your mother told you about heartbreak still rings true: you can’t beat time and a little love from someone new.

No Hands! Mind-Controlled Helicopter Flies On Brainwaves By Denise Chow, Staff Writer February 11, 2014

It may seem like science fiction, but researchers are experimenting with a mind-controlled device that enables users to fly a model helicopter with only their thoughts. Researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis created a brain-computer interface — a system that allows the brain to communicate directly with an external device — that lets participants control the path of a flying object, known as a quadcopter, simply by thinking about specific

movements. The futuristic technology could one day help people with disabilities lead more independent lives, the scientists said. The specially designed interface is non-invasive, which means it does not require any implanted devices. Instead, users don an electro-encephalography (EEG) cap with 64 attached electrodes that pick up signals from the brain. When participants think about a specific movement — up, down, right or left, for instance — neurons in the brain’s motor cortex produce tiny electric signals that are then sent to a computer, explained Bin He, a biomedical engineer and the project’s lead scientist.

“The signal coming from his brain is being picked up by these sensors and then decoded and sent through a Wi-Fi system to control [the] flying quadcopter,” He said in a video produced by the National Science Foundation. “The computer is going to read that digital signal and do all the processing and extract out the brain signal and control [the] quadcopter.” He and his colleagues are testing the system on students, who first undergo 10 to 20 hours of training by using their thoughts to virtually fly an aircraft over a computer-generated model of the university’s campus. This helps the students develop “mind tricks” to distinguish between different movements.

For example, the brain may process movements differently when a person is preparing to throw a baseball with the right hand, as opposed to the left hand. Next, the participants controlled the quadcopter with their minds and tried to fly it through a real obstacle course made of balloons. Eventually, He says the technology could be used to help people with disabilities perform basic, everyday tasks, such as making a phone call, turning on a television, or surfing the Internet.



Chocolates, Teddy Bears, Hearts and Eros


nce again, Valentine’s Day has descended on Belize with its whirlwind of color and great romantic expressions of love. The boutiques take down their regular wares and put in their places red blouses, pants, and dresses. Candy stores order wholesale heart-shaped candies and chocolates. The florist businesses hope to keep up with the consumers’ demand for roses and orchids. Even teddy bears, during this season, become about as scarce to purchase as eggs during Christmas. The hustle and bustle to find the perfect gift for that special someone produces enough energy to crackle the air with excitement and expectation. Ah, February, the month of love. Few will stop to think, however, about the kind of love that Valentine’s Day is promoting. With my teenage daughter’s permission, I share the following story. Every year around the month of February, several schools would get the students involved in a cupcake exchange. The gist of the program was to purchase cupcakes that would be sent to a special friend or loved one in another high school or even in the same school. The exchange soon became a way for the teens to purchase extravagant bouquets or cakes for their boyfriends or girlfriends to tug around for the day as badges of honor, declaring how much they were cared for. One day, my little baby came home in tears. She had received no cupcakes that year not even from her friends, and she felt that her value and self-worth mirrored the number of cupcakes she had received: zero. I had a hard time convincing her that cupcakes had absolutely no influence on how special and beautiful she was. What would draw a beautiful young girl to tears for the sake of an empty desk on the day of the cupcake exchange? What would persuade others to send tokens of affection to themselves so as to fit in? What would draw a young man to anger because his girlfriend could not afford to send him anything? Is this the essence of Valentine’s Day? Paltry flowers that fade, chocolates that get eaten and then get passed out of the body, and teddy bears that get old and thrown away are flimsy representations of love. I wish there was a chocolate that when eaten instantly taught the person commitment. I wish the flowers could rub kindness and compassion on the bearer. I wish the teddy bears imparted the wisdom of selflessness. Unfortunately, that’s as impossible and as far from reality as the mythical closet land of Narnia. Valentine’s Day celebrates the eros side of love, which is Greek for romantic love. This kind of love is as ever-changing as the tides. It does not require faithfulness, trust, honor, integrity or any of the other values that are required for an agape or unconditional love. I challenge you to peruse 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 for the specific guidelines to agape love and to approach the ‘love month’ with these virtues in your heart. Our Creator is the embodiment of Love so if you find yourself in need of a lesson in agape love, I encourage you to find an embassy to learn from the Master of all things Love. Until next week, God bless

By Dr. Mark Musa

16 FEB


Thyroid Problems

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck below the Adam’s apple and in front of the windpipe. The thyroid gland produces hormones and chemicals which regulate and set the body’s metabolism. Common problems and symptoms related to the thyroid gland occur when the gland is producing too little or too much hormones causing either an underactive thyroid known as hypothyroidism or an overactive thyroid producing too much hormones leading to hyperthyroidism. Other conditions that can affect the thyroid include a swollen thyroid creating a swelling in the neck referred to as a goiter, or smaller lumps on the thyroid referred to as thyroid nodules, or one of these nodules or swelling can form thyroid cancer. Hypothyroidism/Underactive Thyroid This occurs when the thyroid gland produces too little of the thyroid hormones. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include: tiredness and fatigue, dry skin, constipation, weight gain despite not eating more, depression and mental sluggishness, feeling cold, muscle and joint aches, fluid retention and swelling, and excessive prolong menstruation in women. Hyperthyroidism/Overactive Thyroid This occurs when the thyroid gland is producing too much of the thyroid hormones causing a speeding up of metabolism. Symptoms and signs of an overactive thyroid include: tremor and shaking of the hands, excessive sweating and feeling hot all the time, nervousness and anxiety, diarrhea and increased bowel movements, significant weight loss despite not trying, fast heart rate and palpitations, and a variant called Grave’s disease in which the eyes can start bulging and the gland becomes swollen forming a goiter. Goiter and Thyroid nodules A goiter simply refers to a swelling of the thyroid gland. A goiter is not a specific disease per se. A goiter may be associated with an underactive, overactive or a normally functioning thyroid gland. Nodules are lumps or masses on the thyroid gland and they may be single or multiple. Most nodules are benign but less commonly a nodule can grow into cancer. Thyroid Cancer Thyroid cancer is far more common among adult women than men or youth. About 2/3 occur in persons less than 55 years old. Most cases of thyroid cancer if found early has effective treatment and a good prognosis. How are thyroid problems diagnosed? Blood tests: A blood test can determine whether the thyroid function is underactive/hypothyroidism, overactive/hyperthyroidism, or functioning normally. Ultrasound scans: can determine if there are lumps or nodules on the thyroid gland however it cannot determine whether these nodules or growths are benign or cancerous. Therefore, a biopsy of the nodule or mass is often needed to determine if it is cancerous or benign.

16 16 FEB FEB




13 Feb 2014 At least four people have been killed, including a police officer, after thousands of Venezuelans opposing President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets of Caracas following two weeks of anti-government protests across the country.

Gunfire erupted in the centre of the capital when armed members of a pro-government vigilante group arrived on motorcycles and began firing at more than 100 anti-Maduro student protesters clashing with security forces, the AP news agency reported. As the crowd fled in

panic, one demonstrator fell to the ground with a bullet wound in his head. Onlookers screamed “assassins”’ as they rushed the 24-yearold student, later identified by family members as Bazil D’Acosta, to a police vehicle. Also killed was the leader of a pro-government 23rd of January collective, as supporters of Venezuela’s government call themselves. National Assembly

President Bouteflika announces three days of national mourning for the 77 dead, as investigators launch crash probe.

Castaway fisherman returns to El Salvador Crowd gathers to welcome man who says he spent a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean, surviving on fish and turtle blood. he survived by drinking turtle blood and catching fish and birds with his bare hands, before washing ashore in the Marshall Islands at the end of January. “I can’t find any words to say,” an emotional Alvarenga said on Tuesday, according to a Reuters news agency report. The famous castaway was reunited with family at the airport before being taken to a local hospital in a wheelchair for further tests.

The US Transportation Security Administration is temporarily banning travelers from bringing any liquids, gels or aerosols aboard flights between the United States and Russia, an official said. The directive came a day after the US warned airlines that extremists may target them by placing explosive materials in toothpaste or cosmetic tubes in an attempt to disrupt the Olympic Games in Sochi. Delta Airlines, the only US airline with regularly scheduled nonstop flights to Russia, posted the warning about the Transportation Security Administration policy on Thursday. The government warning became public on the eve of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Homeland Security has said the government is not aware of a threat to the US. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that Russia had an “enormous stake” in thwarting terrorism at the Sochi Olympics, adding that Washington was doing everything it could to help keep athletes safe.

Fifteen drown after boat sinks in India

Jose Salvador Alvarenga was overcome with emotion after arriving at San Salvador airport [Reuters]

12 Feb 2014 A fisherman from El Salvador who says he spent more than a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean has arrived home, sobbing as he touched down at an airport in the capital San Salvador. Dozens of people crowded the airport on Tuesday night for a glimpse of Jose Salvador Alvarenga, 37, who previously told officials

Directive came a day after US warned airlines that toothpaste tubes may be used to transport bomb ingredients to Sochi.

President Diosdado Cabello said the “revolutionary’” known by his nickname Juancho was ``vilely assassinated by the fascists” but provided no further details. Luisa Ortega, the country’s attorney general, said a police officer had died during the violence and that 25 peole had been injured.

Algeria mourns plane crash victims


US bans carry-on liquids on Russia flights

Venezuela anti-government rally turns deadly At least four killed, including a police officer, as thousands gather in capital to demand president’s resignation.


While the exact dates remain unclear, Alvarenga is believed to have set sail on a shark-fishing trip from southern Mexico in late December 2012 before being blown out to sea, drifting for months and washing up some 10,000km away in the Marshall Islands. He was found in a disoriented state on a remote coral atoll in his 7.3-meter fiberglass boat.

Boat carrying people from a picnic capsizes in Sambalpur district of eastern Odisha state. At least 15 people have drowned after a boat overcrowded with holiday revellers capsized on a river in India’s eastern Odisha state, reports say. Police, firefighters and emergency workers rescued dozens of people from the water, after the boat sank on Sunday in Odisha’s Sambalpur district, about 1,300km (800 miles) southeast of New Delhi, state government official Pradeep Kumar Mahapatra said. Rescuers used flashlights to search overnight for six or seven people feared trapped in the hull, Mahapatra said. Survivors said the boat had been carrying more than 90 people back from a picnic on the opposite banks of the Hirakud reservoir. Authorities were investigating the accident.


THINK ABOUT IT SLAVERY IN BELIZE In the United States of America, black Americans treat the month of February as a period to promote and discuss their history, their journeys from slavery days to where they are today as a people, and their collective achievements. Television and the movies increase the number of shows featuring black Americans or African Americans as black people are officially referred to. In Belize, September is the month of patriotism but little if any patriotism is manifested. Although black Belizeans are heavily influenced by their counterparts, the black Americans in the U.S.A., there is no black history month in our country. This highlights a mystery of sorts. A failure of black Belizeans to learn their history in Belize and to sort through its lessons, if any, and to discuss their achievements – if any. Black Belizean are of two tribes or ethnic groups. The Garinagu and the Creoles. The Garinagua are closer to Africa in their language, clothing, drums and other cultural manifestations. The Creoles have had their cultural traditions diluted to the point where it has almost been erased. Even their color has gone from black shades to “dark” and brown. The creoles, who are a mixture of mainly British settlers and African slaves, have gone from being the majority ethnic group in Belize, to one of several minority groups – although by far the largest of the minorities, being some 30 percent of the population. Our Mestizos brothers and sisters are over 50 percent of our 320,000 peoples. Belize City and District remains the area with the largest concentration of Creoles. There is an informative and well researched book by historian O. Nigel Bolland. It is called “The Formation of A Colonial Society: Belize, From Conquest to Crown Colony”. Most of what is written below comes from this book. The population of Belize in 1803 was a mere 3,959 persons. Of this number 2,959 were slaves. Slavery was ended by law in 1834 but slaves were not freed until 1838. In 1835 the total population was 2,543. Of this 1,184 were slaves. By 1845 the population had reached a total of 9,809. With the bloody War of the Caste in Mexico, those fleeing to Belize brought the population to 25,635 in 1861. By 1960 the population of Belize was 90,505. Immigration is credited with the growing population of the country. Back to slavery days. Each slave was given 5 pounds of Irish pork for the week. One pound of flour each day. 12 pounds of sugar, one pair of rough shoes, two suit of work clothes, a pipe and some tobacco and a gill of rum for each working slave. Obeah was a worrisome matter to the slave masters. In 1791 they passed a law: “In order to prevent the many mischiefs that may hereafter arise from the wicked art of Negroes going under the appellation of Obeah men and women, pretending to have communication with the Devil and other evil spirits ……… shall upon conviction thereof, suffer Death or such other punishment as the Magistrates and Jury shall think proper to direct”. That didn’t stop the practice of obeah. In 1816 a reward was put out to apprehend Andrew Fife. His immediate execution was demanded as “the only means by which his pernicious principles can be eradicated from amongst the poor slaves”. Punishment of slaves in Belize was

16 FEB


harsh. If a slave injured his owner, he could be hanged. The owner would collect 60 pounds for the loss of his slave. In 1813 a slave killed his master over a rivalry for a coloured woman. He was tried, convicted, sentenced and publicly executed, all within 48 hours. This would not happen if two whites fought and one got killed over rivalry for a woman. It appeared that “free black persons and slaves are liable to the same punishments”. And there were different punishments for “free coloured persons or whites.” Supposed ringleaders of a rebellion were put to death “by burning, gibbeting and other methods of torture at St. George’s Caye”. In 1787, “a Negro man named Joe, the property of Mr. Henry Jones was…tried for the murder of a white man and found guilty …. He was hanged…and his body afterwards to be hung up in chains”. White slaves masters were treated lenient. In 1816 Michael Carty was convicted and fined 35 sterling for the following cruelty: “…caused a poor young Negro female, his property to be stripped naked, and her hands being tied to her feet with tight cords, a stick was passed under her knees, and above the elbow bend of her arms. A large cattle chain was fastened round her neck with a padlock, and in this agonizing posture, exposed to the burning heat of the sun, was this wretched female tortured from morning until night, constantly during that time being flogged with a severe cot by her inhuman master and servant in the most wanton and barbarous manner – sometimes on her buttocks, at other times being turned over on the stick, on her face and breast …. Her wounds festered to such a degree that her life was considered in the greatest danger.” In 1817, a court found a slave woman guilty of “insolence and bad conduct to her mistress and was sentenced to one hundred lashes on her bare back, then to be led around the town at the cart’s tail”. That same year the court record shows that another slave was sentenced for stealing to two hundred and fifty lashes before being dragged around the town. The records also contain “a number of cases of cruelty inflicted upon slave woman at the hands of the free coloured concubines of the white settlers,” Some of this was from jealousy and insecurity of being replaced by the master in favor of younger slaves girls. Slaves held on to their tribal identities even after slavery had ended. As late as 1850 the records were referring to “Congoes, Nangoes, Mongolas, Ashantees, Eboes, and other African tribes.” In 1826, there is a reference to John Charles, “an African free negro of the Eboe country”. Eboes of Nigeria seem to have been particularly plentiful. A section of south side Belize was named Eboe Town, this was west of St. John’s Cathedral. In 1819, “Eboe Town was destroyed by a fire. An 1827 map showed Eboe Town. A description of Belize in 1850 mentioned “Eboe Town, consisting of numerous yards, flanked with long rows of what are called negro houses, being simply separate rooms under one long roof, which used to be appropriated to slaves, and now accommodate the poorer labourers”. There were four slave revolts in Belize, in 1765, 1768, 1773, and 1820. The 1773 revolt began in May on the Belize River. By 21 June they had captured five settlements and killed six white

men. They numbered in about fifty rebels. Nineteen of the rebels travelled over one hundred miles of bush in five months and reached safety in Mexico. The revolt ended in October. The 1820 revolt begun around 24 April and ended around 22 May. “A considerable number of slaves had formed themselves into a body in the River Belize, and being well armed, and having already committed various depredations the most serious consequences were to be apprehended”. On 3 May 1820 rewards were offered for two slaves reported to be the “Captains and Leaders of these Rebels”. Their names: WILL and SHARPER. REDUNDANCY Redundancy is a word which means an employer no longer has the type of work that one or more of his workers was doing. For example a worker who used to stand at a street junction and direct and control the traffic. If his employer installs traffic lights that worker is not needed on the street. Another job can be found for him elsewhere, and if there is none, he can be said to be redundant. What the Belize City Council is doing with the 36 Security Guard is NOT redundancy. They are shifting the security workers from their supervision to that of a private company. We do not accept the explanation either that it will cost the council less by putting the workers under a private firm. Like what has happened to some of the vendor booths at BTL park we are suspicious that it is part of an insider hustle. And the time has come for a proper accounting, street by street of how much was spent cementing the one hundred streets in Belize City with a loan of twenty million dollars. THEY REMAINED SILENT As citizens, media, the opposition, two groups – F.I.S.T. and COLA mounted publicly expressed concerns over the injustice of the gun laws, three groups remained silent. The Ombudsman, who is paid by the citizen to fight abuse and injustice by the police, public officials and politicians in office, had nothing to say about the blatant injustices coming to his attention. The Human Rights Commission in Belmopan had not a word to say. The Bar Association representing all (or most) attorneys in the land, did not add its powerful voice to the debate which ultimately saw the government back down after years and watching innocent citizens dragged off to jail wrongfully. There are ongoing and mounting reports of rude, crude behavior and disregard for the liberty and rights of Belizean by three foreign Magistrates. The Bar need to gather the information and stand up for our people. MAGISTRATE HAMILTON A few days ago the media reported that Magistrate Leslie Hamilton (Belizean) questioned why two citizens brought to his Court were kept overnight in custody by the Police for minor offences for which a Police Station bail could and should have been granted. A pregnant female broke a vehicle windshield. A male suffering from tuberculosis was arrested and detained for over 16 grams of marijuana. Both could have been granted bail at the Police station rather than be forced to sleep overnight on the cold cement floor in primitive conditions. Respect Magistrate Hamilton.

2014 CASTRO Is it true? The hapless, hopeless and shameless Castro took the words of the Holy Bible to hide behind as he stood up in the National Assembly to admit “wrongdoing but not corruption” – hmn! Hmmn! Let him who is without sin throw the first stone, he said, his dreads dropping over his head revealing an amount of bald head. As he read the words he tuned and looked at Barrow and Vega. CHANCY GOVERNMENT In March 2008 when the UDP became government they shut down the Ministry of Lands for months claiming to be doing an internal audit on lands given out by the previous administration. They then proceeded to confiscate, take away and deprive hundreds if not thousands of opposition PUP citizens of their lands. In hundreds of instances, persons with title were told their title documents were not valid. There are still hundreds of files thrown one side on the pretext they are still being audited. These concern title documents, for which, six years later, citizens cannot get justice. Six years of chancing Belizeans. None of these citizens are wealthy of well connected, like the owners of Princess Casino who the government have allowed to hold onto a large portion of a caye while the ordinary citizen cannot get a piece of land because they are not U.D.P. OUR DREAM IS DEAD The dream that Belizeans had that they will have good government free of hustlers and scalawags, in which all citizens will be treated fairly and have equal opportunity, is gone. That dream is gone. It is dead. Belize is rising poverty, rising unemployment, political victimization and injustice, and a government of Ministers hustling and looking out for themselves. Out here it’s a hard life, a dog’s life with no future in sight. Something is wrong somewhere. Two persons in a district who took out civil claims were successful. The other parties paid in the money to the court which sent it to the Belize head office. None of the persons can get their money from the Magistrate’s office in Belize City, despite several visits and “up and down” The money is in Belize City office from June and August 2013. What a way to treat people. NOT PRODUCING Belize is not producing, not nearly enough. Citrus and sugar are based on quotas to European markets. And petroleum from Spanish Lookout is like a flash in the pan; it’s dwindling fast, and only the company – B.N.E. has really benefited by selling over one billion worth of our oil to the U.S.A. The Belize government has squandered the portion they collected as taxes. But in agriculture we are not doing what any sensible nation should be doing. Planting, growing, feeding our selves and exporting. Instead, we are importing and eating foreign produce and sitting idle while thousand of acres of land should be cultivating and producing each month, each year. “Let the Words of My Mouth, And the Meditation of my Heart be Acceptable in Your Sight, O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer” - Psalm 19 Verse 14.

16 FEB


Audrey hog-ties Darrell Bradley Belize City, February 11, 2014 The Mayor of Belize City won’t admit it but Audrey Matura-Shepherd beat him up, hog tied him and ate him up for supper as she stood for workers’ rights. In fact, late Monday it was Audrey who was telling the media that the Mayor had caved in with a reasonable deal. What is important here is that the Mayor was looking to fire 36 workers who were hired at City Hall as part of their payback for supporting the UDP in the past election. The Mayor said his Council would not be a higher bed for political persons, but he refused to say what he would do with his dad who is a major political crony employed by him at City Hall. The Mayor was also found flip-flopping. He talks about ending the sanitation privatization with BML yet supports the privatization of the security department. This is pure hogwash! How come the Mayor thinks privatization is bad in one aspect, but could in the other? The truth is the Mayor just doesn’t know how else to explain the unfair firing of the workers. Audrey exposed the Mayor’s chanciness when she revealed that not only was the law broken when the Mayor failed to inform her as the Christian Workers’ Union President, but also that there was no job security for the employees under the privatization scheme. The Mayor, a lavender-coloured lawyer, ought to have known what the law says and

Customs Broker Slain in OW Belize City, February 13, 2014 Another young life was lost in the deadly wave of violence that has gripped our country into fear. 33 year old Stephen Kuylen, a customs broker, was killed around 8:30 on Tuesday night outside his house located in the Pasadita Area of Orange Walk Town. Kuylen was found lying motionless in a pool of blood by neighbors who had heard several gunshots moments earlier. When they came neared his front yard, they saw him on the ground next to his house. The Police believe Kuylen was lured outside of his house by the killers, who they strongly suspect were persons he knew. Kuylen was shot in the left cheek, left temple area and lower back. The assailants got away with Kuylen’s 9mm licensed firearm and his cell phone. Police have not detained any suspects, but are seeking one person of interest. Kuylen, who is from Corozal, had been living in Orange Walk with his common law wife who is expecting their first child.



could have avoided being hog-tied. The Mayor’s response to Audrey’s defense of the workers was classic childish, petty, immature and unprofessional. He disrespected Audrey over and over when he said that she is unreasonable, that she frustrates him, and that anyone would be frustrated after hours of trying to negotiate with her. Bradley is just a spoilt brat who is better off at babysitting at his parent’s home than he is at being the Mayor of Belize City.

Audrey Matura-Shepherd is the true champion in this case. She is a force to be reckoned with, and Dean Barrow and his mini-me Darrel Bradley better take notice. The attacks by the UDP media last week were uncalled for and now they are the ones eating humble pie. Audrey won one for the workers, one for the Union and one for Belizeans who are getting sick and tired of the UDP Government. But her work is not over yet. This Ranger Security Company is suspicious and has all the signs of a front for a big UDP known to own multiple security companies. We must all keep watch as the fate of the workers is still unknown. In fact, we must keep watch for all workers who are being taken advantage of being this vindictive Dean Barrow Government.

BTL, Moving “Anward” or Backward? Belize City, February 12, 2014 The sudden resignation of Karen Bevans, the Chief Operations Officer at Government-owned and managed Belize Telemedia Limited, is the latest sign of grave instability at the once reputable telecommunications company. Ever since Prime Minister Dean Barrow took over BTL from its private owners, the company has been shriveling slowly as the persons placed at the helm have been pushing an agenda that is bad for the company but, politically, good for the UDP administration. The most flagrant decision began with the appointment of the Prime Minister’s son, Anwar Barrow, as a BTL Board member. Anwar suddenly rose in status and was eventually appointed to a specially created Executive Committee formed by the political

bosses for him and the outgoing Executive Chairman, Nestor Vasquez. The BELIZE TIMES understands that since Anwar’s appointment to the Committee, he instructed that a new office be opened for him and the purchase of expensive furniture and office equipment. This unnecessary

Darrell Bradley

expense angered BTL employees, who have been told that they must wait for their due salary increment because the company cannot afford it. The BELIZE TIMES has learnt that Vasquez will retire as BTL Chairman at the end of March. Bevans’ resignation forced the BTL Board into emergency meetings. A press release issued afterwards indicated that Bevans’ portfolio will be assumed by the Executive Committee led by Anwar and Vasquez, who will now be joined by known UDP Ambrose Tillett and Colin Young. The release also indicated that Bevans will be hired through a private contract as a special advisor to the company as of April. Not all is well in BTL. Aside from the flight of key personnel, the company has been suffering tremendous financial losses, which has forced them to make policy changes which are not popular with customers and may further hurt the company’s earnings. All indications are that the Barrow Administration is moving BTL “anward”, but in reality it is going backward.




16 FEB


Belize Times February 16, 2014  
Belize Times February 16, 2014  

Belize Times February 16, 2014