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Sunday, February 5, 2012

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THE BELIZE TIMES

SCAN HERE

SUNDAY February 5, 2012

www.facebook/Belize Times

Issue No. 4782

Barrow dodges IMF Budget

Belize City, February 1, 2012 The Barrow Administration has called it quits just four years into what should have been a five-year term, admitting that they have failed the people of Belize miserably. In one of his most lacklustre speeches as Prime Minister, Dean Barrow’s farewell address delivered on Tuesday afternoon was expected by an electorate whose sympathy for a bungling Government administration was withering fast and whose patience for political change has been growing thin. Barrow claimed to be in need of a new mandate, but fittingly chose to

ignore the mandate given to him in 2008 when he promised to bring down the cost of fuel, the cost of living and to create economic development and jobs. The UDP administration failed to deliver its 2008 mandate so miserably the Prime Minister should be ashamed to say he is in need of a new one. What Barrow isn’t telling Belizeans is that his quick trigger on the elections was spurred by an impending UDP budget bomb, one filled with higher taxes and even more debilitating financial measures. Having nearly collapsed Belize’s economy, to one which saw

Continued on page 4

“The PUP will deliver” Election announcement statement by Opposition Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca

JANUARY 31ST, 2012 My Fellow Belizeans: March 7th is Election Day! After 4 years in office, P.M. Barrow and the U.D.P. Government have declared “Job Done”. In the Prime Minister’s world of imaginary possibilities, all is well in Belize, life has never been better, the U.D.P. record he says is a “Stellar” one. Well, those of us living and Continued on page 7

MORE

SHENANIGANS AT ELECTIONS & BOUNDARIES OFFICE See page 29

PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca pledges to serve the people

Guatemala wants BDF soldiers “punished” Guat President demands answers for shooting of Guatemalan nationals Belize City, February 1st, 2012 For many months the escalating tension between Belize and Guatemala, perpetuated by incidences of confrontation and violence between security officials and nationals from both countries, has gone totally ignored by the Belizean Government. But the recent shooting death of a Guatemalan national has triggered condemnation from Guatemala’s highest leader and Belizean authorities have been called into question. This is the most tense which relations between Belize and

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina Guatemala have been in several years. This uneasiness is exacerbated by the fact that Guatemala is now led by an ex-military, who is believed to be a no-nonsense President. Guatemala’s recently-elected President, Otto Perez-Molina, and his Minister

Continued on page 6

Dr. David Hoy is PUP’s Caribbean Shores Candidate Belize City, February 1, 2012 The People’s United Party has had a prestigious record of attracting the brightest minds as it takes

on the giant task of nation building. With the news that PUP Standard Bearer Anthony Mahler was stepping down as

Continued on page 6

Dr. David Hoy & Anthony Mahler will work together to ensure residents of Caribbean Shores have better representation


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THE BELIZE TIMES

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Major ‘chanceyness’ going on at Samuel Haynes Institute! UDP political wife accused of lies & cheating with major project BELIZE CITY, Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 National elections (both General and Municipal) are now officially on the horizon, and it’s not much of a secret anymore. But before we dismiss any and/or all of the propaganda that will be thrown at us (and there’ll be plenty of it) from most sides, listen to this story coming from the Southside section of the Lake Independence / Pickstock political division, and appropriately judge for yourselves on what is presented here. What you’re about to read is a story about a group of women, the ‘Ladies of Zericote’, who sewed and created patterns, sold clothing and were to benefit from the sales to feed their families. But instead, they were seduced, and then severely duped by the administration of the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence, located on Mahogany St. Extension in Belize City. This story is as much about them as it is about that particular senior administrator, Barbara Elrington, who is also no less than the wife of UDP Area Representative for Pickstock, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Hon. Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington.

The BELIZE TIMES spoke to Ms. Vilina Alfaro and Ms. Erlene (Urlene) Campbell, who are members of the group (Campbell is actually the director of the group). They say they were involved in projects they were never compensated for or were not allowed to finish. But the most disheartening effect of all this is that the employment opportunities that were afforded to these women were all but taken from underneath them, leaving them without a way to build employment as well as struggling to feed themselves and their families. The program in question, creating patterns for designing clothes, was funded by the Organization of American States (OAS) some years back, and was taught by a facilitator, Mrs. Gertrude Daniels. When the course was over, the in-

Sedi Elrington has stood by as Pickstock women are exploited by his political wife ternational peacekeeping body saw fit to provide materials and funding to an organization known as the Pickstock Development Association, which was chaired by none other than Elrington, which would allow the women to sew and sell clothing (handbags, uniforms, etc.) in Belize and abroad. Elrington then ‘proposed’ that a company, ‘Zericote’ (the name was detested by all, but still stuck) be created to improve on their sewing

My fellow Belizeans, it has been a preposterous four years for you, but a prosperous one for me and my brother and ex-wife, my Sister B, my sons and my daughter . So if you love your country as I love my family, please give us another term so my family and I can prosper even more. Thank you and may God continue to bless me even more.

Da fool di talk, but da noh fool di listen

COLA elects new leader Belize City, January 28th, 2012 At its Annual General Membership meeting held on Saturday, January 28th at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Hall, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) elected a new President. Vice-President Geovannie Brackett was elected to serve as President, in an election which saw him getting 29 votes over incumbent Moses Sulph’s 18 votes. Elections were also held for the posts of president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and two trustees which are now held by the following persons, respectively: Karim Mawema, Bernard Adolphus, Gilroy Usher Jr., Nelson Young and Ismay Williams. In his address to COLA, Brackett thanked Sulph for his hard work and dedication. Brackett said his goals are to open an office for COLA, to include more of the senior members of COLA, to operate in a structured manner which should see the development of a youth arm and to seek expand its work into Central America.

skills as well as provide employment to at the 6 or 7 women who signed up (some from Belize City and some from the Lord’s Bank/Ladyville area of the Belize District). But what they were not aware of, at least until it was almost too late, was that all monetary proceeds, both from the original OAS stipends and the money made under the eyes of Elrington and another administrator, Alice Williams, would be held back because conditions were not met under the OAS guidelines. According to the women, they were made to work in, to put it kindly, ‘sweat-shop’ conditions. What’s worse, they said the money was tucked away by Elrington, supposedly as ‘turn-over’ capital for a store, and they had no access to it whatsoever. To make matters worse, the money was never used for its intended purpose. But things ended up coming to a head when Elrington ‘proposed’ a project to make and sell female panties, which the group rejected because they wanted to go off independently of the Institute and its confines. And that’s when the claws came out, as up to a few days ago, the women were ‘locked out’ and their property boxed up and kept from them without a chance for compensation, redress or a proper explanation from the administrators. And needless to say, the Samuel Haynes Institute isn’t the only place this ‘chanceyness’ is occurring, but that’s beside the point. All that these hard-working women are seeking is justice, and even a chance to continue feeding their families. Between Ms. Alfaro and Ms. Campbell, they have no love lost for Elrington, demanding that she ‘stop chance di poor pipple dem’ and referring to her true nature (underneath the sanctimonious exterior) as ‘mean and wicked’. This is yet another example of the UDP Government’s lack of tact and care with the poor citizenry, and we’ll be sure to continue following this developing story.

THE BELIZE TIMES EDITOR

Alberto Vellos OFFICE MANAGER

Fay Castillo McKay PRINTING/PERSONNEL SUPERVISOR

Doreth Bevans

LAYOUT/GRAPHIC ARTIST

Chris Williams

MARKETING/ADVERTISING

Rafael Sosa

STAFF REPORTER

Alton Humes TYPIST

Rachel Arana OFFICE ASSISTANT

Roberto Peyrefitte Printed & Published By The Belize Times Ltd.

#3 Queen Street P.O. BOX 506 Belize City, Belize Tel: 671-8385 Email: belizetimesad@yahoo.com editortimes@yahoo.com


Sunday, February 5, 2012

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THE BELIZE TIMES

PARTY PAGE

PUP

31

HON. FRANCIS FONSECA FREETOWN

HON. FLORENCIO MARIN JR. COROZAL SOUTH EAST

HON. cordel hyde lake independence

CAROLYN TRENCH-SANDIFORD COLLET

HON. JOHN BRICENO ORANGE WALK CENTRAL

RT. HON SAID MUSA FORT GEORGE

Rodwell Ferguson Stann Creek West

GREGORIO “PAPAS” GARCIA COROZAL BAY

HON. mark espat albert

IVAN RAMOS Dangriga

Valdemar castillo Corozal North

mike espat toledo east

oscar requeña toledo west

gilroy usher sr. port loyola

phillip palacio mesopotamia

JULIUS ESPAT CAYO SOUTH

anthony sylvestre jr . queen square

ARTHUR SALDIVAR BELIZE RURAL NORTH

DR. DAVID HOY caribbean shores

dr. francis smith pickstock

patty arceo belize rural south

dr. amin hegar belmopan

collet montejo cayo central

oscar sabido cayo west

dr. MARCO tulio mendez orange walk east

abelardo mai orange walk south

orlando habet cayo north east

dolores balderamos garcia belize rural central

jorge briceno orange walk north

joseph mahmud cayo north

RAMIRO RAMIREZ COROZAL SOUTH WEST

TEAM BELIZE


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THE BELIZE TIMES

GOB casts doubt over Treaty Energy’s oil discovery

Treat Energy is represented by Barrow & Williams Law Firm BELIZE CITY, Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 By Alton Humes For those who haven’t heard the news by now, Treaty Energy, an international oil company operating in southern Belize, claims, and says they have ‘proof’, that they have ‘found’ oil in the country. On Monday, Treaty Energy’s Corporation Chairman and Co-CEO, Andrew V. Reid, announced their “first oil strike in Belize” among a plot of “200,000 ‘onshore’ acres of land controlled by the Princess Concession”. Treaty Energy explained that there are three areas of interest, and that in one of them called the “Stann Creek Field”, they “have already established this oil field as having recoverable oil reserves of approximately 5 to 6 million barrels”.

Barrow dodges IMF Budget

Continued from page 1

an unprecedented negative growth in 2009, Barrow cast Belize down a slippery slope. International creditors see no hope for the country under the Barrow Administration, while more powerful financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are demanding changes their way if they are to lend monies. Under the UDP, Belize is at its knees and the only relief Barrow can find is to run to the IMF for support. This has occurred every year since 2008, and Barrow has had to bend to the IMF’s demands. Under the IMFs command, the General Sales Tax was increased by 25% to 12.5%, while public officers’ wages have been frozen. This year alone, the Barrow Administration signed on to a new tax administration system proposed by the IMF – one of the stipulations for country funding. But the worst has not yet come as the harsh IMF recommendations of higher taxes, increases in fuel prices and mass retrenchment would have been revealed in Barrow’s 2012-2013 Budget. Barrow has offered no credible reason for not waiting until his full term was completed, but it is known that the IMF’s policies have been gaining prominence with the UDP administration. Belizeans must be warned. The UDP’s next budget will be one of higher taxes and more hardships. This early elections is simply to avoid facing the people of Belize before imposing tougher measures, but while Barrow can choose to ignore his failures and the disaster he created, Belizeans cannot ignore the suffering, and will speak clearly through the power of the vote.

Treat Energy was registered through Barrow & Williams Law Firm

Sunday, February 5, 2012 A day after the report was announced, the Barrow Administration killed the hype, when Prime Minister Dean Barrow unleashed an arsenal and publicly called out the company to prove their ‘find’ is valid and authentic. According to Barrow, Treaty Energy was spreading false information. Apart from expressing serious skepticism, the Prime Minister also questioned the oil company’s integrity asking, “You have to start to wonder if these people did this so that they can talk up their share price because it might be a local subsidiary of a foreign company with the same name. You have to wonder if it’s a way to try to attract more financing.” And the Ministry of Natural Resources also pounced, via a press release sent out yesterday, Tuesday, January 31st, saying that the information that the company sent out was ‘false and misleading’ and since the Government, through their Director of Geology and Petroleum, Andre Cho, inspected the site the day before on January 30th and found nothing and

Continued on page 29


Sunday, February 5, 2012

THE BELIZE TIMES

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The PUP will deliver There is a major disconnect between what Prime Minister Dean Barrow is telling the Belizean people and what the people have experienced for four years under his administration. According to Barrow, the country is doing well. According to Barrow, the economy is robust and according to his speech, the UDO has done wonders and the tales of families living on Ramen noodles daily are untrue. The problem Barrow may be facing is that either his kitchen Cabinet is lying to him or Barrow has become delusional and is too blind to see the Belizean people suffering. Barrow the multi-millionaire Prime Minister drives around Belize in a brand new 2012 Land Cruiser in air-conditioned comfort. We wish he could tell us when was the last time he visited Jane Usher Boulevard, or any other poverty-stricken area for that matter. A reality check for Barrow would be a drive from the foot of the Old Swing Bridge on Albert Street to his spanking new 3.5 million dollar office ironically called the Equity House. He cannot escape seeing the many vagrant Belizeans who have fallen through the cracks of harder times and have taken residence in our historic Battle Field Park. How can Barrow not see the many scores of stores that have closed down on Albert Street that were open before he took office in 2008? How can he not see that? Barrow’s biggest failure as a Prime Minister is his inability to fix the Belizean economy. If there is one thing Barrow must admit it is that while it is easy to blame the past, the UDP had ten years to prepare to manage the country and keep the economy stable. Instead, Barrow wasted four years. First, by turning the Office of the Prime Minister into an extension of his law firm, going after not one but FOUR Constitutional Amendments. Then he picked fights along the way with the Unions, the Church, the Judiciary, the Bar Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Channel 5, and million dollar investors. All at the expense of the Belizean Economy. The Belizean economy under Barrow has gone from stable to negative. The productive sector is gasping to stay alive, as the Sugar Industry has had to be bailed out and is on the selling block. The Citrus Industry has been locked in a fight between growers and management while Barrow watched on. It is under Barrow and the UDP that Belize have experienced the worst foreclosures and business shut downs including the Bowen Shrimp Farm, the Mena Group of Companies, Belize Unit Trust, Batsub, Caribbean Tobacco, A&R Gas Station, Malic’s, Juanitas. The bad economy has also landed a serious blow to Belizean home owners who have been unable to meet their loan obligations and have seen their homes placed on sale in weekly publications while for the four years Barrow did nothing. After squandering four years, Barrow has nothing to show. The Kendal Bridge is still a wooden bridge. Civic Centre is an eye soar and a death trap to athletes. The Marion Jones Complex is still just a fence and a UDP hustling facility. The new Sport Complex and four-lane highway promised by the UDP is but a pipe stream. Barrow claims to have won the confidence of international financial institutions, but none have invested monies in his leadership. He never got the $100m stimulus package he promised Belizeans, the Russians snubbed him, and most recently the World Bank said they rather invest their monies in a PUP-led City Council which will win municipal elections on March 7th. Creditors see no plan, no vision and worst of all incompetence and laziness in the UDP. If the Belizean economy stands any chance of survival, it can’t be under Barrow and the UDP. They have failed in every possible way. We need a change to work the economy and attract investment that will bring jobs for people. We need a change from the stress of life harder under Barrow that has made more Belizeans poorer. The people want a change and only the PUP can deliver that change. The PUP has a record of growing the economy and putting people back to work. Lessons have been learnt, and the PUP under new leadership will deliver for a more just and better Belize. Come Election Day, March 7th, make the change. It’s time for Barrow and the UDP to go home! It’s time the PUP delivers.


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THE BELIZE TIMES

Guatemala wants BDF soldiers “punished” Continued from page 1

of Foreign Affairs have condemned the fatal shooting of Guatemalan national 29 year old Juan Choc Chub, which occurred on Saturday, January 28, 2012. There are differing reports over the incident. Belize’s security officials say the confrontation occurred inside Belizean territory, in the Chiquibul National Park, where B.D.F., police, forest officers and Immigration officials had two confrontations with Guatemalan nationals. They said a shootout ensued and the two Guatemalan men were shot in the process. But Guatemalan officials have rejected the report. They say the two men were attacked on Guatemalan soil, in Monte de los Olivos in Dolores, Peten.

In that attack, Chub was shot dead, while his brother Daniel was injured. Guatemala’s President, who is a retired military general, is treating the incident as a matter of national importance and has called for a full-scale investigation, while demanding answers from Belizeans authorities. The Guatemalan government has indicated that they intend to defend the rights of their citizens based on international laws, and ensure that those responsible are punished. The incident has triggered a meeting between Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sedi Elrington and Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Harold Caballeros, Vice Minister Carlos Raul Moralez and Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Tellez on Thursday.

Dr. David Hoy is PUP’s Caribbean Shores Candidate Continued from page 1

the candidate in Caribbean Shores for personal reasons, the void had to be replaced with someone of equal or better character and competence. With the support of Mahler and the PUP Caribbean Shores Committee, Dr. David Hoy stepped up to the plate and has been selected as the Standard Bearer for the division. Like the previous PUP candidate, Dr. Hoy who is an eye doctor, stands out for service to the community and unquestionable integrity. On Tuesday, January 31st, Dr. Hoy was announced as the official candidate. Dr. Hoy is the owner of Hoy Eye Center which has its main branch in Caribbean Shores. He is married and has four children. Dr. Hoy is an accomplished professional. In 1985 he graduated with summa cum-laude probatus honors from the Universidad Autonoma de Centro America, and then from the Hospital General de Mexico as an ophthalmologist in 1985. From 1989 to 1994, Dr. Hoy served as the Head of the Ophthalmology Department for the country of Belize. Today, he continues to serve the nation

as he is employed by the Government of Belize on a rotational basis to cover emergency cases at the tertiary level the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Dr. Hoy has kept abreast of new practices and technology in ophthalmology over the last 17 years and has attended seminars in Central and South America. In 2009 he received a Certificate in corneal and refractive surgery from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. The residents of Caribbean Shores have been abandoned by the UDP Government, with the needs of proper infrastructure maintenance and development totally neglected. The answer to those problems is not another 5 years of the UDP no matter how glamorous the new UDP candidate appears to be. No everything that glitters is gold. The PUP, on the other hand, is serious about the work at hand and has put forwards its best candidates for the residents of Caribbean Shores. First Mahler, now Dr. Hoy. Mahler and the PUP Caribbean Shores Committee has committed to supporting Dr. Hoy and the PUP through to victory to ensure the division does not fall in the clutches of the UDP.

PUP Caribbean Shores Committee chairman Steve Mahler, committee member Dr. Chubby Reneau & new PUP Standard Bearer David Hoy

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Sunday, February 5, 2012

THE BELIZE TIMES

“The PUP will deliver” Election announcement statement by Opposition Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca

Continued from page 1 working in the “real” Belize, know that Belize is facing a serious economic crisis. Our people are struggling in the worst kind of way. Cost of living keeps getting higher and higher. The food, light and water bills, school fees, rent and medical expenses are a heavy burden on our people. Wages are frozen. Unemployment is rampant rising from 8.5% in 2007 to 24% after four years of U.D.P. mismanagement of the economy. Mr. Barrow and his U.D.P. Government talk Pro-poor but the reality is that poverty in Belize has grown to more than 40% under the U.D.P. The economy is stagnant. The policies and arrogance of this U.D.P. Government has destroyed the investment climate resulting in a lack of growth, thousands of lost jobs, businesses and industries shut down, homes auctioned, major once thriving enterprises seized by the banks, loans defaulted on, children out of school. The poor are getting poorer and the middle-class falling into poverty. The U.D.P. came to office in February 2008 with great promises and the support of a hopeful nation. They have squandered that hope and failed miserably to deliver on their promises. Despite this, the Prime Minister asks for new clear instructions, he asks you the Belizean people to instruct him to spur economic growth, to do something about the Superbond, to roll out N.H.I. After four years of incompetence and politics, the Prime Minister only now realizes that he and the U.D.P. were elected in 2008 to solve these challenges and to grow the economy. My fellow Belizeans, we do not need to give the U.D.P. new and clear instructions, we need a new P.U.P. Government with clear plans and solutions to our social and economic problems. The P.U.P. will deliver us from the stifling air of uncertainty and anxiety that prevails today and will set free the creative and enterprising spirit of the Belizean people. Everyone who wants to work must have an opportunity to work so that all can enjoy a dignified life in a Belize growing in prosperity. Working together, the public and private sectors as well as Civil Society and community organizations will, with the right leadership, pursue a vision of National Renewal, to grow the economy, create jobs, lower taxes, increase wages and build a 21st, Century infrastructure in a Belize that is clean and green, a Belize that is safe and secure where citizens can walk the streets without fear, engage in gainful employment, provide more for their children and enjoy a better life. The U.D.P. want this election to be about the past. You passed judgment on the P.U.P. in February of 2008. This 2012 election is about the future. I invite all Belizeans, over the next few days and weeks, to listen carefully to the plans and policies of the P.U.P. We offer a creative and dynamic job creation plan. - A bold and progressive Reform Agenda. - A credible, targeted plan to tackle crime and violence. - A visionary Agenda to improve Education and Health. Together we can move Belize forward but it will require a Government that is serious, competent and focused on Solutions NOT Politics. The P.U.P. is committed to a positive, peaceful campaign. The political parties will have their say but the Belizean people will have their way. May God Bless you, your families and Belize.

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Declaración Sobre el Anuncio de Elecciones Francis Fonseca, Líder Partido Unido del Pueblo 31 de enero 2012 Compatriotas Beliceños ¡El siete de marzo es el día de las elecciones! Después de cuatro años en el cargo, P.M. Barrow y el Gobierno de U.D.P. han declarado “Trabajo Cumplido”. Al parecer, en el mundo de posibilidades imaginarias del Primer Ministro, todo es perfecto en Belice; la vida nunca ha sido mejor - y el record U.D.P., dice él, es uno “estelar”. Bueno, quienes viven y trabajan en el Belice “real” saben que Belice enfrenta una grave crisis económica. Nuestra gente se encuentra batallando de la peor manera. El costo de vida sigue incrementándose. La comida, las facturas de luz y agua, la matrícula escolar, el alquiler y los gastos médicos son una carga pesada sobre nuestra gente. Los salarios están congelados. El desempleo desenfrenado aumento de ocho punto cinco por ciento (8.5%) en el dos mil siete (2007) a veinte y cuatro por ciento (24%) después de cuatro años de la mala gestión de la economía por el U.D.P. El Sr. Barrow y su Gobierno U.D.P. hablan de programas propobres; pero la triste realidad es que la pobreza en Belice ha crecido a más del cuarenta por ciento (40%) durante el Gobierno U.D.P. La economía está estancada. Las políticas y la arrogancia de este Gobierno de U.D.P. ha destruido el clima de inversión, resultando en una falta de crecimiento, miles de trabajos perdidos, empresas e industrias que han cerrado sus puertas, casas y hogares subastadas, empresa grandes que alguna vez fueron prosperas son incautadas por los bancos, préstamos incumplidos y más niños fuera de la escuela. Los pobres son cada vez más pobres y la clase media cae en la pobreza. El U.D.P. llegó a gobernar en febrero del dos mil ocho (2008) con grandes promesas y el apoyo de una nación llena de esperanza. Han desperdiciado esa esperanza y fracasado en el cumplimiento de sus promesas. A pesar de ello, el Primer Ministro pide nuevas instrucciones claras, él le pide al pueblo beliceño que lo instruyan a estimular el crecimiento económico, a hacer algo sobre el Superbond y a desplegar el Seguro Nacional de Salud (N.H.I.). Tras cuatro años de incompetencia y de política, el primer ministro sólo ahora se da cuenta que él y la U.D.P. fueron elegidos en el dos mil ocho (2008) para resolver estos desafíos y hacer crecer la economía. Mis compatriotas beliceños, no tenemos porque darle al U.D.P. nuevas y claras instrucciones, lo que necesitamos es un nuevo Gobierno P.U.P. con planes claros y soluciones a nuestros problemas sociales y económicos. El P.U.P. nos va a sacar de este ambiente lleno de incertidumbre y ansiedad que prevalece hoy y conjuntamente liberará el espíritu creativo y emprendedor del pueblo beliceño. Todo aquel que quiera trabajar debe tener la oportunidad de trabajar para que todos podamos disfrutar de una vida digna en un Belice que va creciendo en prosperidad. Trabajando juntos, los sectores público y privado así como las organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil y la Comunidad, con el liderazgo adecuado, proseguirán con una visión de renovación nacional, harán crecer la economía, crear empleos, reducir los impuestos, aumentar salarios y construir una infraestructura del siglo veintiuno (21) en un Belice que es limpio y verde; un Belice que es seguro, donde los ciudadanos pueden caminar las calles sin temor, donde puedan tener un empleo remunerado, donde puedan proporcionar más para sus hijos y disfrutar de una vida mejor. El U.D.P. quiere que esta elección sea con respecto al pasado. Ustedes ya pasaron juicio sobre el P.U.P. en febrero del dos mil ocho (2008). Esta elección del dos mil doce (2012) es acerca del futuro, del mañana. Invito a todos los beliceños, durante los próximos días y semanas, a escuchar atentamente los planes y políticas del P.U.P. Les ofrecemos un plan creativo y dinámico que si creara empleo. Un programa de reforma audaz y progresista. - Un plan creíble, dirigido a combatir la delincuencia y la violencia. - Una agenda visionaria para mejorar la educación y la salud. Juntos podemos avanzar Belice pero esto requerirá un Gobierno serio, competente y centrado en soluciones y no en política partidaria. El P.U.P. está comprometido a hacer una campaña positiva y pacífica. Los partidos políticos tendrán su opinión pero el pueblo beliceño tendrá la decisión. Que Dios les bendiga a ustedes, sus familias y a Belice.


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THE BELIZE TIMES

Liad Barrow!!! Belizeans still “imagining the possibilities” four years later

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 On Tuesday of this week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed the nation the foregone conclusion that the General Elections are going to be held on the same date as the Municipal Elections. It wasn’t much of a surprise since the only one left to make the announcement was Barrow himself. The only thing that changed was his mouth. People remember clearly when Barrow stood before hundreds of business people at the business forum at Old Belize in late 2011 and said that he would wait and see what the results of the Municipals were before calling the General Elections. That, like most other things, turned out to be another lie. Barrow probably smelt the rat that the PUP was gaining ground on him and his impotent Cabinet, and decided that sooner, rather than later, would be better for them. But Belizeans are not forgetful, not easily bought, and won’t fall for the last-minute gimmicks that they have lavished their supporters with in an attempt to buy over the electorate. Calling the elections early has been Barrow’s biggest mistake because his 2008 mandate, only four years old, remains unfulfilled and incomplete. People are waiting to see Barrow fulfil those “possibilities” the UDP so proudly campaigned on to gain office. Does the UDP remember they promised to create 5,000 new jobs? Check the unemployment numbers. The 2010 survey, done by the Statistics Unit, found that a whopping 33,000 people do not have a job in this country. Does Barrow remember their promise to a room of business people in late 2011 at Old Belize when he said he would first remove the high cost of Voice Over Internet Protocol before he calls the elections? It seems that Barrow has once again put the cart before the horse. The high cost of international telecommunications continues to be unbearable for people who rely

on that service to conduct their business with their partners overseas. Does the UDP remember when they promised to create an “enabling environment” for investment and business opportunities? We are nowhere near those promises made back in 2008. Everybody can see that the only ones who are benefitting from any real opportunities are royal UDPs. Everyone else is just suffering out here. To add to the whole problem is the crime rate. Belize has become a deadly place to live in. No one who lives here wants to live here because of the alarming murder rate, and no one who lives abroad wants to visit Belize for fear of becoming victims. The tourism figures are up you say, but we have to ask -- compared to what? The record is there for all to see that the real tourism records lie in those years when tourist arrivals in this country were at their peak when the PUP’s Mark Espat was the Minister of Tourism. This so called “reduction” in electricity rates is a temporary election gimmick that people can see right through. Even the people at the electricity company have complained that the reduction is not sustainable and will have to be readjusted. The UDP only wants to buy your way into office by selling people these pies in the sky to fool us. If they really wanted to make a difference, then the crippling GST on grocery items would have been lowered instead of increased. If they really wanted to make a difference, then they would have created an enabling environment to attract foreign investors for our economy. Instead, the UDP chased away investors and killed the economy. Now, four years after, Barrow pretends that is well and that the UDP have done wonders for Belizeans. Last minute gimmicks will not do. Barrow has been exposed as a big liar, and he won’t get another term to hoodwink us ever again.

New Home for Senior Citizen BELIZE CITY, Monday, January 30th, 2012 By Alton Humes We’ve all heard of this before – a charitable group lending themselves to aid someone in dire straits. And we’ve seen the gratitude of those persons, who were so sure help would never come their way. But when that ‘charitable group’ turns out to be an arm of the Government of Belize….well, things invariably will get doubly interesting. The Customs and Excise Department, the unit of the Government of Belize that deals with (and faces strong levels of controversy on) goods imported from our neighbors and trading partners, is now stepping into community work with the building, delivery and presentation of a wooden, 3-bedroom house, this past Friday, January 27th. The recipient is Mrs. Ann Elizabeth Nicholas [known to all her neighbors and friends as ‘Miss Betty’], a resident of Racecourse Street in the Albert area of Belize City. The devout Nicholas, aged 71, previously lived in a structure only described by

anyone who ever saw it as ‘ancient’ (it was around 90 years old) and totally dilapidated after the ravages of Hurricane Richard a few years ago. But thanks to the kind hands of the Customs and partners in the business community, Nicholas has a place she’s not only proud of, but deeply thankful for. The proposition for building the home was facilitated through the department and its most senior official, the Deputy Controller of Customs, Colin Griffith in a mission to help elderly people with home repairs in connection with World Customs Day. But the actual project saw full completion through financing from partners in both the private sectors (through students from the Tubal Vocational and Technical Institute, led by their Director Lyndon Bailey, who built the home in a week) and business partners such as Benny’s, who provided building materials, and other special decor. Ironically, Nicholas first sought government help for her home after Hurricane Richard, through the Southside Alleviation Project proposed by the Government some months back, but seemingly to no avail.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

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THE BELIZE TIMES

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Former UDP CitCo hopeful found guilty of firearm & ammo offences BELIZE CITY, Wed. Feb. 1, 2012 Thomas Shaw, 38, the Manager of Maya Mopan Hotel, located on Regent Street, was found guilty to 2 counts of kept firearm without a gun license and 2 counts of kept ammunition without a gun license yesterday in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. Shaw is a former UDP City Council hopeful in the 2009 elections, but he failed at his bid in the political convention. Because the offences were committed on June 19, 2010 when the old

Firearms Act was in effect and a prison sentence was not mandatory, Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser took into consideration a proviso and imposed a fine of $5,000 for each count, a total of $20,000. She gave Shaw until April 30, 2012, to pay the fine. If Shaw defaults on payment he will serve 2 years. The proviso could be applied to Shaw because he had no previous conviction and he had licenses for the firearm but the licenses had expired. The amendment to the old Firearms Act came into effect in February,

2011. Under it there is no proviso and a prison sentence is mandatory upon conviction and it is 5 years. Police charged Shaw after they searched his house in Belama Phase II and found one .22 revolver with 169 rounds of .22 calibre ammunition and a 12 gauge shotgun with 30 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun cartridges. The firearms and ammunition were in a room.

Thomas Shaw Shaw was represented by attorney Michael Peyrefitte.

Lexus Acquitted of Murder,

Prosecutor’s eye-witnesses a no-show BELIZE CITY, Wed. Feb. 1, 2012 By Roy Davis Alexander Underwood, 22, a.k.a. “Lexus” charged with the murder of Jonathan Faber, 27, was acquitted of the charge on Monday, January 30 in the Court of Justice Adolph Lucas. During the trial, which began last week, the prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Sharmila Williams, called three witnesses, two of them formal witnesses. The first witness was Scenes of Crime Technician Brian Lopez who testified that he visited the crime scene at Yarborough Cemetery and retrieved six expended 9 millimetre shells and he saw a green Ford Escort Car with the glass on the left front side of it damaged with a bullet hole in it. Lopez said he retrieved one of the expended shells from the dash board of the car. Lopez also said he saw a $10 note Belize currency in a red substance inside the car. A number of photographs Lopez took of the crime scene were admitted as exhibits.

The prosecution had three more witnesses to call and one of them was an eye witness. The prosecution’s case fell apart when none of the three remaining witnesses were available to testify because they could not be located. As a result, Underwood’s attorney Alifah Elrington-Hyde submitted that

Alexander Underwood The second witnesses was Corporal Mannon Dennison who testified that he was at his house when he heard the gunshots and it took him 15 to 20 seconds to reach the crime scene. He said when he arrived at the crime scene he saw Underwood removing a stocking mask from his face. The third witness was Dr. Mario Estradabran who performed the postmortem examination on Faber’s body.

Amara Avenue resident a target of ‘trigger-happy’ gunmen BELIZE CITY, Monday, January 30th, 2012 By Alton Humes Lionel Myles, aged 48 years and a resident of Amara Avenue in the heart of the Southside Belize City, is a man who has now experienced for himself the unbridled wrath of ‘false security’ – a perception that there is now permanent peace as a result of the so-called ‘gang truce’ recently engineered by the administration of Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow. Myles and two other friends, by the dim light of a nearby building, were playing dominoes on an old refrigerator in the backyard of his home on that street, when two gunmen – described by him as ‘probably trigger-happy’ – entered the alley-way connecting his

home to the street, and proceeded to fire in the general vicinity of all present, including him. But luck, like it or not, was on his side, and he was only grazed to his chin area. He was later treated for his injury at an area hospital and released thereafter. But the question lingers, why was he a target? By his own admission, he minds his own business and doesn’t mess with anyone, so why was he picked to be ‘hit?’ Myles has admitted he isn’t ‘scared’ of any potential second attempt on his life, and believes himself only ‘lucky’ to have come out alive. Police recovered a ‘spent’ 16-gauge cartridge, and no one has been arrested for this senseless crime. Police investigations continue at present time.

based on the evidence admitted by the Crown, the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case. Justice Lucas upheld the submission and directed the jury of 9 women and 3 men to return a formal verdict of not guilty. Faber was shot and killed around 2 p.m. on June 20, 2009.


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Sandhill resident gets 1 year for stealing Duracell batteries BELIZE CITY, Wed. Feb. 1, 2012 By Roy Davis Last Thursday, January 26, when he was charged with theft in the #5 Magistrate’s Court, Nelson Lockwood, 42, a woodcarver of Sandhill Village, used the name of Nelson

Yearwood. He pleaded guilty to the charge and he was fined $1,000. He was given until February 27 to pay the fine, in default 1 year imprisonment. Today, Lockwood appeared again in the #5 Magistrate’s Court

Maria Chang Bakery refutes food poisoning accusation Customer claimed rat dropping was in pack bread BELIZE CITY, Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 By Alton Humes Whenever you hear someone singing or humming Lord Rhaburn’s old hit ‘Gimme Some a di Nice Ting’, you can kindly remind them that there’s someone else who may not find that song so ‘nice’, especially for a certain Belizean who eats ‘pack bread’ morning, noon and night. A customer of the Maria Chang bakery bread in Belize City, Leopoldo Pineda, was about to dig into a slicedloaf bag of “Nice” bread he had bought from a store on the Northern Highway when he found what has now essentially soured him to eating any more of the common Belizean food staple. According to him, after ‘flipping’ his slice on both sides, he found a fragment of what appeared to be rat feces. The speck seemed to have been ‘baked’ into the slice. And that was enough for Pineda to take action. He reported the matter to the Environmental (Public) Health Unit office here in Belize City. But while there were no inspectors there for him to talk to at the office, he was not deterred, and went to have a talk with the bakery’s owner, Wilfredo ‘Willie’ Chang, and soon after, inspectors from the Unit, led by Senior Health Inspector Mark Bernard, arrived to take an inspection, and it was found that indeed there was a moderate infestation of the dastardly creatures. But Inspector Bernard and his team played it cautious, and are allowing this bakery, just like the owners of the now-closed Isaray Bakery on Mahogany Street Extension, to rectify this issue quickly and quietly. Bernard had insisted to the media that were present that despite the infestation, to him, it doesn’t constitute enough to close the place. Bernard

said that recommendations will be made for improvement, and owner Chang has said he will be compliant with those recommendations. When you thought that was the end of the story, it just took another twist. Days later, Pineda was diagnosed with food poisoning and was admitted to the Belize Medical Associates hospital on Friday, January 20th. He disputed what Inspector Bernard reported to the media, and said that he expected more action on the case, despite having surrendered the offending ‘pack’ for tests. Pineda claimed he fell sick after having eaten the bread, and so the logical thinking was that it was the ‘Nice’ bread. In response to the allegations, a statement was recently issued by the Maria Chang bakery. In it, the head baker stated that the allegations of Pineda getting food poisoning from their bakery bread is, ‘bewildering and unfounded’ and heavily chastised the media for apparently feeding into the story, saying ‘perhaps a little investigation should have been done on the background, character and even living conditions of the individual making the allegations before airing [the allegations].’ They also claimed that the possibility of the speck of dropping remaining intact was ‘nil’ and that even if that were the case, ‘….no germ, virus, or otherwise (on the speck), can survive 400-degrees temperatures, lasting for 25 minutes….’. They also, very pointedly, suggested that Pineda ‘must have eaten something (else) that caused the alleged food poisoning’. While Pineda has said he will cease eating pack bread, and will stick to only hand-made flour and cornbased goods. He said he intends to sue the Bakery and the Public Health Unit whenever he gets better.

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on a charge of theft. Again he pleaded guilty to the charge but this time Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart did not impose a fine. She told Lockwood that shoplifting appears to be his common practice so she sentenced Lockwood to one year imprisonment. The sentence, she stipulated, will run concurrently to any other sentence Lockwood is serving. The theft last week occurred around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 25, at Bottom Dollar Store, located on North Front Street. Francisco Camara, a security guard on surveillance camera spotted Lockwood taking a Nidea Complete Seasoning from the shelf and putting it in the front pocket of his pants. Lockwood walked out of the store without paying for the seasoning and that was when Camara apprehended him and kept him in custody until the police arrived. The complete seasoning, valued at $42.75, was recovered. The theft this week occurred around 8:35 a.m., on Tuesday, January 31, at Brodies Superstore, located on Albert Street. Steven Baizar, a security guard

Nelson Lockwood

at Brodies Superstore, saw Lockwood on surveillance camera taking 5 boxes of triple A Duracell batteries from the shelf. He waited until Lockwood left the store without paying for the batteries then he apprehended Lockwood. A search of Lockwood resulted in the retrieval of the 5 boxes of batteries. After he was sentenced Lockwood told Magistrate Stuart that when he was in police custody his face was covered with a rag and he was kicked in his genitals. He said he bleeds whenever he urinates. As a result, Magistrate Stuart instructed the prosecutor to have Lockwood taken to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment before he is taken to prison.


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BELIZE'S #1 SPORTS PAGE

Gwen Liz girls & SJC boys lead high school football Belize City, Monday, January 30, 2012 The Gwen Lizarraga High School girls and St. John’s College boys are leading the high school football competition. Both teams have advanced into the playoffs which began on Wednesday afternoon at the MCC garden, with the Gwen Liz girls taking on the St. Catherine’s Academy girls and the Gwen Liz boys taking on the Ladyville Technical High School boys. How they advanced;

Erick Martinez wins 4 in January 29th horse races By Ladrick “Mad Bull” Shepard Erick Martinez was the most prolific jockey as he swept the January 29th horse races at the People’s Stadium with most wins. Of the 7 races, Martinez won 4, including wins in the 3 Furlong with “I Am Blessed” in 38.4 seconds and the 8 Furlong with “One more for the Britt” of Brittany’s Stables in 1 minute and 43.6 seconds. 3 Furlongs 1st place - I Am Blessed (Jockey - Erick Martinez) 2nd place - Jah Bless (Jockey - Pressely Rancharan) 3rd place - Prospector de cash (Jockey - Alexis Ramirez) 4 Furlongs 1st place – “Caribbean Surprise” (Jockey – Anthony Barkley) 2nd place – “Dejá Vu” (Jockey – Erick Martinez) 3rd place – “It’s me again” (Jockey – Emory Baptist)

Wesley girls drew 1-1 against ACC Gwen Liz girls vs. Maud Williams High – 1-0 Goal scorer: Kishay Bevans Gwen Liz girls vs. St. Catherine’s Academy – 1-0 Goal scorer: Jersha Estrada Anglican Cathedral College girls vs. Maud Williams – 2-0 Goal scorers: Vanessa Galindo, Ajahnie Carr ACC girls vs. Wesley College – 1-1 Goal scorers: Ajahnie Carr (ACC), Imanie Mckenzie (Wesley) SCA vs. Wesley – 0-1 Goal scorer: Erica Milligan

Ladyville Tech boys vs. Maud Williams High – 2-0 Goal scorers: Nathan Sedacey, Wilhelm Leslie St. John’s College vs. Nazarene High – 3-2 Goal scorers: Porshan Pipersburg, Harold Nava & Raheem Flowers (SJC), Benjamine Hyde, Eric Lamb (Nazarene) Wesley boys vs. ACC – 0-0 Gwen Liz High vs. Excelsior High School boys – 5-0 Goal scorers: Ralph Martinez, Francis Andrews, Akeem Jones, Marvin Sosa & John Valerio

Belize Elementary on a roll in primary school basketball

5 Furlongs 1st place – “Cherry Bomb” (Jockey – Erick Martinez) 2nd place – “Twinkle Twinkle” (Jockey – Alessandro Rodriguez) 3rd place – “Quadrito Jr.” (Jockey – Carlos Rodriguez) 5 Furlongs 1st place – “Wild Kiss” (Jockey – Earl Budd) 2nd place – “Imported Master” (Jockey – Anthony Barkley) 3rd place – “Eclipse” (Jockey – Carlos Rodriguez) 6 Furlongs 1st place – “24K” (Jockey – Alexis Ramirez) 2nd place – “Foxy Ruler” (Jockey – Erick Martinez) 3rd place – “Fancy D” (Jockey – Anthony Barkley) 6 Furlongs 1st place – “Brittany’s Choice” – (Jockey – Erick Martinez) 2nd place – “Kiss dem and Leave Dem” (Jockey – Enrique Martinez) 8 Furlongs 1st place – “One More for Britt (Jockey – Erick Martinez) 2nd place – “Perfect Storm” (Jockey - Earl Budd) 3rd place – “Overdrive” (Jockey – Anthony Barkley)

Wesley Upper girl Belize City, Friday, January 27, 2012 The Belize Elementary School and New Horizon Academy boys both posted big wins in the Belize City primary school basketball competition at the City Center on Tuesday. The Belize Elementary School boys won 25-13 over the Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Schools. Cusion Wong led the BES boys with 12 points while Cory Anderson scored 5 points for Buttonwood Bay. The BES boys had also won over the Ephesus 7th Day Adventist School boys by default. Other games: New Horizon Academy vs. Ebenezer Methodist – New Horizon win by

default Wesley Upper vs. Calvary Temple School – 11-4 Top scorers: Shandy Vernon (Wesley) 10 pts, Rossey Matute & Natalie Balona (Calvary) 2 pts Wesley Upper vs. Calvary Temple School – 39-8 Top scorers: Shaquille Crawford (Wesley) 21 pts, Adler Romero (Calvary) 4 pts St. Ignatius School vs. All Saints’ School – 23-20 Top scorers: Michael Sarmiento (Nashus) 6 pts, Lincolyn Myvette & Giovanni Rudon (All Saints’) 7 pts St. Martin De Porres School vs. Continued on page 13


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BTL vs. MoE in softball finals BELIZE'S #1 SPORTS PAGE

Belize City, Friday, January 22, 2012 Belize Telemedia softballers will challenge the Ministry of Education in the Belize City interoffice softball championship finals on Friday, February 3, after they blew away Kitkat Babba Shop 10-3 by mercy rule at the home of softball at the Rogers Stadium on Monday night. Belize Telemedia relegated to 3rd place on Monday, even though Babba Shop led at the start 3-0 when Tommy Shaw, Jumoke Castro and Joseph Meighan came home in the top of the 2nd inning. Telemedia pitcher Francis Usher struck out 5 Babba Shop hitters, while he and Omar Gordon came home in the 3rd inning and they extended their lead to 8-3 when Otis Clother, Kimani Williams, Usher, Gordon, Nelson Tillett and Tamara Ramsey came home in the bottom of the 4th. The game was called by mercy rule when Gordon and Luis Alpuche scored two more runs in the sixth inning for the 10-3 win. In semi-finals game 2, between the number one seed Education and the number two seed Kit Kat Baaba Shap, Education blasted Kit Kat Baaba Shap in four innings by the score of 12-2. Education collected 10 hits off Kit Kat’s starter and loser Jumoko Castro who was beset by his own wildness, and MOE scored 6 rusn in the 2nd inning, 2 in the 3rd and 4 more in the 4th for the 12-2 win. Kit Kat Baaba Shap scored its 2 runs on 5 hits. The winning pitcher was Joel Wade and the losing pitcher was Jumoko Castro.

Belize Elementary on a roll in primary school basketball

Nashus’ Glenford Bermudez scored 5pts Continued from page 11 Queen Square Anglican – 16-0 Top scorers: Shantia Palacio (St. Martin) 8 pts St. Martin vs. Queen Square Anglican – 76-0 Top scorer: Clency Lopez (St. Martin) 32 pts. James Garbutt SDA School vs. All Saints’ School – 30-14 Top scorers: Shaquille Thurton (James Garbutt) 16 pts, Lincolyn Myvette (All Saints) 8 pts. Belize Elementary vs. Calvary Temple – 11-0 Top scorer: Iyanie Castillo (BES) 4 pts Holy Redeemer School vs. St. John’s Anglican – 53-15 Top scorers: Nigel Myvette (Holy Redeemer) 10pts, Jaleel Jenkins (St. John’s Anglican) 8 pts Wesley Upper boys vs. Queen

Street Baptist – 48-15 Top scorers: Shaquille Crawford (Wesley Upper) 22 pts, Anthony Gillett (Queen Street) 9 pts All Saints’ School vs. Unity Presbyterian – 15-13 Top scorers: Sheldon Samuels (All Saints) 8 pts, July Barrientos (Unity Presbyterian) 5 pts St. John’s Anglican vs. 27-21 Calvary Temple boys Top scorers: Shadrick Lord (St. John’s Anglican) 15 pts, Alder Romero (Calvary Temple) 10 pts Buttonwood Bay Nazarene vs. Queen Square Anglican – 44-0 Top scorers: Ishelle Magandi (Buttonwood Bay) 20pts Buttonwood Bay vs. Queen Square Anglican – 45-6 Jaywin Pandy (Buttonwood Bay) 17pts, Lindon Peters (Queen Square) 4 pts

Kimani Williams scored 2 runs

Shantell Flowers hits


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Ariel Rosado Educational Foundation launched

BELIZE CITY, Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 By Alton Humes Ariel Rosado, the energetic and talented young cyclist whose life was tragically cut down in a traffic accident last year, will now get a ‘second wind’ of sorts to his brief life and legacy, as an educational foundation in his honor and name was formally launched today at a press conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel’s V.I.P Room. The Foundation (full name: the Ariel Rosado Memorial Educational Foundation) was founded on January 16th,

2012 by the family members of the late cyclist-turned-trained and future corporate lawyer, as well as the support of members of the press (7News’ Jules Vasquez, Kremanadala Ltd.’s Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde and Stacey Kelly, and Channel 5 GM Amalia Mai amongst them), members of the cycling community, and other well–wishers and supporters, with the intended goal of the organization being to provide sporting opportunities and high school scholarships for deserving young people. (The organization is not yet registered under law, nor does it presently have a bank account.) There were several brief speeches from core members of the Foundation, including RSV Group/Love FM personality Terry Gordon, cycling associates Messrs. Barney Brown, Bruce Sanchez Jr. and close best friend, Winston Swift, who witnessed the tragic end of a young man seen and known as a ‘friend’ to many both in and out of the community he so loved and participated fully in the majority of his life. His father, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), Dr. Alvaro Rosado, led the call for formal donations and pledges, and many assembled at the press conference responded enthusiastically, including the Kiwanis Club of Belize, Mr. Aster Foreman (notable Be-

lizean-American songwriter-singer), as well as his daughter-in-law and widow to Ariel, Mrs. Samantha Sharp (on behalf of their daughter Sanya). But perhaps the most moving tribute came during the Vote of Thanks, as delivered by University of Belize lec-

Sunday, February 5, 2012 turer Mrs. Sylvana Udz, who (while in tears) gave thanks that ‘[we] had Ariel these 28 years’ and spoke of the difficulty his mother, the now Dr. Dorla Rosado (a Director of the shelter Haven House, and just completed her own Doctoral dissertation as her son was going for his Master’s in Corporate Law) had in completing her degree and dealing with the aching loss of her child. But none of that really matters now… for with the light shone by this talented young man, there lies underneath the tragedy a fervent hope that others will benefit from the example of courage and fortitude he set for his fellow Belizeans.

Swine Fever threatens Belize Belmopan, 27th January, 2012 The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries inform the general public that Guatemala is experiencing a massive outbreak of Classical Swine Fever Disease in pigs. The disease has affected almost the entire country of Guatemala which has led to the disposal of over 7,000 pigs. This disease however, only affects pigs and Belize is considered free of this disease. BAHA in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture is presently implementing emergency measures to prevent its introduction and spread. These measures include: public awareness, movement control, 24 hours inspection at the Western Border, active surveillance in high risk areas, improve bio-security at farms, prohibition of the importation of live pigs and pork products from Guatemala and the cleaning and disinfection of trucks used for transporting livestock to Guatemala. The public is advised not to feed table scraps containing meat to pigs. Pig farmers are asked not to feed meat and other waste from slaughtering plants to their pigs and not to allow dirty trucks into their farms. Please notify any BAHA or Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries office of any unusual health problems in pigs.


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Elections & Boundaries bending over backwards for Lee Mark Belize City, February 1, 2012 For a long time now, the UDP has laid bare for all to see that it is hell bent on winning the next General Elections “by any means necessary”. Evidence of this fact can be found in the recent mass naturalization/registration of Central American immigrants, photos of a UDP San Pedro Town Councillor Candidate caught “in flagrante delictio” inside of the registration office meddling with the voter database, and the blatant denial by no other than the Chief Elections Officer for a PUP Standard Bearer to peruse the elector binder for his constituency. With General Elections now scheduled to coincide with the March 7 National Municipal Elections, some thirty-four (34) days away, the UDPs are growing more and more desperate. We, at the BELIZE TIMES, have been reliably informed that there has been an abrupt and unexplained change in the polling stations for the Freetown Constituency. In previous elections, both General and Municipal, the voters of Freetown had voted at either of three polling stations, namely, the YWCA, Central Christian School and All Saints Primary School given the respective polling areas in which they reside. As we understand it, the Election & Boundaries Dept. has now designated the Belize City Institute for Technical Vocational & Educational Training (ITVET) as the newest Free-

town polling station in the March 7, 2012 General/ Municipal Elections. Now, a lot of people are aware that the Belize City ITVET is located on Freetown Road. What a lot of people may not know, however, is that the ITVET falls not within the Freetown Constituency but rather the Pickstock Constituency. Unlike a lot of other people, though, the “operatives” at the ElecAlberto August tions & Boundaries Dept. know this all too well. Thus, the question must incumbent Area Representative for be asked: Why? No doubt, this latest Freetown and PUP Party Leader, Hon. election ploy enjoys the full blessing Francis Fonseca. It’s no secret that the “Ching of the corrupt UDP Chairman of the Elections & Boundaries Commission, Chong Chineyman” is scared shitless of Francis Fonseca and has been carAlberto August. When we consider the proximity rying out desperate acts after desperof the ITVET to the business estab- ate acts ever since he was installed lishment of the UDP Freetown Stan- as the UDP Standard Bearer for Freedard Bearer, Lee Mark Chang, indeed, town. This time around, though, he only a stone’s throw away, we are left is being aided & abetted by the very to conclude that the “move” is intend- people who are charged with ensuring ed to give Chang some sort of “unfair that the upcoming elections are “free advantage” over his opponent, the & fair”.

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reasons why Barrow has called Early Elections

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Lee Mark Chang We have no doubt that come March 7, 2012, Hon. Francis will blow Lee Mark Chang to smithereens. Treacherous acts, such as this latest political machination by the UDP must, however, be strongly and loudly condemned. We call on the Elections & Boundaries Commission and the Chief Elections Officer to immediately halt this change of polling station in the Freetown Constituency. To borrow from the words of the soon-to-be former Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Oliver Barrow, it “stinks to high heaven”.

. The IMF Budget! - Facing the worst economic crisis ever, the Barrow Administration does not want us to know the taxes he is planning to impose in the 2012-2013 Budget. The IMF Report is due in late March and they will recommend higher taxes including 15% GST, mass firings and more wage freezes.

. No control of crime. The Barrow Administration cannot sustain payments to gang members and after elections all hell will break loose. Since August last year, the UDP Government has spent over $1m to pay gang members. The PM calls this a truce, but Belizeans know he has only compromised his authority and to maintain law and order there is heavy pricing. . Corruption in Government. Arrogant and lazy ministers and their entourage want to continue the enjoyment of being served the privileges of power, status and wealth from your taxes. When have any of them earned their $6,000? Yet, Sedi Elrington says UDP Ministers should get paid $1m. . Barrow has to change the Cabinet – This is a directive from Uncle Sam after members of Cabinet have come under investigation for fishy business. To avoid a political embarrassment and national disgrace, Barrow called elections first.

. Barrow, his family and ministers want to control the oil money- Remember Deanne Barrow finished studying “Energy Oil Law”. Plus Barrow & Williams law firm continues to serve the interests of oil companies in Belize. Barrow recently unveiled his new million dollar law office, Equity Office, and things just keep getting oilier.

. Denys needs to catch up on the millions that Lois received. Despite hiring a Solicitor General and Attorney General, the Barrow Administration continues to spend millions by hiring Lois Young-Barrow and Denys Barrow to hear cases. It’s just always only about the Royal Barrow Family. . Corrupt activities of the Ministers will come to light in July when reports of corruption will surface from Auditor General’s reports. …..more next week.


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UDP desperation escalates!

Belize City, January 31 2012 The UDPs have been caught red-handed doing all they can to steal the March 7th general and municipal elections. They used $1.24m of taxpayers’ money to buy out last minute votes with Christmas ham. They have been giving away Belizean citizenship to 5,000 immigrants, even to Guatemalans, in exchange for votes. A UDP Town Council candidate Severo Guerrero was busted meddling with the voters list in the San Pedro Elections and Boundaries office. When asked what he was doing there, officials said he was fixing the computer. But the joke is he’s a dentist on the island, and his knowledge of computer repair must have been equivalent to the UDP’s commitment to honesty. Nil! Of course, Guerrero escaped untouched and with the blessings of his Party Leader and Prime Minister, while the Supervisor of the Elections and Boundaries office was suspended. In Dangriga, the Elections and Boundaries office was broken into and the burglar tried to steal the laptop containing vital elections information. The person was detained but his name was never released, and word in town is that he is a well-known UDP. While all of this has been happening, political hackeys have been making their way to Belmopan and camping inside Government offices in the dark of night to register voters. These cronies, some of them drivers of Ministers and blind supporters of the UDP, were caught exiting Elections and Boundaries in Belmopan at around 11pm with bundles and bundles of voter registration documents in hand. Meanwhile, UDP political candidates too lazy to make it to Belmopan to process the registration have decided to run clandestine operations from their homes and political offices such as Herman Longsworth in Belize City, Denny “the Pastor” Grijalva in Orange Walk Town and Michael Hucthinson in Ladyville. In the UDP’s latest act of desperation, they have resorted to defacing and attacking PUP signs and billboards. Obviously, the UDP are threatened by the PUP strong campaign messages that have been on the issues. One of the billboards damaged by UDP thugs depicts PUP Belize City Mayoral Candidate Karen Bodden, which was erected at the corner

of North Front and Douglas Jones Streets. The sign which boldly declares the PUP Belize City Council team’s commitment to “Solutions and Not Promises” was splashed with red paint. While the sign has been Continued on page 28


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THE BELIZE TIMES

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Sunday, February 5, 2012

THE BELIZE TIMES

The true story of the

“Super Bond” Contributed In late 2006, the then PUP Government of Belize (GOB) took a proactive decision based on the best international financial expert advice. This action resulted in Belize entering into calm and respectful negotiations with commercial/private external debt holders (with Eligible Claims such as from the Bear Stearns bond holders). This discussion culminated in what has now been referred to by the present UDP Government as “THE SUPER BOND”. The Belize Offer to Exchange, new US Dollars Bonds due 2029 (“Super Bond”) for the Eligible Claims (then existing bonds and other debt) was officially concluded in early 2007. A total of US$520.0 Million in Belize Public sector outstanding external private debts were exchanged for New Notes with new repayment terms and conditions. Belize was able to convince the external lenders to take a significant reduction in their present value flows which resulted from a significant reduction in the interest being paid. The average interest rate on the Eligible claims was 10.0%, this was reduced to a three stage interest rate step up starting at a low of 4.25% and reaching 8.5% after 5 years. As the name of the arrangement clearly indicates, there was no disbursement of loan proceeds (cash) to the GOB or anyone else. Also the overall External public sector debt did not increase as a result of this arrangement. The transaction was a transfer of “paper” between creditors and debtor. The Creditors (Bondholders) showed long term confidence in Belize by agreeing to collect their initial investments and interests over a longer period of time. The debtor (GOB) bought time for Belizeans and the Belizean economy to develop while creating thousands of new jobs and securing thousands more. It must be remembered that within the total debt exchange there were loans that the PUP Government inherited from the previous UDP Government, House on Wheels (Minister Elrington’s Project), Airport Authority’s CIBC Bank and Trust loan, Citicorp Merchant Bank and Suppliers credit which were responsible for some $55 million of the total exchanged debt. For instance, the 2002 Bear Stearns Bond brought US $120 million net proceeds of which US$117 million were used to pay off 31 GOB loans including UDP loans. One of the direct upfront benefits to the Government’s fiscal account was a total savings of Bze$180.0 Million in debt service over the first three years, which the now UDP Government benefited from since coming to office. The PUP Government plans were to prudently invest these savings, grow the economy and create jobs. In so doing, as the interest rates gradually rise, we would have been in a stronger financial position to easily meet the debt service with a more robust economy with Belizeans

working. What one could “not have imagined” is for a reckless UDP Government to squander the accumulated debt service savings of Bze$180.0 Million and now try to mislead the public about the burden of the debt service for the “Super Bond”. This is a clear case of lack of vision coupled with greed within the UDP Government to satisfy their cronies and puppets with social hands out. Even the $64 million in recent housing loans “give aways” were paid for by the PUP government and falls into the ‘Super Bond”. In order to connect the dots and show the deceitful nature of this UDP Government (“All Glitter and No Substance”) one only needs to compare

the present UDP GOB revenue base to that of the PUP GOB in 2007. The fiscal revenue base of the present Government has increased significantly. Topping the list is the oil revenue which now accounts for over $80.0 Million in foreign currency. This $80 million per annum plus $180 million in interest savings should have made the debt service of the “super bond” easily manageable for this UDP GOB. The facility of the “Super Bond” is clearly obvious when one compares the previous debt service structure before the offer to exchange was arranged on a timely basis by the PUP GOB in 2007. What the UDP Government needs to do is to answer the cry of the Belizeans public, “Life harder out

19 here” now than before February 7, 2008. With this UDP GOB, Belize has the highest unemployment rate in Central America and the Caribbean. SIB put the number at 23%, but the man on the street says that it is more like 33%. One third of the labor force of this country is unable to find legal gainful employment. Crime is at an apocalyptic level. Most Belizeans cry shame on this UDP Government! The UDP solution to the unemployed youths is “join a Gang or go to Kolbe first”, then the Government will try to find you some form of employment. Today the UDP excuse for Belize’s economic collapse with constipation in the investment sector is the “Super Bond”. The Super Bond paid millions of UDP debts and saved them some $180 million in interest payments for three years. New oil revenue of some $80 million yearly, created by a visionary PUP GOB, has gone to the UDP GOB. The UDP has squandered all this! They have only themselves to blame!!


20

THE BELIZE TIMES

SSB Mortgages: No Free Dinner By Gwyneth Nah Belizeans have grown accustomed to not taking note of the important role and function of their Social Security Fund. The sentiment has always been that it is simply another government tax with some limited benefit to be derived from this fund over time. However, it is of utmost importance that Belizeans familiarize themselves with the purpose and functioning of the Social Security, as this Fund and how it is managed will determine the level of benefit Belizeans can expect over time and for many, when they need it the most. Over the past decade the Social Security Board (SSB) and its operations has always come under much scrutiny to the extent that a Senate Select Committee was convened in 2004 to review investment transactions that the SSB engaged in specifically related to the securitization transaction on mortgages during the period 2000 to 2004. Securitization, as an investment vehicle was so vehemently demonized in the eyes of Belizeans, with one of the leading cheerleaders being Mrs. Merlene Bailey Martinez, who chaired the DFC Commission of Enquiry. Now in 2012 the tables have turned so significantly that it is the same mortgages and former chair of a Commission of Enquiry now turned CEO of SSB that have been at the middle of reckless political patronage. For people to understand the extent of fiduciary negligence on the part of those responsible for the SSB, including the Prime Minister one must understand the history behind the mortgages and why this “free gift” is no real benefit to the people of Belize, but instead a great loss in the hands of those who will need it the most. The mortgages that SSB had in its investment portfolio at September 2011 had a total book value of $16M; which was spread across mortgages that were classified as securitized and un-securitized mortgages. The un-securitized mortgages consisted of loans that were issued by the PUP GOB back in 1999, that were sold to SSB. These mortgages were low to middle income homes that allowed working class Belizeans an opportunity to own their own home. The other segment of the un-securitized mortgages were for staff that worked at SSB and had left and those that are still employed and were granted staff loans for housing construction at a concessionary interest rate of 8%. This benefit to SSB staff prior to 2008 was managed by clear guidelines and procedures as to how SSB could access such loans. However, after February 2008 with the installation of a new CEO the process of loan approvals for staff was done at the whim and fancy of the CEO. The securitized portion of the mortgage portfolio on the other hand consists of loans that were originally issued by BIMCO, Saint James National Building Society, Belize National Building Society and some Government mort-

gages. In 2004 when the UDP opposition called for a Senate Select Committee to review the SSB mortgage securitization transactions it was brought to light that the securitization investment could have benefited from proper due diligence on the process. The then CEO Mrs. Narda Garcia was seen as the liable individual for the transactions. She however, got public vindication of any wrong-doing when the matter was heard before a court of law. Now 8 years later, under a UDP government not only was due diligence not completed on this blanket write-off but the CEO placed there as a steward of the people’s

money saw it fitting to increase her benefit package by $50,000. While mortgage securitization as a common investment option done all over the world which can yield positive results, was fervently condemned by the UDP, it has now done much worst by giving away the lot. In a reckless attempt to hoodwink the Belizean people a write-off of loans with principal balances of $50k and less was done. No criteria, no assessment, no due diligence. So irresponsible was this decision by the Prime Minister that even the CEO seemed to take advantage of the opportunity, no doubt with his knowledge and concurrence.

Sunday, February 5, 2012 Belizeans need to understand the real effect of this decision, while it may seem good for today, especially for the people who are feeling the pinch of high prices; the majority with pay for it later. In this sweetheart deal, the SSB fund got no cash transfer or booked no gains for these mortgages. So it is a significant financial loss to an already burdened social security fund. With no real investment having been done over the past 4 years, the SSB investment income has been on the decline. It is long-term investments that ensure that future pension payments can be made. Now where will those monies come from? Belizeans need to wake-up and understand there is no free dinner. Comments welcomed at GwynethNah@gmail.com

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

THE BELIZE TIMES

Mass unemployment hurting Belizeans By Gilroy Usher, Sr. (PUP Standard Bearer for Port Loyola) its policy of fighting with and undermining the business community has destroyed the strong economy that was left by the People’s United Party. Evidence of this is the closure of scores of business in Belize City and across the country. Nobody wants to wait at the office of UDP Area Representatives like Boots Martinez in Port Loyola from 3 o’clock in the morning for $20.00 or $30.00 to buy food for their families or to pay a bill. Belizeans want the opportunity to be gainfully employed, to earn enough money to address the needs of their families themselves. That’s why from Corozal to Toledo and from Cayo to the cayes people are asking where are the 5,000 new jobs that this UDP government promised to create. In the United States President Obama might lose the election in No-

(A Gov’t house without sewerage connection) With jobs more people can build their own homes. The rate of unemployment in a country is the best indicator to know whether its people are better off after a certain time. Belize’s unemployment was 8% in 2008, and today is at 24%. Despite that fact, in addressing the nation on Tuesday January 31st, the Prime Minister made long references to free ham, free groceries, the massive naturalization recently completed, and numerous give-a-ways of his government as proof that the Belizean people are better off than when the UDP took office four years ago in 1980. The Prime Minister didn’t make any reference to the rate of unemployment in the country. He didn’t because under his administration the rate of unemployment has gone from 8% to over 24%. The UDP promised 5,000 new jobs in their 2008 manifesto, but today one out of every four Belizeans who need a job cannot find employment anywhere. Unemployment has skyrocketed under this incompetent UDP because

vember this year, if he cannot get the rate of unemployment below 8.5%. If Americans won’t tolerate a government with 8.5% unemployment, why should we in Belize tolerate a government that presides over almost 24% unemployment in the country? With 24% percent unemployment, life is almost three times harder than when its 8.5% We need to face reality in Belize. Government freebies only last for a short while. Government freebies are unsustainable in the long term. Government freebies only amount to one day bellyful and lead to severe suffering and hardship for the poor after they are finished. Belize’s unemployment at 24% is the main thing that is causing so much suffering and hardship in the country today. People need jobs to care for their families. That’s one of the many reasons why we need a change in Belize on March 7. People need jobs to educate their children.

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22

THE BELIZE TIMES

SOBER Reflections SOBER By: Mike Rudon Jr.

THANK YOU

February 1, 2012 On Tuesday, Dean Oliver did a good thing. He called general elections early so we’ll all get a chance to go to the polls on March 7th to vote for municipal and central administrations for another term. That’s a good thing, and for that we say THANK YOU. Of course, we know that the pompous bald fellow is doing it for all the wrong reasons, and sure as hell he is convinced that he’ll be able to pull off a sneaky victory but hey, who cares? The voters will take what they can get, however they get it. Don’t let the glib, confident manner fool you. Dean Oliver is so petrified he’s walking around with his butt cheeks perpetually clenched. All that talk about wanting to go back to the people to get a mandate for new propoor policies the UDP wants to implement is just so much rubbish. Dean O knows full well that he and his motley bunch have royally screwed up the country and the people. The minidictator is supremely conscious that the people want him gone. They want the UDP gone. Fortunately for him, the tale of Pinocchio is just a fable, or the fool of a Prime Minister would be sporting a whopper of a nasal appendage when he spouts off about how great he and the UDP are, and how much they have done for the people. It’s all just vanilla flavoured dung in huge, steaming piles. Late reports just in are that the Ministry of Finance has approved another $50,000 which will be given to all UDP candidates so they can give their supporters a last minute gift. When you look at $50,000 and consider 31 constituencies, that’s a heaping helping of goodies. And that’s only a little inkling of how desperate Dean Oliver is to win elections, a tiny inkling of how scared the mocha megalomaniac is that he won’t be able to convince the electorate to give the UDP a second term. Oh, by the way, that’s YOUR money the Prime Minister is taking to give away to UDP supporters. YOUR money…your taxpayer dollars at work! How messed up is that? Was watching the video of the nasty Ramon Witz a couple days ago!

That fellow and a bunch of his thugs went into a private yard where he savagely hacked away at a couple PUP flags erected in the yard. The owner of the home and his children could do nothing but watch in amazement while an apparently drunk Witz slashed and chopped. When the video of the event made it to the media, Witz claimed that he had been invited into the yard to chop down the flags. He said the owner of the house somehow could not remove the flags himself so called Witz personally to take them down. Now I know about the situation and I can tell you Witz is a liar…a brazen liar. His story is a complete fabrication. And I have no doubt that his boss Dean Oliver knows it is a fabrication, but he still stood there and said he has no problem with what Witz did. I know this is kind of an aside, but I’ve been pissed off since I saw the footage of Witz trespassing in that family’s yard. What he did that day is symbolic of what the UDP has done to Belizeans. That poor homeowner standing there helplessly with his kids while Witz went on a rampage is symbolic of the residents of Belize who have been forced to stand by helplessly while Barrow and the UDP reamed and shafted us. This is just one of the many reasons why the results of the elections on March 7 will surprise Dean O. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This will not be about the PUP versus the UDP. The results will not be a victory for any Party. What we will see is a war against the UDP waged by the people of Belize. For many months we have been forced to stand aside and watch. On one day, for one moment the axis of power will shift. At that time Dean Oliver and his UDP rogues will be nothing, less than nothing as they will be forced to stand helplessly by and await the will and mandate of all of us. It is an opportunity that we cannot, MUST NOT waste. No Party should be allowed to get away with raping the people mercilessly and with great pleasure. What has been done to us for the past 4 years is no more or less than rape! I’ve been in this game for a very long time. I don’t believe in fooling myself. It will not be an easy fight. The UDP have pulled out all the stops in a last ditch attempt to hold on to power. The PUP has been held back to a large extent by a lack of resources and internal challenges in the wake of 2008 elections. But in the end, the people will emerge victorious. I have faith. In the end, the propaganda will be worth little. The only thing that will matter is your response to one simple question. ARE YOU BETTER OFF TODAY UNDER THE UDP?

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Sunday, February 5, 2012

THE BELIZE TIMES

Reid up in and the Lord Ridge Cemetery. I could not reach home without staring straight into the graveyard. I was deathly afraid of ghosts and it presented the best curfew this young whippersnapper would need. The Spanish people had a custom of leaving candles burning on the graves of their departed and the fluttering light conjured mean phantoms in the opera of this young mind. I swear, I don’t know how I reached home many a nights o my readers: This one will with my hands covering both eyes. take a minute to get to the I missed many good movies point but I hope you will and double headers were definitely enjoy the read and bear out of the question. No way was I with me to the conclusion. walking along that route late at night Thanks, gmike unless there was plenty company. I was born and raised on the Road Lane, as we called it was heavSouthside of Belize City, not very far ily populated with all kinds of ghosts from where I now reside. It was early and ghouls and a few living characters fifties so you might imagine that I have like Masked Man, Jackie Vasquez and many memories of how things were Fresh Dead. The accounts of encounlong before polish was ever put to this ters were too numerous and too real jewel. In fact, while I have trouble re- sounding to just readily dismiss. membering things I did yesterday, I The Pound Yard was there, where have clear recollections they were still catching of some things from my dogs and impounding early youth. them. Behind it was I grew up a few the slaughter house houses from what is Each contrac- where the boys would now Central American the cows and hogs tor at the time kill Blvd. At that time, it was and smoke a whole little more than a mud had as many heap of weed. Much of picado trail leading into the weed smoking ocas twenty a swampy area that has curred in the outhouse workmen in now become the masjust in front, hanging sive development known their employ over the edge of Collet as Lake Independence; Canal. There were literat any given ally hundreds of these back then it was Prisoner Creek. Back then, habiouthouses around, intime. When tation was sparse but a few over the the UDP won cluding one family I remember river; my favorite was who was already there early elections the one by Pilgrim Sawwas Carlos Diaz and his mill where the Vernon in ‘93, they large family of brothers Street Fish Market now scrapped all sits. These were gath(all notorious for having extremely big feet). A projects and ering places where big running joke was about a grown conversations sent every dog once having puppies were held by the elin the shoe of one of the jack man and ders and many a young guy. lad went in green and There were no street woman home. came out well edulights on Cemetery You do the cated. Little boys were Road when I was growmath and you not allowed in the ing up, at least not past Slaughter House toilet, check if that’s ever! the Pound Yard Bridge. The last real light was There was the regnot the UDP an Esso sign at the gas ular mischief of throwway!” Station near the Pound ing rocks from the other Yard Bridge. That esside to wet someone’s tablishment seems to bottom which usually have been there forever. There was led to huge hollering and sometimes no running water, no central sewer, no a good whipping if one was ever identelevision and not even many radios. tified. The canals were loaded with There were three main movie the- catfish and it is only the bravest of Beatres, (Majestic, Palace and Eden) all lizeans that will even today, indulge in of course, well to the center of town. what is for others, a delicacy. We don’t They showed nightly flicks plus early eat cato, we know what cato eats. matinee on Sundays and I believe MaOne thing that I clearly remember, jestic showed on Thursdays. Majestic which amazes me, because I couldn’t also showed Spanish flicks on certain have been more than two or three nights. years old, were cows being brought in There might have been one or two by truck and unloaded near the cemehouses between the house I grew tery. They were then herded by foot to

T

be slaughtered and sold in the market. Every so often one would break loose and the Pamplona Run of the Bulls had hell to rival that excitement. Remember, there was no running water back then but there were standing pipes at different locations throughout the city. Citizens would line up early in the mornings to get their water, in particular during the dry season. Sometimes it poured okay but sometimes it was an agonizing drip that took hours to fill a bucket. I can still remember the words “want not, waste not” in raised letters on top of the pipe. Many people had vats, so when it rained things were not so hectic, but in the dry season, you had better be early, be big and strong or set your bucket in the line from the night before and get there early. There was one pipe at the corner of Lakeview, one in front of where the Jehovah’s Witness now have their temple and I believe one around the corner by Lovell’s near the bridge. I speak of those on Cemetery Road past the Pound Yard Bridge. There were many others dotted throughout the city but this was our hood. I left Belize for the first time in 1968, spent a couple of semesters at a junior high school outside of DC and returned to Belize in September of the following year. I returned quite the revolutionary, big afro and all, and an eager participant to the newly established black power movement in town. America had provided quite the culture shock, having been put in my place more often than I care to remember. I was put out of a barber shop, made to eat on the far side of the cafeteria with my own kind, got beat up by the white kids, etc., etc. My skin was light but I was not white. Racism is an ugly beast. I remained at home for a few years until in 1972 when I once again departed for the green pastures of America. This time, my self-imposed exile lasted a full two decades, roaming the mean streets of New York City and Central Los Angeles. In future articles I might attempt a chronicle of my experiences, not only of my time abroad but also of my association with the whole UBAD experience. Needless to say, those were very, very interesting eras and for the most part, memorable and educational. For now, let me try and get to a point that I have been trying to reach. I know, you were wondering when. I hear quite often, people speak of how much money Belize owes and how we have nothing to show for it. I forgot to mention that we had one lane rough roads to some districts and passageways that could hardly be described as roads to others. We had few bridges (only one in town), a number of ferries and rough crossings at many river points throughout the country. This was frontier country folks, in every aspect, and it was the country that George Price took on the challenge to develop. May GOD rest his soul! I hear of the Superbond and how much Belize owes and how much this one has stolen and that one has stolen. Remember, sugar was the only game in town back then and that was owned by the British who took out every penny. Tourism did not boom until 1998 and oil was not found until 2003.

23 Citrus and Banana and even Fisheries were all nascent and things like shrimp and papaya farming were unheard of. By Independence of 1981, much of this had already begun to change and by the time I returned to Belize in 1991, this was a totally different country. The UDP had already completed their first term in office by the time I returned and from the accounts of those who suffered the indignity, there had been made a mess of things. They had stagnated growth, (as they are so wont to do) sold BTL (yes they were the ones who first did it) and introduced the whole concept of profiteering and heartless dig out your eye commercialism. When I returned, the PUP was back in office and several housing projects, including Vista Del Mar, Faber’s Road and other communities were being constructed. Ray Fuller by then had been married to my sister and he was in charge of a couple of building societies. Yup, he is the same one who Dean Barrow was the other day dragging his name through the mud. One of his brain children, Belize National Building Society, gave homes to several thousand of Belizeans and jobs to many, many people. I was able to secure a job due to the relationship and that facilitated a more symmetrical replant to home soil. I was made warehouse keeper at the Vista Del Mar site where I was responsible for dispensing supplies and keeping stock. There were no less than forty contractors employed there at the time. Among them was the very Herman Longsworth who is now running for the UDP in Albert Division and Lyndon “Jug” Bailey who runs the Tubal Trade School up in Ladyville. Each contractor at the time had as many as twenty workmen in their employ at any given time. When the UDP won early elections in ‘93, they scrapped all projects and sent every jack man and woman home. You do the math and you check if that’s not the UDP way! The point I have been trying to make is that we have come a long way baby. We have achieved much with very little and much of it has had to come by way borrowing. Certainly there has been corruption and greed and graft and kick-backs and everything else that come with such a process. Would that we could have a world in which this does not exist! Under the PUP however, things happen. People work, people eat, people live in dignity and relative safety. Progress is made and yes, sometimes there is a price to pay. The biggest Price we paid now lies in the Lord Ridge Cemetery. With the PUP there is full term government, not just four years of gloating and blaming and then four months of superfluous and cosmetic fish-giving. In their two previous terms the UDP contributed significantly to the burden of our debt and yes it was all included in the super bond. The figures for these past four years will be staggering, when we consider payments for BTL and BEL and hold-it down payments to criminals and pre-election giveaway gimmicks. Be concerned people, be very concerned. I bring you facts and if you don’t know then you need to ask somebody!


24

THE BELIZE TIMES

Belizeans, Wake up!

By Gregory Ovado “It was a coalition of the true hearted that won. It was a patriotic unity effort of the worker and the businessman, the teacher and the public officer. It was a joint enterprise of the media and civil society and all persons of goodwill that did away with the kleptocrats and recovered now for our country the moral, political, and social high ground.” These are the words of the prime minister on the steps of the national assembly building. Note that credit was given to the media and civil society for their input in the victory of the United Democratic Party. In my humble opinion, we have not attained that moral, political and social high ground that our prime minister spoke so proudly of at the steps of the National Assembly building after the 2008 elections. In fact, it seems that a serious disease of silence has afflicted the civil society. Now more than ever, we need to sound the alarm that all is not well in our country. If ever there is a perfect time to march to the steps of the national assembly to demonstrate our discontent, now is the time! The hypothesis that I believe holds true is the fact that all across this country the citizens are petrified. Before 2008 we were living in a good country. The economy was better and the social partners were not afraid to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms. The media enjoyed freedom of speech and the citizens were not fearful of victimization, losing their scholarship, Job, land, house and even their pride and dignity. Today it’s a different story. Many are singing for their supper under this government and those who are not are trying to survive by keeping out of the way of the UDP. It is truly a sad day in Belize when our council of churches, NGOs, Unions, Concern Belizeans have become impotent in the face of national issues such as SSB loan write off, mass naturalization, unregulated cutting of rose wood in the Toledo District, corruption in purchasing of medical supplies for KHMH, tampering with the voters list questioning its integrity before a municipal and possibly general election and more. I stand corrected but I believe it was the late Hon. Philip Goldson who said that, “the best time to fight for your country is before you lose it.” Wake up Belize! Awake from your slumber and recapture the fighting spirit of our forefathers. Let us not

allow those who pledge to serve us to take us back to colonial times where they become masters and we remain as servants. Let us hold our priority list the right side up and recognize that we the citizens of this country are the masters and those who we elect to serve are servants of the people. Therefore, I call on all those who assisted in the fall of the PUP in 2008 to rise up once again and restore the people’s party, the PUP back to Belmopan. In these times of struggle it is very easy to forget what happened four years ago. Four years ago we were hypnotized by the sweet words of the honourable prime minister. To be honest I was a cautiously optimist and at times a little hopeful. These are the words of the Prime minister in his inaugural address to the nation shortly after winning the 2008 general election. “I therefore use the solemn occasion of the inaugural sitting of the new parliament to repeat the solemn commitment of the United Democratic Party to fulfill its manifesto pledges. We will lower GST. We will reduce the cost of living. We will bring down the price of fuel. We will distribute land to the poor. We will expand free education. We will create jobs. We will do this, while stamping out ministerial corruption and creating an administration properly policed by the Contractor General, the Auditor General, the Ombudsman, and the Upper House.” The above quotation has been proven to be bogus. Bogus! Bogus! This pledge was dead on arrival it was conceived on the steps of the national assembly and seems to have died there. Let me take you down memory lane. Shortly after taking over Belmopan there was mass victimization all across this country, thousands of Belizeans lost their jobs simply because they were perceived as supporters of the PUP. Unfortunately, many supporters of the UDP were also caught in that sinister drag net. This is the UDP way of creating Jobs. Do you remember the late Charlie Good and his wife? These were ordinary and poor citizens who simply wanted to retain their means of survival. This heartless government preferred to see the martyrdom of Charlie Good as he championed the cause of his wife and all those who became victims to wrath of the UDP. Are we paying a lesser GST? On the contrary all will agree that we continue to pay more taxes in this country like never before. This is our plight even as we face the rising cost of living and no hope what so ever for an increase in salary. The unions are negotiating for salary increases for years now and nothing has happened. Are we ever going to see a raise of salary under this government? I don’t think so! When the prime minister said, “we will bring down the cost of fuel.” I know now what he meant. The cost of fuel did come down to $5.00 a gallon for about a week and I stand corrected on this one. However, after that the rising cost continues to defy the laws of gravity. It went up and stayed up! Today poor people have lost all hope of driving a motor car and those who manage to

drive cannot full their tanks anymore. Since that glorious day of $5.00 a gallon gas prices have soared to $11.00 a gallon. Are we living in a good country? We are rich in wealth untold! I learnt this as a small boy, but as a grown man, I pondered many days why in a country of only three hundred and twelve thousand people it is so difficult to get a piece of land. Right now to access land the minister must sign your papers and recommend that you get land and if you’re not politically connected “dog nyam you supper because you no got nothing fi get.” Yes maybe some people have gotten land but it is the exception rather than the rule because if you are not prepared to sing the praises of the UDP “nothing fu you!” The stench of corruption is so high even those without a sense of smell are affected by pungent odour from a distance. Today the sanctimonious ones in Belmopan have

Sunday, February 5, 2012

done no wrong because in the words of the prime minister they will stamp out corruption and put place “an administration properly policed by the Contractor General, the Auditor General, the Ombudsman, and the Upper House.” Today we do not even have an Ombudsman. My brothers and sisters those who have eyes to see let them see and those who are blind can certainly feel. We are living in desperate times and desperate times require desperate measures. Let us be proactive and pre-emptive in our strikes against this government of oppression. In the February 7, 2008 general election 47,624 people voted for the PUP. We, the PUP have an obligation to serve these people and thousands more who are depending on the PUP to restore hope, pride and dignity in a free Belize. In the words of the party leader: We Must Win! We will Win!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

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Elections In The Kingdom Election time has been declared and now the air waves are being charged with media advertisement! The five year temporary season of reign for a party has been declared closed, and now there will be a new opportunity for the masses to decide whether they are satisfied with the performance of the government or will choose to give an opportunity to a new one! This is one of the few times where the door swings in an opposite direction and the people make the choices rather than the leaders. In this season rather than people sitting outside politicians’ homes and offices for hours to see them, waiting for months to get simple requests fulfilled, the pendulum swings. Now the aspiring politicians come to your house, your long lasting request becomes priority, and you are dealt with almost immediately. Suddenly streets that have banged up your car for years are within weeks repaired, write offs are granted, land is issued, and nationality is rewarded on an overwhelmingly massive scale. I have yet to understand the common sense or wisdom of a country who will grant citizenship ‘voting rights’ to citizens of another country who does not recognize their sovereignty, who plays football home games in that country, who calls their own precious borders adjacency zones or artificial, and allows the citizens of that country to come across the borders cutting down pristine reserve lands and precious leaves on a day by day basis! It’s apparent that the Government’s understanding of what is right and wrong only becomes active when they are not in power. But on entering into office their memory seems to immediately become as short as that of Belizeans who are, destructively too forgiving, forgetful, and passive when it comes to politics. Well it seems that this type of disposition is rapidly coming to a halt! A “Mark” difference between a kingdom and a religion is the need to call elections. This is a five year reminder to both the electorate and the elected that the ‘elected’ are only temporary leaders. Unlike a kingdom, the citizens in a democracy can demand transparency from the government and may even remove them from office. Not so in a kingdom simply because everything stops and begins with the king, everything is for the king, and everything exists only by the permission of the king Colossians 1:16! Because of this difference it brings me to a couple observations. We will only see change in our country as we elect those who are of a more pure heart and not of “pure words”. Meaningful change will only come when we the people and citizens of the nation demand it. We do not have to wait for five years, as so much damage can be done in this time, instead when we see something dire happening the time to act is now! This is a most important and urgent step toward the process of steering our ship away from the iceberg it is about to hit! Remember in a democracy, unlike a kingdom, the citizens agitate for change, for improvement and for transparency. In a kingdom on the other hand, we are left with much fewer choices. We cannot fight laws, or change them, we do not decide who becomes the next king, and worst of all we do not tell the king what to do. Instead every word He speaks instantly becomes law! In any kingdom disobedience to His instruction is a serious, in-fact fatal mistake! You know, I read the manual of God the same way a lawyer would read the constitution or report of previous cases before his appearance in court. Early this morning I read this scripture in Mark 10:14, 15 where the king says unless we are like little children we will not enter into His kingdom. In other words to satisfy the requirement of the kingdom we have to completely come out of the ‘democracy mentality’ and what the king says then becomes law! While I encourage protests and lawsuits as it relates to earthly politics, becoming like children to enter the kingdom is completely the opposite. A child does not protest, a child is forced to and obeys the instruction of the parent, he or she goes where mommy tells him to go, washes the dishes when instructed to do so and a child does not hold long grudges. Not long after you spank that child he is right back in your arms smiling with you! I would like to end by encouraging you in two things. Vote in this elections based on principles and on that which is better for the living conditions of the nation we are so blessed to be a part of! Secondly lay down your ‘voting rights’, and strong convictions when dealing with the kingdom. Make the laws of the kingdom your strong conviction and plum line while becoming like a little child, as only so will you enter the kingdom of God! Until next week. God bless and remember “vote wisely”!

Financial Reminders The first month of the year is the time when New Year’s resolutions are put into action and new projects begin—perhaps you revisited the feng shui of your bedroom or started a new gym membership. As we proceed into February, now is a good time to take a look at your financial plan and ensure you’re still on track. The first months of the year are the easiest time to make corrections if you’re not on course to reach your goals. Here are a few financial reminders for the coming months. • Plan for taxes. Although there are several months left to file your 2011 tax returns, now may be the best time to begin filing. This is a good time to look at Property Taxes, etc. If you haven’t already begun, a good first step is to pull together and organize all of the information you will need for filing. • Fix expenses: This is surely a good time to make down the fixed

payments that you have to make. Things like car insurance, renewal of drivers licenses, vehicle licenses and any annual membership fees you have with a club or association that you are a part of. • Take on your debt. This year, 94 percent of young adults have said that saving is a priority for 2012, ahead of losing weight and other typical New Year’s resolutions*. One of the best ways to increase your ability to save, is to cut down your debt. There are several strategies for doing so, including making additional payments, focusing on your highest interest debts first and debt consolidation. Remember, you CAN pay down your debt AND save at the same time. Join the BELIZE TIMES and share how you are saving this year, you can contact us at (editortimes@yahoo. com). We will share your savings tips with the rest of Belize.


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THE BELIZE TIMES

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Make-Up

tips 1

Write to us at: editortimes@yahoo.com

How much more

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By Tania Tanesha With everything in our lives, comes responsibility, especially when it comes to our investment. And let’s face it: makeup is an investment. And if you’re like me and have also invested in makeup brushes, then you would want great returns on that investment. I love my brushes; quality bristles with strong handles. These brushes come in all sizes, shapes, colors; and many are made from natural or synthetic materials. Every single brush has a specific purpose, whether for your eyes, face or lips. If you use your makeup brush or brushes every day, then you need to be able to wash them. Get the most out of your brushes by learning proper brush care. Each time you use your makeup brush you’re picking up more than just the makeup product. Over time, your makeup brushes end up with buildup from: Dead skin cells Old makeup Dirt and Oil Dust from the air (Ew!) All that gunk ends up on your face when you don’t wash your brushes, and this can cause unwanted breakouts and rashes. So for those who are acne prone, washing your brushes at least once a week will aid in pimpleprevention. Also, clean brushes help to apply the makeup properly and evenly. So how do you clean those brushes? By following just four easy steps: 1. Wet your brushes under running water making sure they are pointing downward. 2. Using anti-bacterial soap (such as Dawn or Axion), pour a dime-size amount in your hand and swirl the brush in it until it becomes rich in lather. (Sometimes I mix a little bit of Olive Oil in my soap to condition my brushes as well). 3. Rinse your brushes in the same downward position. Make sure NOT to Turn your brushes upright as this will make water run into the ferrule (ferrule is the metal part of the brush handle that holds the bristles, if this is wet, overtime the bristles will loosen) 4. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the bristles. Using a clean towel, wipe the brushes from handle to bristle and set the brushes flat on a surface to air dry. DO NOT blow dry. Following those 4 easy steps once a week is important when it comes to brush care. You don’t want that entire gunk that’s left behind to build up and transfer to your face, eyes, and lips. When it comes to makeup sponges, I usually toss them away after every use and purchase new ones at almost any beauty store. Sponges can be washed as well by soaking them in warm water with a little bleach and mild soap. If you use your hands to apply makeup, sanitize them first! Take the time to do an entire cosmetic cleanup by wiping the edges off the lipgloss or lipstick tube with antibacterial wipes. Toss your cosmetic bag into the wash, or wipe them down with wipes. Remember, these are cosmetics that you use on your face; it’s a must to clean them. Love your makeup and your makeup is sure to love you back. Always remember ladies, to put your best face forward. Tania’s contact: 604-0736 and email mua.tania@ gmail.com

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By Erwin X How much more Black on Black murders How much more As seen on TV Wanna be gangsters How much more madness How much more sadness How much more Mamas’ without gladness How much more Black youths must be laid to rest How much more chops How much more glocks How much more shots How much more Black youths must drop How much more Grieving mothers How much more Weeping sisters How much more Fallen brothers How much more Dead Niggers How much more coffins How much more wreaths How much more funerals How much more Blood stained sheets How much more Black youths Must drop in these streets. How much more sorrow How much more pain How much more black man Will not be alive tomorrow How much more black youths Must drop in this drive my game Before Black youths realize sensitize actualize and open your eyes to put aside your foolish pride to put down the gun and to put down the crime and join hands in harmony to bring back peace and unity in the black community This is your REVENGE!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

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Did you know that every year February 2nd is celebrated as World Wetlands Day? Why celebrate wetlands? Well, wetlands are amazing places. They are the link between land and water and are some of the world’s most valuable ecosystems. Ecosystems are areas that have plants, animals, soil, air and water all working together. Some names for different types of wetlands are swamp, marsh and Can you find and circle bog. To be called a wetland, an area must be filled or soaked with water at least part of the year. Some wetlands are dry at certain times of the year! Wetlands have many important roles that benefit people and wildlife: • They provide homes for a large number of and many different wildlife and plants. Some animals live their whole lives in wetlands and others depend on wetlands during important times in their life cycle to act as a place to give birth or die. • Filter, clean and store water - in other words, acting like kidneys for other ecosystems! • Collect and hold flood waters. • Absorb wind and tidal (water) forces. • Help to keep our air clean by helping to filter harmful greenhouse gases. In Belize we often forget how important wetlands are to us. If you want to learn more about wetlands give the Belize Audubon Society a call (223-4987). Maybe you can plan a trip to the wetland of Crooked Tree. The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary was set up in 1984 and is Belize’s first wildlife sanctuary!

COLOUR ME! Get out your crayons, markers or paint set!

Birds Of A Feather

Birds Of A Feather

the birds below that spend time in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanc Can you find and circle the birds below that spend time in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary? S S M R E G P W T V L A W N A Q H J H W

N Z M E C X H B A Q R V O F M P P S X R

O A Y H F W T M I H M Q O D O A V U Y H

W G G S E P K I R L D S D B D M Y G R V

Y F N I V G G U U D X L T E R X M X V A

E L Q F B T H B B B Q B H I X G T F N I

G A O G F L V H W H S V R U N R M E K G

R D H N W Z U N F Z L S U E Y T Z N M O

E C D I Q J Z E B D G A S P I Q T A Z J

T P G K N S J Q W Q D A H Y U B F F P Y

H L T D A W A K Z I X A L P S Y Q M W S

R Q U E X B V T F D N E K D E M E Z P T

X T Q G K Z S A F X W G B X N Z N Q V K

U I R N W M D R Y I B W E S A H F Q X B

T R U I H G U Y Q L H B I D U L V I R R

BLUE-WINGED TEAL JABIRU RINGED KINGFISHER ROSEATE SPOONBILL SNOWY EGRET WOOD THRUSH

P I I R J F N L L B P P S K T I Z E E W

E X Y B L A U E D K I Z G Y Y E E B B F

N C P Z A B P T Q Z D G T K K P A P K R

B Z X X Q J P R O B Z X S X S H D L T F

L L I B N O O P S E T A E S O R K C I K


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UDP

desperation escalates! Continued from page 17

defaced, it does nothing to the PUP���s steadfastness and commitment to working for victory in Belize City. Similarly, a PUP billboard erected on Coney Drive was also targeted by UDP thugs. This time is was an act of arson as they lit the sign on fire, in an attempt to destroy it. The UDP did not achieve their evil objective however, and the sign continues to display the message that 2012 is the year of change and the PUP will deliver for Belize. While those acts of serious UDP vandalism were done in the middle of the night, another incident callously occurred in the plain light of day. In this one, UDP Area Representative for Cayo South Ramon Witz was caught on video slashing down a PUP sign erected on a private land in Cotton Tree Village. Witz did not have the landowner’s permission to conduct such act, but he did nonetheless with a menacing machete in hand. The video has aired on national news and has caused great embarrassment for Witz. To no one’s surprise, PM Barrow has condoned the behaviour. Desperation in the UDP is at an all time high. They know they are seeing the end of their days in office, and they will do anything to grab power. Belizeans ought not to be intimidated by any of these tactics. As long as your vote remains sacred, and even that is under threat from the UDP, you can speak through the elections. Do not stay home. Get these rabid, vindictive, facey, callous and disrespectful UDPs out of office, and let’s restore dignity to our beloved nation.

THE BELIZE TIMES

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Sunday, February 5, 2012

THE BELIZE TIMES

MORE SHENANIGANS AT ELECTIONS & BOUNDARIES OFFICE Voter struck off from list without verification Independence Village, Stann Creek District, January 31, 2012 More and more shenanigans are surfacing from within the Elections and Boundaries Department, casting serious doubt about the integrity of the upcoming election process. In the Stann Creek West Constituency, a voter found out he had been removed from the list. When he contacted the Elections and Boundaries Office to find out why, he was told they had received information that he had died. Unbelievable, right! How can the Elections Depart-

ment simply strike someone off a voter based on information. Isn’t there a verification process, where questioned are asked before actions are taken? This matter has not been resolved as yet. An investigation has now started at the Elections and Boundaries office in Stann Creek West. Voters across the country are advised to double check the voters’ list at their local PUP offices to ensure that their names remain and they don’t fall victim to UDP hanky panky. The UDP are hell bent on stealing the elections.

GOB casts doubt over Treaty Energy’s oil discovery Continued from page 4

never actually endorsed any ‘find’, that the two releases in and of themselves were, and we quote, “unauthorized”. Treaty Energy seems to be generally ignoring the condemnation, even if it is coming from the very same officials they say they will soon request permission to enter stage two of their plan which is to drill in two areas. Whether the permission will be granted, after being accused and publicly flogged for flagrant acts, is yet to be seen and will be interesting. Treaty seems to have indirectly responded to the concerns when today they released further “confirmation”, explaining the process and the results: “The Princess/Treaty reservoir area was determined in size by Satellite image and Chem-Tool. Pay-zone depth was determined from actual drilling and mud logging. Porosity and saturation were gauged visually and outside consultants using statistical modeling, with low-side parameters predicted a reservoir size of 6M barrels. This figure could grow depending on the trend-

ing of the reservoir,” stated Stephen L. York, President and COO of Treaty Energy Corporation. All technical specifications on this matter aside, this story is serious business. Just how much does Government know about Treaty Energy’s activities down South, and is Treaty Energy even a legitimate face when it comes down to ‘knowing its role’ as an expert in oil drilling and harvesting? The latter question is valid, in the face of the Government’s public bashing. Of really great interest in all of this, in particular in light of Prime Minister Barrow’s condemnation, is that Treat Energy is represented in Belize by the Prime Minister’s law firm, Barrow & Williams. It was the Barrow‘s law firm which did the legal work for the company, with the papers filed by Barrow’s law partner, Rodwell Williams, SC. We at the BELIZE TIMES have sought comment or reaction from the company’s PR manager, Osprey Partners, and we’re awaiting some kind of response. Rest assured, this story will continue to be diligently followed.

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Food Price Volatility and Government Interventions Contributed by: Orlando Habet, San Ignacio There are many Concerns over volatility in the food and agriculture. This stems from fears over price rises and behind this, fears over food security. The price rises of concern are those of inputs for the producer (seed material, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, labor, fuel etc. and the retail prices for the consumer. There are some producers who can benefit from rises in prices, however, consumers, especially poor consumers, are severely and adversely affected. Most agricultural commodity markets are characterized by a high degree of volatility. Volatility here described as the variation from the average value over a measurement period. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations describes it as “an indication of how much and how quickly a value changes over time”. It therefore indicates both change and uncertainty. In December of 2010 a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization at the UN called for global leaders to take action to ease the fluctuations in prices and calm the fears over food security around the world. The report presented to the G20 summit of ministers laid down a series of measures to calm the markets. These were focused on National Policies that would ameliorate the impacts and reduce likelihood of occurrences with similar or greater impacts. The FAO said that when looked at in the long term there is little or no evidence that volatility in international agricultural commodity prices is increasing. However, volatility has been higher during the last decade than during the previous two decades. According to the FAO report, since 1990, the implied volatility for major crops has increased significantly and the period since 2006 has been one of extraordinary volatility. Prices rose sharply in 2006 and 2007, peaking in the second half of 2007 for some products and in the first half of 2008 for others. For some products the run-up between the average of 2005 and the peak was several hundred percent. On the rice market the price explosion was particularly pronounced. Prices then fell sharply in the second half of 2008, although in virtually all cases they remained at or above the levels in the period just before the run-up of prices began. Market tensions emerged again during 2010 and there have been sharp rises in some food prices. By early 2011, the FAO’s food price index was again at the level reached at the peak of the crisis in 2008 and fears emerged that a repeat of the 2008 crisis was underway. The degree of processing of final consumption goods also affects price transmission. Lack of domestic infrastructure and generally undeveloped or inefficient market structures can have a significant effect on prices as they also reflect higher transportation and transaction costs. Develop-

ing country markets like Belize often lack the capacity to absorb domestic shocks, and can be subject to high domestic price volatility. We have a poorly developed manufacturing infrastructure. Agriculture Economists claim that there are three major reasons why agricultural commodity markets have high volatility. Firstly, agricultural output varies from period to period because of natural occurrences such as weather and pests. Secondly because production takes considerable time in agriculture, supply cannot respond much to price changes in the short term, though it can do so much more once the production cycle is completed. Third, there is little flexibility in supply and demand as regards price to cope with sudden shocks in the

market. Prices have to vary quite strongly, especially if stocks are low, to regain equilibrium. Growing population and income in emerging and developing countries will add significantly to the demand for food in the coming decades. The UN estimates that by 2050 the world’s population is expected to have reached about 9 billion people and the demand for food to have increased by between 70 per cent and 100 per cent. The demand for food and feed crops for the production of biofuels is another significant factor. During the 2007-2009 period biofuels accounted for a significant share of global use of several crops - 20 per cent for sugar cane, nine per cent for vegetable oil and coarse grains and four per cent for sugar beet. Projections encompass a broad range of possible ef-

Sunday, February 5, 2012 fects but all suggest that biofuel production will exert considerable upward pressure on prices in the future. Agricultural commodity prices are now becoming increasingly correlated with oil prices. Countries like Russia and China are producing much of their own grains and meats and will become less dependent on imports from countries like the US and Brazil. The effect can be an upward trend in commodity prices within the exporting countries. Stronger demand for food crops and animal products in conjunction with slow growth in agricultural productivity and low stocks results in upward pressure on prices. The same underlying factors that are leading to increased demand for food - growth in population, affluence leading to increased demand for animal protein, urbanization, and biofuels - are also increasing pressure on finite resources such as land and water. A depressed US dollar has also had an effect on the market as most commodities are traded in dollars.

Continued on Next Week


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Castro’s GOB-funded

vehicle ends up in a ditch Belize City, February 1, 2012 Disgraced UDP politician Edmond Castro may have been kicked out of Cabinet on allegations that he scammed an American woman of money in exchange for land, but he’s been getting the royal treatment like nothing ever happened. Despite the serious allegation, Castro continues to collect special perks. He was granted a new vehicle which he and his cronies have been parading up and down the country as if it was their own. Castro has also been allowed to run for the UDP, as if he embodies and reflects the values of the UDP. But it is Castro’s abuse of taxpayer’s money that caught our eye this week. The new vehicle purchased for him, with taxpayer’s funds, was seen this week jammed in a ditch in Belmopan. Castro was nowhere to be seen, so it’s unclear whether he was inside the vehicle when it careened out of control, but his documents were seen scattered everywhere. The only person seen in the area was his driver Bruce Jones. The vehicle, a white Isuzu D-Max, could hardly be identified as belonging to the Government because it has no license plate. It had an Atlantic Insurance sticker attached to it, but that seemed to have expired since September 2011.

Humor in UDP Politics! Double election

Inside, fuel orders were found for a vehicle bearing license plate number BZB-1810, and assigned to the Ministry of Finance, but one couldn’t tell if it was for Castro’s vehicle. While Castro doesn’t seem to have a problem with the wanton abuse of public property, tax payers certainly do. It is our money that is being abused with no restraint or respect at all. More incredulous is that the Government or an elected official could allow the use of a vehicle that is not fit for the road. Traffic regulations prohibit the use of vehicles that don’t display license plates. Moreover, driving with an invalid insurance is even more serious.

JPs look to better relations with new Government Belize City, January 31, 2011 The Association of Justices of the Peace & Commissioners of the Supreme Court held its 11th Annual General Meeting on Sunday, 29th January, 2012, at B.I.M. Justices of the Peace from all over the country arrived and the meeting started at 9:30 a.m. The guest speaker for the occasion was Ms. Margaret McKenzie, Attorney-at-Law and Sr. J.P. The guest speaker gave all J.P. valuable information about the justice system and a history of the Justice of the Peace. She also offered her services to the association in the training of J.P.’s and also joined the association as a member. The national president Hon. Adrian (Danny) Madrid, then gave his report. He reported that the association continues to have its monthly meetings and for the year 2011 three quarterly meetings were held. The first one was held in Belize City on the 1st May, the second was held in Belmopan on the 23rd July and the 3rd quarterly meeting was held on the 13th November in Patchakan in the Corozal district. As all members of the association who attend meetings and have email addresses are aware of the situation between the association and the ministry of the Attorney General since 2006 after the Belize City Council elections and in 2008 after the general elections, that there has been no relationship with this administration. To date the Attorney General refuses to sign the J.P. Act 2005 into law preventing the association from doing its work more efficiently. Nevertheless the association continues to operate and continues through its members to serve the people of this country. The leader of the opposition called Hon. Adrian (Danny) Madrid, president and informed that the next P.U.P. Government will officially recognize the association and that the Justice of the Peace Act 2005 will be signed into law by the next Attorney

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General. That new Justice of the Pace will continue to be appointed by area representatives but as stated in the Act will work closely with the association and in turn the association will do all necessary vetting and especially training as this is very important for new Justices of the Peace. No training is being done new J.P.’s continue to make mistakes. A new P.U.P. administration will commit itself to give the association an office and a place in the Ministry of the Attorney General and that a stipend will be given to the association to properly conduct training for all Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of the Supreme Court.

When Barrow announced that he would call a double election for March 7, one member of cabinet fainted, one sent a text message to Lois’ Smart phone to see if she could stop it, but the best telltale sign of UDP fear and desperation was that after Cabinet the cleaning lady confided that no less than seven members had wet their pants. ………………………. Barrow has received his mail from the “Retirement Home for Failed Leaders” in Miami, which he signed up for in November 2011. When Barrow read the deadline for applications, it said March 7 and he thought to himself “perfect timing”. ……………………… In a desperate move, the Flippin member from down South asked if they could imagine the site where the Kendal Bridge will go, which caused a member of Cabinet to say “you must be Flippin crazy”. ………………………. In other related news Perdomo has asked to act as Prime Minister one more time so that he makes Santino call him “Prime Minister”. If not, he will continue to call Santino “Suavecito”. ………………………. In Freetown, young men have taken Lee Mark’s name to an all-time low. On seeing him, the boys on the base shout out “give we something Lee Mark…if you dare give less than a fifty, you dah wah Lee Lee Mark”. ………………………. When asked why Barrow would call for an early election, Sedi was quick to respond “he’s artificial…he just doesn’t want to read the Budget”. ………………………. In other related news, as a last minute gesture Cabinet approved a brand new SUV for SSB’s Martinez who now suffers from numbness of the toes, a condition related to insider trading. To overcome the numbness of the toes, the vehicle is outfitted with a toe massage along with a special AC unit just for her toes.


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Sunday, February 5, 2012


Belize Times February 5, 2012