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sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Belize Times The Truth Shall Make You Free


Issue No. 4670


Who Will Pay the $45 Million? Legal Experts Say Taxpayers Will

PM Dean Barrow

Michael Coye British Caribbean Bank

As we go to press tonight, there is more than $45million in unexpected debt hanging over the heads of Belizean taxpayers, and nobody seems to know who will pay what in the end. It’s a complicated story which hit the media cycle last week Wednesday through an article in the Reporter. That article claimed that BTL owed $45million to the British Caribbean Bank Limited, formerly the Belize Bank (Turks and Caicos) Limited. The loan had been taken out by Telemedia in July of 2007, but fell into arrears after GOB arbitrarily took over Telemedia in August of 2009. So, the article in the Reporter claimed, the Bank was now calling in its loan.

In a very abrupt response to the article in the Reporter, an official GOB release disputed that BTL owed the money, stating that GOB had ‘acquired the loan’ and the matter was totally between GOB and the Bank. So then the outcry started, with taxpayers saying – so what, will we now have to pay $45Million? So GOB backtracked. To make a long story short, the Prime Minister of this nation is saying that in acquiring the mortgage debenture, they “inhabit the space of the creditor. The mortgage debenture is thus in government’s favour and the loan to Telemedia that it secures is a loan that is now (Continued on page 39)

UDP/GOB can’t unload Telemedia in competitive market – SMART MUST GO!

Not so long ago, the United Democratic Party, then in Opposition was agitating for competition in Belize’s telecommunications market, but now that the UDP government has taken over Belize Telemedia, the shoe is on the other foot. Their ill-planned and imprudent nationalization of Telemedia has left them holding the cat in the bag, and they have found that they can’t unload Telemedia on an unwary buyer because Smart’s aggressive gains in market share, 45,000 new subscribers over the past 14 months, make Telemedia unsellable. The actions of the new management at Telemedia over the past week have clearly indicated that they no longer want fair competition, where the customer benefits from improved services. Instead it would appear the

Telemedia management wants a return to the monopoly of the past and has decided that Smart must go. To this end they first offered Smart customers all sorts of sweetheart deal, upgrades in their phones, unlimited FREE SMS for several months for those making the switch, but they underestimated the loyalty of Smart customers to the quality of service they have grown accustomed to with Smart Speednet. The result is that Smart customers did not make the switch in droves as the Telemedia executives had hoped, despite the inflated number that have been reported in other sections of the media. Driven to desperation, the Telemedia management decided to breach their signed interconnectivity agreement with Smart and (Continued on page 39)

Net Vasquez BTL

Ernesto Torres Smart

Millions for Lice While 100 Workers Sent Home

Lois Young

Home of BML Worker & Mother of 6

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

It took Zenaida Moya three years to ‘bruk’ the Belize City Council but it took Dean Barrow only one year to wreck the economy and ‘bruk’ the Government. The government has racked up a deficit of $90 million in the first year of Barrow’s administration. Belizeans are now facing the hardest times in modern Belizean history. Prime Minister Barrow, referred to as the man with no plan, does not have a clue what to do. His best advice to Belizeans three weeks ago was to ‘batten down,’ an old phrase meaning to curl up and take the lashing from an incompetent government which has run out of solutions.

Not that it matters to Mr. Barrow. He readily pays out millions to his ex-wife Lois Young Barrow but states publicly that he will not provide a single dollar to help save the jobs of over 100 sanitation workers who have been told to go home because the UDP City Council is so broke that there is no money to pay them. But broke as the City Council has become, it still finds money to pay Moya her extravagant salary, allowances and perks and high salaries for the ten city councilors even though they all have full time jobs elsewhere. The Prime Minister, embroiled in new litigation over Telemedia and lacking all semblance of a (Continued on page 39)

It's Time For The PUP!


The Belize Times

THE DESTABILIZATION OF BELIZE When the UDP won the elections in March 2008, the Prime Minister told the nation that his Party’s victory was more than just a UDP victory; he said it was “the people’s victory.” In the days following the elections a lot was said and many promises were made, none more bold than the promise of bringing down the cost of living for Belizeans “no matter what.” It was also in those early days of this UDP Administration that Barrow declared that the “long nightmare was over.” Well today Belizeans are fast waking up to what has become more than a nightmare, for judging by the current mood of the people, the present situation in Belize has become more of a horrific story. The commonly used street expression is that things “dread”. In the streets the level of violence has reached to a stage where people are not only afraid to go out into the streets, but even afraid in their homes. In the classrooms, teachers are uncertain about the future of Belizean education, many wondering if there is a vision for education in Belize. In hospitals across the country babies are dying and no one is made to give account of how or why these most innocent Belizean are losing their lives. The nation’s transportation system is in a state of chaos and in the business community, the recession, toppled with an administration clearly ill-equipped to handle the situation has virtually stopped economic growth in its tracks. Once again a UDP administration has managed to halt the economic train. Already businesses are closing down and projections for next year are for more pain and sorrow. It is a known fact that in economic hard times it is the poor who are most affected and most at risk. No more obvious is this than in the case of the sanitation workers, who once again had to be sent home because of a reckless UDP City Council, who only two weeks after signing an agreement, once again broke its promise after the BML workers honoured their part of the deal. While the Mayor and her counsellors continue to collect their salaries, travel to faraway places, and pose for pictures, those who work the hardest cannot receive the salaries they justly earned. And while all this is playing out, the Prime Minster announces on radio that he has no intention of stepping in and assisting his City Council, in effect leaving more than 100 Belizeans with nothing to smile about. What is it with this Barrow administration and poor Belizeans? First they fire school wardens, people who were earning less than $200 weekly, then they went after the people who operate the ferries in some of our rural communities, they have gotten rid of clerks, office assistants, drivers and many of those Belizeans who earn minimum wage. As if all this was not causing enough instability in the nation, the latest fight is now with the telephone companies, a battle that the Prime Minster continues to fight in a manner that is most certainly destabilizing the Belizean economy and ruining the nation’s international reputation. Any company that provides service to 90,000 Belizeans must be seen as essential part of the economy. At close to a third of the nation’s population, Smart customers have to be outraged by the actions of BTL to cut their access to international services. Imagine a small business person who relies on cell phones to communicate with suppliers abroad and how this must currently be affecting their business. The actions taken by BTL, whatever the motivation, can in no way be in the best interest of Belize. Complicating the issue even further is the reaction from the Prime Minster, who publicly condoned the actions of BTL, actions that are obviously inconveniencing Belizeans who should always have a right to choose which telephone company they will purchase service from. Indeed no caring government would support any actions which could cause suffering or unnecessary inconvenience to large numbers of its citizens. When the UDP were elected to office, Belizeans expected a UDP administration that would do all possible to encourage competition rather than attempt to kill it. They were promised a government that would look after the needs of the people, respect the rule of law and reform for the good of the nation. Instead the Belizean people are now feeling the brunt of what has become not so much a nightmare as a road to perdition. It is now time for Barrow and the UDP to bring an end to this madness and start to govern this nation before we end up in the ranks of a failed state.

sunday, November 29, 2009

Out Spoken

God help my precious Belize!

Dear Editor: So much for the lies that the expropriation of BTL would result in lower rates because it is now very clear that the government is trying to destroy Smart so they can either RAISE or MAINTAIN BTL's high rates.. So now that it is clear that the goal is to exterminate SMART the company with the lowest rates, why would a resulting monopolistic BTL later go on to lower rates? And to pull the plug so suddenly on an existing agreement with another telecommunications company without giving consideration to the 90,000 businesses and customers of SMART who will be affected? What kind of nonsense is that? That is the very reason doing business in Belize is so difficult. Through no fault of your own, your business goes to hell -- first the frequent and unannounced blackouts when you are trying to sell air-conditioned rooms at top dollar; then the uncontrolled power surges that blow out your expensive equipment which you have to try to fix over holidays when no one is available to work, then we have the government fighting with everybody, including the telecommunications industry whereby they cut off the phone system so you can't get your bookings ... that nonsense is just plain dumb. While the Min. of Foreign Affairs is in Houston begging people to invest in Belize, the government back home is on a single-focus mission to destroy existing private enterprise in the name of...(insert your favorite excuse here). God help my precious Belize! We are being governed by the brain dead. Sincerely, Wendy Auxillou

PM Applauds BTL Victimization of 90,000 Customers


Mike Rudon


Lucilo E. Alcoser



Fay Castillo-Mckay

Rachel Arana


Doreth Bevans

The Belize Times Ltd. #3 Queen Street P.O. BOX 506 Belize City, Belize Tel: 224-5757


Oscar Obando

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times

If Da Noh Soh…

Government Bruk…

Word reaching this intrepid columnist is that senior political personnel in government departments are holding

meetings with public officers this week to inform them about major cutbacks in material and supplies. Public Officers are being told that GOB isn’t looking at retrenchment JUST YET…but they will revisit the issue in a couple months and if they judge that the cutbacks haven’t done the job, then hmmmm! You do the math. Jeez, in this case it gives us no satisfaction to say ‘we told you so!’ Remember it is this UDP government which invented retrenchment. Anyway, you know we don’t lie. That’s not all… GOB is going to cut allowances for Police and the BDF, including uniform and risk allowance. You know what their explanation is? Cause these departments aren’t ‘revenue generating departments.’ You know what really pisses me off ? Nobody minds tightening the belt buckle when times are tough, but why the hell should we be tightening the belt buckle when the Minister of Health can get a $160,000 ride and the PM’s wife and daughter can be paid millions from public coffers…that just ain’t right…If Da Noh Soh!

one turn out? Well let’s just say that the First Lady’s influence hasn’t seemed to win out over the Second Lady’s strings so far…If Da Noh Soh!

table money’ but come on, our people in other constituencies need work too.

Who seh BTL bruk…

And not only that, we understand that the men sent to work didn’t want to stay in an uncomfortable dorm, so they had to be put up in a hotel, at our expense of course. And very conveniently, the wife of Eden Martinez provides food for the 35 men...did we mention at our expense…If Da Noh Soh!

16 days of activism… The Women’s Department is currently holding its 16 days of activism to help stop domestic violence. We think that’s an admirable thing. The Department also offered a free legal clinic at the Chateau Caribbean where those in need could get advice from an attorney free of cost. I’ve gotta say kudos to attorneys like Melissa Balderamos, Anthony Sylvester Jr., Kevin Arthurs, Lisa Shoman and Dolores BalderamosGarcia. Seems to me like only PUP attorneys took the time to offer their services. It is my hope that many women took advantage of the service offered. You know whose names I didn’t see there offering their services – Lois Young and Deanne Barrow! Oh wait, sorry, I forgot.

corner, decked out in the signature apparel of Lady Lois, we have the HOD of Marketing and Business at BTL Dionne Miranda. And the bell rings and the heavyweights engage…How we understand it is – Bevans was given her BTL plum when First Lady Second Wife Kim whispered in the ear of hubby Dean. Miranda was given her BTL plum when First Wife Second Lady Lois whispered in the other ear of ex-hubby Dean. But despite all that whispering and slobbering in Dean’s ears, or maybe because of it, there’s some real bad blood between the two. Apparently, Miranda can’t forget that when she was on her sickbed, Bevans took her termination letter to her, so it’s a case of never the twain shall meet. But Bevans is the boss, right, so there shouldn’t be a problem? Not so fast. Remember who put Miranda where she is. As this greedy-eared columnist understands, Miranda reports directly to her buddy’s son Anwar, and not to Bevans. Hmmm, so how will this

Lois Young’s firm doesn’t do pro-bono services…If Da Noh Soh!

Walking in their shoes…

FINALLY. At that meeting he didn’t reveal who would be the unlucky ones getting the boot, but after discussions over the weekend the word got out. We don’t really want to come right out and say who are the dodo-birds being axed, so we’ll give you a clue…(psssst, look at the pictures above!)…If Da Noh Soh!

Wasn’t the idea of men walking in women’s shoes a great one…I sure have more sympathy and compassion for women after I tried squeezing my size 10 into a narrow pair of high heeled pumps. Jeez, that wasn’t a nice experience. But fun and joke aside, domestic violence against our women is no laughing matter, and any man who hurts a woman is a punk, no matter what his standing or office. I noticed that in this whole 16 days of activism against domestic violence thing, there were a couple pairs of shoes missing. And hey, now that we’re on the subject, or near to the subject, Dean Barrow and Lois get along so well, don’t they? Seems like they have an awesome relationship with all the perks! I wonder why they got divorced in the first place…If Da Noh Soh!

From Martinez to Martinez…

BTL Royal Rumble…

Word just came in that Minister of Works Boots Martinez has sent 35 Belize City men to do works in the constituency of another Martinez, Minister Eden Martinez. What’s the matter, couldn’t Eden find 35 people who needed work in that constituency. Hell, we all know that’s the way Boots makes his ‘pool

Who needs to tune into WWE or HBO Boxing when we’ve got our own little battle of the heavyweights brewing at the new Barrow Telemedia Ltd. (BTL). In one corner, wearing a spiffy new ensemble by First Lady Fashions, we have the Chief Operations Officer of BTL Karen Bevans. In the other

Seems like everybody is going through hard times except the Barrows and FoBs (Friends of Barrow for the uninitiated). Remember we told you that as soon as Net was made Director he was given a spanking new SUV and driver? Well he’s not the only one. Favourite son Anwar apparently also got himself a driver – could be he’s so busy counting his cash that he can’t pay attention to the road. And it gets worse – a friend from inside Barrow Telemedia Ltd. tells us that in addition to being paid as a Director of the company, Anwar is also being paid as

an advisor. When will it end? There’s a lot more juice coming out of the big red BTL. We’ll see you next week, same time same page…If Da Noh Soh!

Hypocrite of the Week

Cabinet Reshuffle… We’ve been saying it a long time and the word is finally out. At last week’s Cabinet Meeting the PM announced that there would be a reshuffle. Jeez,


The Hypocrite of this week, hands down, is little mini-Barrow/ Mugabe Minister of Education Patrick Faber. He is not only a hypocrite of course – he is a man of many monikers and not one complimentary. For the purposes of this article, though, we will look briefly at the hypocritical side of this man/boy, the cocky youth who believes his ministerial portfolio included maturity, but we are sad to say that it didn’t. Poor disillusioned Patrick. Oh, to remember those golden days of not so old, when Patrick was one of the promisers of everything honest and just. Remember how Patrick and the UDP pledged to serve all manner of people, to govern with a fair hand. All that has completely gone down the drain! To hear and experience Patrick Faber today is to wonder if somehow the Patrick of then was stolen away and a changeling left

in his place. The Patrick of today is the Patrick who proudly boasts of firing the elderly and single mothers. The Patrick of today fired a school warden and mother of four for no reason other than she is a supporter of the PUP. And yes, the Patrick Faber of today is quite content to tell teachers that they can basically ‘shove it,’ because he is going to ram his Teaching Services Commission down their throats no matter what. How else can we put it? BNTU branches all over the country have been telling the Minister of Education that they do not support the Commission as it has been presented to them. The reasoning is simple – the very composition of the Commission will invite government and political interference and manipulation, and let’s be real here – Patrick hasn’t exactly shown that he is a bastion of integrity so he just isn’t trusted. So what does Minister Mugabe do? He says, well, we weren’t really consulting with you all anyway, we were just clarifying the points we were taking to Cabinet. Seriously, he said that in an interview this week. More than that, he said that he’s not going to change anything…end of story. We’d like to advise the Minister to rethink this position, because he surely doesn’t want to take on the teachers of the country so early in his government’s term. The results could be disastrous. Trust us, we know. So we welcome Patrick Faber to our Hypocrite’s Gallery…


The Belize Times

From the Desk of the Party Leader

The Collapse of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone

The Corozal Commercial Free Zone is one of the many successes of the previous PUP government. In 1998, when the PUP took office, the Free Zone was just a handful of businesses struggling to get off the ground. A quick development plan was put in place and after a great deal of attention was given to its development, commercial activity in the Corozal Free Zone grew to some unprecedented highs. By 2003 over 400 businesses were operating in the Free Zone. There was as much as $274 million in economic activity annually, generating employment for over 2,500 people. Unfortunately, last October the Prime Minster announced that all was not well in the Free Zone. He announced that imports into the Free Zone fell by 38.9 percent to a new low of $114.5 million. Blaming the losses on global economy, the Prime Minister accepted defeat and said he was simply unable to do anything about it. The news of the decline in the free zone surprised no one; as early as February 2009, businesses in the Free Zone were complaining that commercial activity had fallen and that the 2008 Christmas sales were approximately 50 percent lower than 200. Currently, with less economic activity in the Zone, huge investments are becoming questionable. Investors who built large shopping plazas valued in the millions of dollars are now unable to meet financial commitments with half of their facilities now vacant. So what went wrong? The UDP administration’s failure to stimulate the Belizean economy; their inability to understand what makes the economy work and the rash and brash decisions by the government, have all but destroyed investor confidence in Belize, including the Free Zone. Currently, there are several problems that face the Free Zone and only the active intervention of the government can rescue the situation. First there is the problem at the border. The Chetumal Chamber of Commerce is a powerful lobby and they constantly pressure the Mexican Federal government to harass Mexicans buying at the zone. This can be addressed by having our Minister of Foreign Trade meet with his counterpart in Mexico to address this matter. During the last administration, whenever the border crossing became a problem, government officials, even the Prime Minister would meet with their Mexican counterparts and negotiate for an “ease� on the restrictions by the Mexican customs department. Secondly, there is the current problem with Mexican banks refusing to accept pesos deposited at the Free Zone. For several years, the Belize Bank and Atlantic Bank have been depositing pesos from the Free Zone in banks in Chetumal. Currently these Mexican banks are refusing to accept pesos coming out of the Zone, citing concerns over money laundering. With the Belizean banks unable to deposit pesos in the Mexican Banks, other problems are occurring. First there is the issue of security. Businesses in the Free Zone are now required to keep large sums of pesos in house. This in itself poses a risk. Then there is the issue of excess pesos flooding the market, forcing establishments to sell their excess pesos to local currency dealers at a loss. All these issues can be resolved with intervention by government. GOB needs to dispatch the Governor of the Belize Central Bank to meet with these Mexician Banks and convince them that the necessary precautions have been taken to prevent money laundering in the Free Zone, giving assurances that greater vigilance by the bank will be put in place if necessary. Next there is the case of weak leadership at the Free Zone. Mr. David Ackierman, who is said to be a personal friend of the Prime Minister, seems unable to convince him of the crises in the Free Zone. In addition, Mr. Ackierman has been unable to command the respect of the investors, therefore has been incapable of convincing them to raise monies to promote the Free Zone in Mexico. The investors in the Free Zone are looking for leadership and direction from the government of Belize. They have met privately with several Ministers, including the Prime Minster, who said he could do nothing for them. Clearly no one in the Barrow Administration seems to understand the severity of the problem. And while business after business is closing their shutters permanently, thousands of Belizeans are losing jobs while the Belizean economy continues its free fall.

sunday, November 29, 2009

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times

UDP Politics as usual Take back your X…

These are some very serious times in Belize, very serious times indeed. The level of frustration and anger and desperation on the streets of Belize is frightening – well, at least it should be frightening for our UDP politicians who seem hell-bent on driving things to the breaking point. Minister of Education Patrick Faber is not very liked on the streets of the city. He is the target of much hatred after his callous treatment of Hirian Good which led to the death of a Belizean icon, Charles Good. He is not liked because while people on the streets are experiencing the hardest of times, they see him carousing and drinking and partying and flashing money in the bars and buying drinks for all the girls. And now Patrick Faber is doing another very bad thing. See, the young Minister has gotten so arrogant that when some of his constituents go to his office and complain that he is not helping them, he gets out a piece of paper, writes an X on it and gives it to them, telling them to ‘take back their X.’ This is a disrespect to the people of Belize, the people of Belize who have to live on the very desperate streets of Belize in these very serious times. Mr. Faber should be very careful.

KHMH Inquiry…

The Commission of Inquiry at the KHMH has finally gotten underway, after almost 4 months. The deputy Auditor-General spent the whole day reading off a long list of irregularities, a very long list. Prominent names featuring on that list were Ricardo Fabro, a UDP financier from Orange Walk and De La Fuente, a pharmacy owned by the family of the UDP Mayor in Orange Walk. More names have been mentioned, including that of the Financial Director fo the KHMH Carlos Perrera, who is a UDP crony and former UDP Town Councilor. The curious thing is that although the audit is finished, the public hasn’t been graced with a copy of the Audit Report, so at this point we can only look and listen. Mr. Prime Minister, would it be possible for us to take a look at the audit report? We believe that day 1 was only the extreme tip of the iceberg, and if the Commission is allowed to stay its course, a complex web of UDP nepotism, cronyism and corruption will be unveiled.

Health priorities

Last week we told you that the KHMH was looking to create a new post of PR consultant, among other posts. We also mentioned that UDP supporter Brenda Stuart had been fingered for the job. See, that’s all well and good, but there’s something we can’t quite figure out. Word to us is that surgeries at the KHMH have now been put on hold for 13 days, because there is no medication called phentalyn. So therein lies my confusion – what exactly are the priorities in the Ministry of Health? What exactly are the priorities at the KHMH? Creating a new, lucrative and unnecessary post when there is a lack of basic medication because of a lack of funds seems ludicrous. It’s as ludicrous as purchasing a $160,000 luxury vehicle for the Minister of Health when babies are dying every day because our public hospitals do not have basic medicines and equipment.

Political Victimization

Over the weekend a political colleague was detained at the Queen Street Police Station on a completely bogus charge. See, he’s been making waves against the UDP politicos, and so the Minister of National Security apparently decided to have him picked up and made an example of. So while crime runs rampant on our streets, a vehicle and four armed Police Officers were dispatched to locate and detain him. In the end even the Police on duty had to admit that the entire thing was a joke and let him go. So this is how our resources are being used. Another political colleague called me from down south early this week. A man driving a bus had hit a lady in Dangriga and left the scene. Later the same day, that same man allegedly hit another fellow and killed him, another hit and run. The man driving the bus is a supporter of the UDP. So my political colleague explained to me that he was there, but the Police showed up at his home and demanded to see him in connection with the hit and run. Which was kind of funny, my political colleague explained because he does not own a vehicle! But I relate this story just to make a point about the political victimization which is rampant in this time. The UDP doesn’t care about right or wrong or even about reality. They are willing and able to trump up charges to get their way. I haven’t heard from my colleague down south in the past couple days. I hope nothing has happened to him at the hands of the victimizers.


Conflict of Interest

I HAVE great respect for the legal abilities of Denys Barrow. I HAD great respect for the integrity of Denys Barrow. I remember when the Leader of the Opposition was approached by the Prime Minister about the appointment of Denys Barrow as a justice of the Court of Appeals. The Leader of the Opposition, himself with great respect for the abilities of Denys Barrow, felt that it would be unfair of him to oppose the appointment simply because of Denys Barrow’s relationship to the PM. He did specify, however, that his support was based on the premise that Justice Barrow would recuse himself from any case which could cause the faintest perception of a conflict of interest. The BEL/PUC situation is one such case, I believe. The son of Justice Barrow is a Commissioner on the Board of the PUC. He was appointed by his uncle Dean Barrow. The law firm of Barrow and Co. has an ongoing legal relationship with the PUC. In my mind it doesn’t take a panel of distinguished scholars to deduce that there is a conflict of interest. To me, it’s as plain as daylight. Justice Barrow should have recused himself from the case. One talk show host was discussing the entire thing and said that this is bad for business. It’s very bad indeed. See, Belize is not closed off from the rest of the world, and the rest of the world is watching and taking note.

The Barrow/Mugabe Syndrome

This has really gotten far past the point of politicking. These days we’re not calling Prime Minister Dean Barrow names just to spout out political propaganda. The PM has really turned into a despot and dictator of the worst order. I watched him on television praising the move by BTL to affect 90,000 Smart customers by pulling the plug on international access. I watched him on television trying to explain how he stepped into the shoes of the bank and assumed a loan which was that of the bank to claim. I watched him on television gloss over the fact of the apparent conflict of interest in the BEL case. We are in real trouble here. I am not joking when I say it appears that the Prime Minister of this country has gone completely over the edge. I, and I believe a growing number of person, feel that the Prime Minister is not currently operating on all cylinders. His behavior takes absolutely no rational path. The thing is, for the time being at least, our future and the future of the nation are tied to the path of this Prime Minister. I am very worried about what will happen next. I am worried about the sanctions which will come down on Belize from other countries. I am worried that the economy of Belize is in a complete freefall. I am worried for all of us.

Questions to Ministers Considering that the Women’s Department is currently 1 engaged in 16 days of activism to help end domestic violence, could the Prime Minister and the leader of this nation be able to state clearly what his position in the beating of women is?

Would the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance be 2 willing to say if he ever intends to take this $45million dollar loan which will be borne by taxpayers to the House of

Representatives for Approval, as stipulated by the Finance and Audit Act?



Would the Minister of Health (not sure for how much longer) please say why there is no morgue at the Corozal Hospital, since he promised those familities during his campaign and since residents of Corozal are forced to take their dearly departed loved ones all the way to the Northern Regional Hospital? Would the Minister of Education be able to confirm or deny reports that he was drunk and behaving unruly in a Belize City nightclub over the weekend? Would the Minister further say if he believes this sets a positive example for the thousands and thousands of children he represents? And finally, would the Minister say if he thinks his actions reflect badly on his position as lay-pastor at his church?


The Belize Times

The Whip Communicators The big giant of communication has become the baldy’s shark. In the killing of Smart they now embark. Like big fish eating small fish. To finish with the lord is his wish. But the ninety thousand Belizeans him di dis. We no care about the lord, we no care about who will pay for btl as long as da no we. We can’t afford. But it seems the baldy warlord and the bank cannot come to accord. For he says btl is now for government, but not the bills. The lord and his bank di get the chills. When you owe you got to pay, don’t matter when, chicken always come home to roost, someday. Baldy knows his days are done. 3 more years to go, he got a heart of stone. When him done he will just pick up and run. He will go satisfied than the Lord never him abated, but all he has prated will come back to haunt, thanks to all his vaunt… By taking on the lord he so hated he has the economic problems of this nation conflated. He who comes after him will have to solve the great mess he has created.

KHMH Inquiry The auditor has submitted his report, we hope the culprits will end in court. Hope this not be another of Baldy’s vain disport. The stench from far is for all to smell. The more the man reads the more the corruption swell. I think all of them should go to jail.. The minister gone quiet on this one trying to weather the storm, hoping its begone. The scapegoat shall be the Briton, the smaller python. Unwritten rules of the game, he shall take the blame.. what a shame.. Fabro shall soon find out that in animal farm there are animals in different rated barns..

Tidbits Minister of health, he got a new drive. Bought himself the old ride, got both with Minister plates, don’t want to pay for the private license plates. For eight thousand dollars and as a loan!! This man realy di peel di bone!! This ministerial acquest is a conflict of interest... Nurses di bawl, policemen and soldiers too. Uniform allowances will be cut in two. Who get shirt no get pants, who get pants no get shoes, no matter how much they wave and rant.. Public service salaries shall soon be down, that is the word in town. If Baldy would just cut the ministers’ hustle, we would not be facing this unwinding tussle. Reshuffle Ring a ring a roses a cabinet full of posies. Pusha pusha all fall down…

Our nominees:

Martinez and Acosta ministers of casino, oh that endless spree… Salva the wannabee, for health, sometime ago here he did quite well as you all can see Pablo for minister of women and children, where he deserves to be Boots for Minister of confusion, will go well with his delusions. Funny finny for minister of national security, for his own tranquillity Perdomo for…for…better you leave this one in his own obscurity

Sunday, November 29, 2009

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


PARTIAL SCOPE AGREEMENT BETWEEN BELIZE AND GUATEMALA: AN OVERVIEW It is without a doubt that the way we engage among and between nations has changed significantly over the past decades. Belize like the rest of the world exists within this reality of globalization. It is this unremitting trend of globalization coupled with the continuous threat and erosion of preferential market access that has provided the raison d’être for developing countries to proactively engage in mutually beneficial trade agreements. Belize, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and party to the multilateral agreements, has engaged. This engagement though has been stymied by the importance Government attaches to international trade and the institutional capacity or lack thereof to address this key area. This was reflected in the WTO’s review of Belize’s trade policy. As a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the CSME, Belize is afforded the policy space to participate in the Central American Integration System (SICA). Given this space, the proximity of our neighbors and the notable trade flows with Guatemala and Mexico, it was timely and insightful that discussions begun back in 2004, for a Partial Scope Agreement (PSA) between Belize and Guatemala. These discussions culminated in the signing of the first such Agreement, on June 26, 2006. Subsequently, it was tabled and approved by the House of Representatives in Belize; and most recently by the Congress of Guatemala in November 2009. It is because of the significance of this PSA to the private sector in Belize and the fact that this sector needs to poise itself to take advantage of the benefits that could be derived from this PSA, that this succinct overview is hereby being provided. It is also a call to businesses to get familiar with the content of this Agreement and for

Government to heighten their dissemination of the requisite information and marketing of the information contain therein and for the responses to be provided to ensuring smooth implementation. A PSA is a partial preferential trade agreement whereby trade preferences are granted only on specific products, usually by a more developed economy to a less developed economy. Product specific PSA’s are congruent with the aim of fostering economic integration that is mutually beneficial to all parties. It would appear, that in the case of this particular PSA , Guatemala has demonstrated its political commitment and in so doing it has tacitly validated Belize’s economic and political sovereignty. This is a good thing for both countries and their peoples. The stated objectives of the PSA are noted as follows: facilitation, promotion, diversification and expansion of trade between both parties; the development of mechanisms for the promotion of investments; the facilitation of land transportation of goods covered under the Agreement and the establishment of an efficient and transparent system for the resolution of trade disputes. The principle of special and differential treatment is enshrined in the Agreement and it takes account of the differences in the size of the two economies and the need to provide special concessions to the smaller economy. The operationalization of the PSA will allow for either duty-free entry of listed goods originating in Belize and Guatemala or a 50% reduction in duties, either immediately or over a period. This time frame can range from 3 years to 5 years. All covered products are subject to the specific rules of origin in the Agreement. Below is a list of some notable products covered under

Belize Electricity Limited advises customers in the Belize District that the supply of electricity will be interrupted on Sunday, November 29, 2009. Time: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Affected area: All that area along the Northern Highway from the Burrell Boom Junction to Crooked Tree Village and including villages along the Old Northern Highway from Sandhill Junction to Maskall Village. Two one hour outages from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. will affect the following areas: Belama Phases 2,3 & 4, Ladyville, Lordsbank, Los Lagos, Vista Del Mar and surrounding areas. Reason: To upgrade the Distribution System in the area. BEL regrets any inconvenience that may be caused by this power interruption. Customers may call toll free for any additional queries or other customer-related issues at: 0-800-BEL-CARE or 0-800-235-2273. BEL - Continuously Striving to Serve you Better! View scheduled outages online at:

the Agreement. The Agreement contains the specific descriptions and form of the products generally identified here.

A second important component to the Agreement is the allowance for investments and promotion of joint ventures within both countries. There are no specific commitments by both countries other than to offer fair and equitable treatment to investments and investors, that is no less favorable than that which would be afforded to investments made by a third country. Of importance is the specific provision on expropriation, whereby investments made by either party can be subjected to nationalization or expropriation or any measures that would nullify the value of their investment in the interest of the public good. Provision for prompt and effective compensation is also addressed. This area is addressed in Article 41 of the Agreement. On the issue of land transportation, the PSA only addresses the transportation of goods originating in either country. The objectives of the facilitation measures are to ensure that goods being imported or exported from either country are allowed to be transported with minimal restrictions. For practical reasons it is expected that the PSA will take effect from early 2010, contingent on Government, through its Ministry of Foreign Trade, making certain

that the required structures are in place and that the private sector are adequately notified. The PSA is for an indefinite duration, with both parties having the option of withdrawal by providing written notice to the other country. Such a withdrawal would take effect 6 months from the notice. The scope also exists for amendments to the PSA to widen the level of coverage or inclusion of other countries. This first engagement with Guatemala can be the guidepost for which a similar arrangement can be pursued with neighboring Mexico, either separately or as a party to this existing PSA. Finally, the economic benefits to Belize for having committed to this Agreement must be emphasized, the following can be noted: • The agricultural sector stands to benefit tremendously from the liberal market access being provided for the selected products to be exported to Guatemala. • The livestock industry can now expand its exports. • For businesses that require packaging materials the sourcing of these items from Guatemala can contribute to reduced production cost. • For investments in the construction industry, the covered materials would greatly reduce investment cost to businesses. It is also useful for the professional associations and their membership to acquaint themselves with products covered by the PSA. For the full benefits to be realized from this Agreement in the medium to long term, Government must provide the enabling environment that allows businesses to access affordable credit so that their production can be consistent and sustained to meet the market demands. Businesses must actively pursue marketing and production expansion or creation of new enterprises in some instances. It is important for Government to continue strengthening dialogue and reaffirming partnership of institutions of both the private and public sector. These include the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Belize Business Bureau, Belize Livestock Association and others; and also BELTRAIDE, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and other key ministries. All these institutions must all contribute towards achieving the stated objectives of the PSA. The challenge therefore, is how businesses will avail themselves of the opportunity afforded by the PSA under the current economic recession. The policy framework is but only one of the key areas of Belize’s economic system that would contribute to achieving the objective of economic growth; and it is through such growth that economic development and an improvement in the lives of Belizeans can be obtained. Comments welcome at GwynethNah@


The Belize Times

sunday, November 29, 2009

hard hitting

Garbage in…garbage out!

By: Mike Rudon Jr. We’d all love to own a machine which turns crap into gold bricks. Hell, imagine standing there feeding tightly wrapped bundles of cow dung into one end of a contraption, and then seeing gleaming gold bars come rumbling out on a conveyor belt. Oh, glory wouldn’t that be the day when all the saints go marching in. But see, that won’t happen. There’s no such machine, at least not that we know of, at least not yet. Life doesn’t work like that. Here in Belize, what you put in is what you get out. What you push into one end of the machine is exactly what comes tumbling out the other end. That’s the reality in Belize. What we did here in our little country is that we put garbage into City Hall, and that’s what we’re getting out of City Hall – stinking, rotten, filthy

garbage in the person of Her Ladyship Zenaida Moya. The big thing coming out of City Hall right now, at least a big thing to 100 BML workers and their families is the layoff by the sanitation company Belize Maintenance Limited. Of 150 workers, 100 of them were sent home not because of poor job performance, but because the UDP City Council hasn’t been able to pay its bills. That’s right – just a few weeks before Christmas, 100

workers and their families have to face the reality of no food on the table, no electricity or water and even no shelter over their heads. That’s the reality of that situation. Last night on the news, Zenaida Moya perched on piles of garbage resplendent in black ruffles like a resident ‘john-crow.’ When she was asked by a reporter about the 100 BML workers who were laid off, you know what she said – she said she’s not in tune with that situation, meaning that she doesn’t know

what’s going on with that. Translation – she doesn’t give a damn about the 100 workers and their families; she doesn’t give a damn about how they live; she doesn’t give a damn about how their children eat; she doesn’t give a damn about how they will go to school. See, the thing about people like Zenaida Moya and her boss Dean Barrow is that they seem not to be able to get the sense. Zenaida Moya has her hair styled and coiffed on a weekly basis. She has her fingers and toenails done at a professional salon. She sits in her luxurious office and then is escorted into her air-conditioned SUV and driven up the road to her sea-front mansion far away from the filth of the city. She eats the richest foods and drinks the finest wines while her hubby throws bashes at the hottest nightclubs where he gives away $100US bills. Zenaida can fly to a foreign locale at the drop of a hat, and does, most times at taxpayer expense. She just returned from London, so you see what I mean. Her boss Dean Barrow is driven around in a quarter-million dollar luxury SUV from air-conditioned office to air-conditioned office. He can don Armani suits with casual disdain and sip cocktails at social functions. He can go for a medical checkup in Miami whenever he has the need. He is driven to his sea-front mansion where he is plopped into the lap of luxury with a security-guard ensuring his privacy from the filth of the city. His larders are stocked, his wine-cellars are full and Dean Barrow will never have to worry about how a meal finds its way onto his table or how a utility bill is paid. It’s as simple as that. Some people get the sense through sight and sound and reason. But you know how you get a mule to pay attention? You hit it in the head with a 2 X 4 and you better believe that it’ll stand up and get the sense. Zenaida Moya and Dean Barrow are getting pretty near to mule status – that’s not only my feeling, it’s the feeling on the streets. This isn’t the first time BML workers have not been paid. Just about a month ago those poor workers marched in front of City Hall for about two weeks in the sun-hot to beg the UDP to help them so their children could eat. Back then, Zenaida Moya and Dean Barrow seemed not to give a damn, because neither one of them said or did a damn to resolve the matter. This time it’s even worse. Here we are in the worst of times in Belize, and workers have been laid off just weeks before Christmas. And Zenaida Moya, the Mayor of Belize City, says she doesn’t know anything about the situation – she’s not in tune with the situation, to state her exact words. Oh, but Zenaida doesn’t seem to realize the desperation on the streets of Belize today. She doesn’t realize the hate and anger which is directed at her every single day when she is driven off to her mansion in front of the sea. Methinks she better get in tune with the situation pretty damned quick. Cause these are some serious times….

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times

hard hitting


Enough with the Greedy, it is time to protect the needy.

Anyone who doesn’t think that this is a nation where the present politicians are getting richer while others are getting poorer must be a Barrow or an FoB (Friend of the Barrow’s). Their greed is everywhere, from high paying jobs for the siblings to millions of dollars in legal fees to the former Mrs. Barrow, they are all cleaning up. Of course this is not lost to the regular man in the streets and for this reason Ministers, who have started to follow the leader must now travel with security for they have become the targets of some of their own supporters and dealers who are not as fortunate to share in the spoils. At this pace, this government is not going to be destroyed by an outside avenger, but might very well implode because of its insatiable greed. The political greed that is transpiring within Belize presently is at an all time high, and UDP politicians are demonstrating a tremendous lack of respect for the people of this nation who are suffering as a result of the current economic meltdown brought on by their own lack of vision and lack of a plan to get the economy moving again. All this is an indication of a behavior that is rooted in reckless and shameless greed. Whether it is a minister with two expensive vehicles at his disposal or one who buys his daughter a

house in an upscale neighbourhood as a gift, it is the worst case of to the winner goes the spoils, not to mention the crass disrespect show for hardworking poor Belizeans who struggle each day simply to make ends meet. Their involvement and the level of greed being displayed is evident in almost every sector of the government, from so called NGOs making profit building houses supposedly for poor people to ministers awarding contracts to an Orange Walk business man to sell fish to a hospital in Belize City, it

all seems too outrageous to be true. If the mere indecency of it all is not upsetting enough, the mere knowledge of it is disheartening. What happened to the transparency and accountability they promised the people in their manifesto? How quickly these people have squandered the trust Belizeans placed in them in February 2008. All those possibilities they asked us to imagine during the campaign have surely been lost, replaced only by anger and desperation. Instead of possibilities, what is

currently being reflected in the Belizean people is resentment, which is evident in the amount of turmoil that the nation is experiencing, beginning with the closing of businesses, the escalation in crimes, the many homes being lost and the increasing loss of jobs due to political victimization. As is always the case in a democratic society, the power of the people will in the end prevail over a government whose actions are not to the benefit of the majority. Today Belizeans demand that their leaders be held responsible for their actions. Based on what we have seen of this government so far, the time has come once again for us to be more forceful in our approach to this Government and demand positive changes from our current leaders. The majority of Belizeans voted for change, we voted for better governance and not for politicians to do as they desire. We voted for a government to put the wealth of this small nation to work for the benefit of everyone to enjoy so that we can live a more comfortable life. Since the current administration appears to have forgotten how they got there and who put them there, it is time for up us to ensure that they “get di sense,” it is time for we the people to once again change this atmosphere of greed and spite and if needs be, by any means necessary.


The Belize Times

sunday, November 29, 2009

Food for Thought A Failure in Every Way…!

If we were to conduct an opinion poll among Belize City residents today, we would quickly find out that Mayor Zenaida Moya Flowers is suffering from an extremely low job approval rating. And it is not as if though her numbers hit rock bottom on account of unpopular steps, such as cutting municipal spending, that she has taken to put in order the City Council’s business. On the contrary, we think that she has done absolutely nothing for the city or its residents. In fact, if much of the mayor’s job involved only being a figurehead, representing the city during official ceremonies, such as the Independence Day Celebrations and ribbon cutting events, and flying away to exotic lands to attend international conferences then Moya Flowers would have our goodwill. We cannot deny that she has taken full advantage of every opportunity to have her face splattered in the media, and she has surely racked up those coveted frequent flyer miles jet setting around the world with her husband in tow. Of course it is not. It is a fulltime job. But a well paid one. Moya Flowers is reportedly taking home $10,000 a month in salary and benefits. Yet she cannot find the time to do a good job unless her family and close friends stand to benefit financially from her actions. Since she took office in March 2006, she has constantly displayed that she knows little about public finance and that she is incapable of running the country’s largest municipal government despite her much touted Master’s degree. The city is broke and there is no immediate relief in sight that will close the shortfall because the central government well has run dry. We are truly not getting value for our hard earned taxes. Apart from the burgeoning fiscal imbalance, the city is also in a physical mess. There are piles of garbage strewn everywhere in the commercial, residential, and public areas, while residents have to put up with clogged drains, tall grass and bushes, potholed streets, flooded streets whenever it rains, and public buildings that have been left to fall into a state of disrepair. To make matters worse, city residents are flocking to the emergency room because of diseases such as dengue that are spread by mosquitoes which thrive in the high grass and settled water in drains. Despite this, Moya Flowers has not put forward any plans to ameliorate the conditions of the beleaguered city, such as specific recommendations on what the Council should do in order to set it on a firm financial footing, and start providing the basic services, such as garbage collection and street repairs, to residents. To us, the city appears rudderless and dysfunctional at best. It is as though she has no vision. But that was to be expected. After all, it is no surprise that she is all pomp and circumstance and no substance. And because of Moya Flowers’ incompetence, Belize Maintenance Limited that is charged with keeping the city clean this week had to lay

off 100 workers who are wondering where they will find employment in our contracting economy to keep their families from falling below the poverty level. The Council once again reneged on its promise to pay its outstanding debts to the company and cannot find the money to pay its weekly subvention. Expect the

garbage to pile up higher throughout the city. The Grinch has nothing on our fair mayor. We know that there is no panacea that will cure what ails the city. But anything just now will be a welcome change to what Moya Flowers and her councilors are doing. In all fairness, she is not up

to the job. She has had all the time necessary and has not come up with a plan to transform the city. Actually, the state of the city has gotten worse under her guidance. Day by day, she is making us regret our choice that made her the city’s mayor because she has so far failed miserably at providing leadership of any kind.

Press Release Clarification on Loan Facility Agreement between British Caribbean Bank and Telemedia British Caribbean Bank Limited (the Bank) formerly The Belize Bank (Turks and Caicos) Limited issues this press release to clarify certain inaccurate, misleading and confusing statements made in various quarters of the media in Belize regarding its loan to Belize Telemedia Limited (Telemedia). On July 6th 2007 the Bank and Telemedia entered into and signed a valid, legally binding Loan Facility Agreement. Under the terms of the Agreement, the Bank loaned to Telemedia US$22,500,000 for a period of 48 months ending on 6th July 2011. The current amount which is outstanding under the Agreement is US $22,658,632.34 or approximately BZ$45,000,000.00. The loan was secured through a number of different security instruments one of which was a mortgage debenture. The loan was being fully serviced and on a regular basis until the Government of Belize (GOB) compulsorily acquired 94% of the shares in Telemedia as well as the Bank’s mortgage debenture in August of 2009. Thereafter, Telemedia defaulted on servicing the loan. Following the nationalization of Telemedia, the Bank initiated discussions with both the new board of directors of Telemedia as well as representatives of the GOB with a view to reaching agreement on how the outstanding debt would be serviced. These discussions did not yield any solutions. The Loan Facility Agreement provides for a number of “events of default” including the failure to make payment as required as well as any changes to the ownership structure or management of Telemedia without the consent of the Bank. Telemedia has defaulted on its obligations under the Loan Facility Agreement and as a result all indebtedness and liability of Telemedia to the Bank has become immediately due and payable. The Bank is taking the necessary steps to recover the amounts due and owing. The view that GOB’s acquisition of the mortgage debenture prevents the Bank from taking steps to recover the approximately BZ $45,000,000.00 owed to it by Telemedia is a wholly mistaken view. ENDS Contact: Michael Coye, Director

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


The Bogus Teaching Commission Isabel Vasquez From the very first whispers of the proposed teaching commission, educational affiliates and members of society have been criticizing the proposal. When it was officially discussed back in October, the Executive Secretary of the BNTU, George Frazer, condemned its imminent release as “premature and an act of bad faith”. It is little wonder that the commission continues to be rejected by members of the BNTU, by teachers as individuals, and by the public at large. The only purpose it has served is raising even more questions about the government’s loyalty to ‘fundamental human rights’, throwing people into further doubt about the competence of the current administration. W hy facilitate discussions between Faber’s Ministry and teaching representatives, when several Union proposals were ultimately omitted from the final draft of the Education Rules anyway? Why create a judicial system – a tribunal – within the educational framework that is quintessentially unjust? Merely filling these seats with the Prime Minister’s “chosen few” ensures absolutely no loyalty to the Insert D 40

is nonexistent. Power is apparently the ultimate ambition. And that power remains tightly grasped in the mucky paws of the Prime Minister and his cronies. For what, we might ask? Does the US$15 million loan from the InterAmerican Development Bank come into the picture somewhere here? Are there big dreams of nicer mansions and newer vehicles for government officials which cannot be justified anymore through taxpayer’s money alone? The BNTU has flatly rejected the commission from its teaching staff the tribunal was itself designed to protect. Furthermore, various branches throughout the stating that “a teacher cannot appeal country – and certain pockets (such to the Court of Law” following as Corozal r ural) have gone as a tribunal hearing is in every way, far as to outwardly criticize it and shape and form unconstitutional demand its termination. Attorneys and indicates the inadequacies of the across the country have offered commission and the urgent necessity their professional opinions on the “unconstitutional” aspects of the of scrapping any such proposal. Accountability is flawed. Justice commission, and the “repressive” THE BELIZE TIMES

nature of the proposals. Members of the public have scrambled to have their voices heard: murmurs of this commission being “just like any other commission undertaken by the UDP: bogus” are never far away. One retired teacher wrote to me this week stating that “the government’s decision to push the Education Commission “no matta wat” is definitely not with, by or for the people – and most especially not teachers, so what is its underlying objective?”. So many questions, Minister Faber. Isn’t it time for some answers?

CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBSITE at ~ POST YOUR COMMENTS ~ VOTE ON ARTICLES ~ VIEW OUR PHOTO GALLERY ~ CHECK OUT A PDF VERSION OF THE PAPER We are the most visited newspaper website in Belize Sunday, November 15, 2009

For Every $1 million paid to Lois Young Barrow, 133 Belizean workers could be paid $30 per day for an entire year.


The Belize Times

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BNTU Corozal Rural Branch Rejects Teaching Services Commission

On Saturday, October 17th, 2009 the Council of Management of the BNTU met to discuss the persistent rumours that Education Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber, was going to introduce the Education and Training Bill, which includes the Teaching Services Commission, to Cabinet on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009. The Union requested via letter to the Minister to delay the introduction of the bill to cabinet because there were still some issues that needed clarification. The Minister ignored the Union’s request and went ahead with his presentation. The Union met in an emergency meeting on Wednesday, October 28th. At that same meeting the Minister was invited for the afternoon

session and attended the meeting. He promised that there would be one more series of consultations with the teachers. However, the following day, Thursday, October 29th, at a Press Conference, and in a very arrogant manner, he told the nation and I quote “ Whether or not we have a Teaching Service Commission it is not up to the Union to decide. The people of this country elected a government and if the Ministry of Education, which is the body that sets the policies, says that we are going to have a Teaching Services Commission then that is really what it is”. end of quote. The Executive and School Reps of the Corozal Rural Branch of the Belize National Teachers’

Union met in session today, Saturday, November 21st, 2009 to discuss the merits and the demerits of the Teaching Services Commission. The salient issue discussed was the Composition of the Commission where eleven of the twelve proposed members will have voting powers. This includes the Chairman who will have a casting vote. Of the eleven voting members of the commission there exists the possibility that six are or will be Government affiliated. These are the Chairman, The Chief Education Officer, The ITVET Representative and the three parents who will be selected by Regional Education Council of the three different regions, namely,

North, Central and South. Teachers are afraid that the Commission’s voting on any issue can easily be politically motivated. Also discussed was the issue of the Appeals Tribunal where four of the five members will be nominated by the Prime Minister. And the decision of the Tribunal will be final leaving out the BNTU and the Courts of law. To make matters worse, we have witnessed how the Minister of Education expresses in public that some of the dismissals from the Education Department have been politically motivated, case in mind, Mrs. Hirian Good. In view of the above, the Corozal Rural Branch of the BNTU hereby rejects the commission in its present form and informs its membership that we will not be attending the consultation set for November 25th, 2009. Long Live BNTU! Solidarity Forever!

Press Release Peaceful Protest Set for Ambergris Caye 26th November 2009 The media is hereby informed that members of the San Pedro Town community will be conducting a peaceful protest through the principal streets of San Pedro Town. The protest is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. from the Central Park on Friday, November 27th, 2009.The protest will then move through the main streets of San Pedro and culminate at the Central Park The purpose of the protest is to publicly reject the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) initial approval of 10.6% increase in water rate for the Belize Water Service Limited. A letter will be circulated during the protest and signatures will be collected. This will then be forwarded to the PUC before December 2nd, 2009. For further information please contact organizer Jorge Aldana at 662-0143. End

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Today’s Belizean Policeman: Overworked, Underpaid and Unwilling to Continue Isabel Vasquez Police officers throughout Belize City believe that they are being discriminated against and unfairly treated, and threaten that they will not tolerate the situation in silence any more. With excessive workloads anyway, not to mention increasing meaningless paperwork to be undertaken by all officers, recent increments of patrol duties and event attendance threaten to destroy the ‘goodwill’ of many long-ser ving police officers throughout the City. Several police officers (principally based at Queen Street and Racoon Street branches) complain they are now expected to work longer hours over more days each week – without receiving so much as a cent over their usual pay. Various police officers who are based in Belize City are commuters who travel daily from their out-district homes anyway, meaning that they put in significant travelling hours on a weekly basis over and above their hours ‘on duty’. Several such officers have been vocally complaining to the

Belize Times this week about the extra commitments they are being forced to agree to – merely to maintain their jobs. Many long-standing police offi cers who have served their country for years (on a 45-hour/ week contract) are now being forced to accept longer hours, extra patrol shifts – and even attend nightly sports matches conducted by City high schools merely to please their superiors and ensure job security. Several police officers are

now tallying up excessive overtime on weekends and in the evenings, yet they are only permitted to claim ‘compensation’ in the form of extra time off work after every two special patrols undertaken. No extra pay is offered – despite the fact that many commuting officers are forced to seek alternative accommodation in the City after late night shifts, or are forced to commission a private vehicle to carry them home. Yet even more disgraceful is the fact that these hardworking police

officers, who have a troublesome job at best in today’s deteriorating Belize, cannot even seem to get the time off they are owed (and promised) for fulfilling their extra duties. Offi cers complain that various days (including every Monday!) is ‘not appropriate’ for extra time off – even if they have been forced to work extra shifts on a Sunday. No wonder social decay is spreading at an alarming rate. If our best police officers – loyal, ‘essential service’ public servants – aren’t treated correctly, what hope is there for the rest of us?




The Belize Times

sunday, November 29, 2009

Belizean Students excel at CAPE & CSEC Exams 2009

Belize City, November 25,

Open scholarship winner Stacey Grinage of St. John’s College Junior College and Athina Swasey of Edward P. Yorke High School received top honors when the Ministry of Education held its 15th annual Caribbean Secondary Examinations Council (CSEC) award ceremony at the Bliss Centre Wednesday morning. Certificates of Recognition were presented to 9 other top students who achieved 5 or more passes with Grades I – III in this year’s 2009 Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examinations (CAPE). Stacey Grinage of SJCJC also won a notebook computer along with her scholarship for achieving 6 Grade 1 passes in History, Sociology, C o m mu n i c a t i o n s S t u d i e s a n d Caribbean History in this year’s CAPE examinations. The Open

Scholarship is worth over $80,000; she can study at any university in the world, in any discipline of her choice. Grinage is now reading for a history degree at UB, but in her acceptance

speech she announced plans to study law at the UWI. Grinage thanked all who had helped her achieve her goals and encouraged other young students to stay focused on their studies that

they too may realize their dreams Athina Swasey of E. P. Yorke High School topped this year’s CSEC examinations with 11 Grade 1 passes. SCA’s Virginia Hsu came a close second, and both girls won scholarships, a notebook computer each and were awarded commemorative plaques in honor of their achievement. Swasey wishes to study to become a doctor. Hsu is away studying and her proud father received her computer and certificate on her behalf. Among the CAPE honorees were Corozal Junior Colleg e’s Efrain Kryan Gilharry and Zelasnie Saraki Moralez. From SJCJC also came Quince Jarvis Banner who aced both Chemistry and Physics, Christopher Waight who topped both Mathematics Units 1 and 2, Gavin Harrison Courtenay who topped English Literature Units 1 and 2, Tanya Ivani Parham and Alfonso Cal. S.J.C.J.C.’s Karena Mahung topped Environmental Science Unit 2. Stann Creek Ecumenical’s Antoine Robert Arthurs and Kayla Sheraine Gabourel were also in the top 10. Certificates of Excellence were also presented to 311 students who achieved Grades 1 and 2 passes in 6 or more subjects including English A and Mathematics at General/ Technical proficiency. SCA’s science whiz Lilian Lai-Fung Shen aced Chemistry, Biology and Physics. SCA’s Lila Estephan also won the Subject Group award for the Humanities; while Ecumenical’s Leonie Eileen Magdaleno won the Subject Group award for Business Education. Certifi cates of Achievement were awarded to hundreds more who achieved 6 or more passes with Grades 1 to 3. T h i s y e a r ’s c a n d i d a t e s outperformed last year’s candidates: 67% achieved Grades 1 to 3, compared to 45.8 % in 2008. English B and Social studies showed the biggest gains, with 56% achieving grades of 1 to 3 in English, compared to only 34.6% in 2008, and 90.7% achieved Grades 1 to 3 in Social Studies, dwarfing the 73.4% in 2008.

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times



The Belize Times

sunday, November 29, 2009

COURT NEWS Four Remanded to Prison for Jang II Supermarket Robbery BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov. 25, 2009 Four men were charged in connection with a robbery at Jang II Supermarket, located at 5670 Vasquez Avenue, when they appeared in the #5 Magistrate’s Court on Monday, November 23. They are Jermaine Garbutt, 26; Lionel Sampson, 23; Jermaine Palacio, 24; and Leon Usher, 29. They are charged with robbery, harm, keeping a firearm without a gun license and keeping ammunition without a gun license. Palacio wanted to plead guilty to the charges. But because he did not agree with the facts of the case when they were read to him, Magistrate Albert Hoare entered an equivocal plea of not guilty. He explained to the defendants that the Court could not offer them bail because of the nature of the offences. He remanded them into custody until January 5, 2010. The robbery occurred at around

Jermaine Garbutt

5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 20. Zan Chu Chen, 31, a naturalized Belizean businessman originally from China, reported to the Police that he was inside the supermarket when two men entered, one of them armed with a sawed-off

shotgun. Chen said he ran to the back of the supermarket and the gunman followed him and tripped him, causing him to fall. Chen said while he was on the floor the gunman kicked him to the right side of his rib cage, causing him pain. Chen told Police that while he was being kicked the second man stole $400 from the cash register. About 10 minutes later a police motorcycle patrol intercepted a red Toyota car on Magazine Road in which the occupants were the defendants. The Police reported that when they searched the car they found a sawed-off shotgun with one 16 gauge cartridge under the seat. The Police also reported that they recovered $252.25 believed to be part of the stolen money from inside the car. Palacio, who was serving time for robbery, was released on parole about 6 weeks ago.

Mother of 6 Found Guilty Of Drug TraďŹƒcking

Christine Bood

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov. 25, 2009 Christine Bood, 28, charged with drug trafficking for attempting to smuggle 212 grams of cannabis into prison, was spared a prison sentence yesterday by #3 Magistrate Kathleen Lewis after she was found guilty of drug trafficking. Because it was her first conviction and she had asked for leniency, Bood, a mother of 6, was fined $2,000. She was given until February 2010 to pay the fine. If she defaults on payment she will serve 12 months. The incident occurred on December 19, 2008. When Bood arrived at the prison to visit her boyfriend, a Prison Officer searched a black bag she was carrying and found 4 parcels that contained a total of 212 grams of cannabis. The Police were called and upon their arrival they showed Bood the cannabis that was found at the bottom of her bag. She was then taken into custody and charged. Bood testified and said that it was a friend of hers who gave her the bag and asked her to take it to her son, an inmate of the prison. Bood said she did not check the bag to see what was in it because she trusted her friend. But Magistrate Lewis did not believe her testimony and she was found guilty.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Sunday, January 23, 2000 18

The Belize Times The Belize Times

XLVI Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vacancy for Facilitators The National Kriol Council in collaboration with the Social Investment Fund/Basic Needs Trust Fund (SIF/BNTF) is seeking facilitators to provide training in culturally based entrepreneurial activities that will generate income for the individual and to help sustain the Council. The goal of the project is to achieve a more equitable and fairer society that respects and values its diversity, identifying and recognizing specific traditional cultural practices and their potential as a critical part of wealth creation, job creation and poverty alleviation. This will be achieved by revitalizing the Council and enhancing its organizational skills with an organizational strengthening component and by training young persons in culturally based entrepreneurial activities to generate income for the participants and to help sustain the Council. The skills training component will focus on unemployed or under employed young people living in Belize City or who can afford to attend training in Belize City. These programs will help youths to identify and recognize specific traditional cultural practices and their potential as a critical part of wealth creation, job creation and poverty alleviation. The Council will use a three-pronged approach-cultural, entrepreneurial and life skills training. The cultural approach will emphasize the use of culture to inculcated values, greater appreciation of the Creole culture, the development of self-esteem, and appreciation of the wisdom lore of the Creole culture. The entrepreneurial approach will focus on job skills training, identifying micro-business opportunity and engaging persons that are willing to train young people who are interested in acquiring the necessary skills. Integrating life skills training in the programs will offer approaches to manage conflict and anger to navigate twisted interpersonal relationships and to cope with the adverse impacts of social problems. This triangular approach will assist young adults to identify skills and talents that can be utilized to enhance their self-esteem and set themselves firmly on the road to becoming independent entrepreneurs. The overall aim is to have these youths experience the freedom that comes from exerting social control and increasing their opportunities through their own efforts. This approach seeks to offer a novel and creative way of rebuilding social capital in some of the marginalized sections of Belizean society. Qualified persons are invited to submit proposals to act as facilitators in the following areas of traing. Proposals should be delivered to the office of the National Kriol Council at the House of Culture on Regent Street, Belize City on or before December 10, 2009 1. Training in Sewing Scope of Work

1. Provide the project coordinator with a list of equipment and materials for the training 2. Provide at least 72 hours of training in designing and sewing traditional Kriol outfits that will be used in the dancing and drama com ponents of the project 3. Create a handbook/manual for t he designing and sewing of traditional Kriol outfits 4. Provide certificates to participants who successfully completed the training 5. Maintain an attendance register for training sessions 6. Submit a final report on the training sessions with recommendations for further training

Qualification -

Three to five years experience in costume designing and sewing Experience in facilitation

2. Training in Dancing Scope of work 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Provide at least 72 hours of training for selected youths in the four basic Kriol traditional dances (Sambai, Sadunga, Brokdong, Rusho) Prepare video material of traditional Kriol dances, including but not limited to basic steps and interpretation Produce video documentary of the training sessions Assist the Council with preparations for a public performance at the end of the training Provide certificates to participants who successfully completed the training Maintain an attendance register for training sessions Submit a final report on the training sessions with recommendations for further training

Qualification -

Three to five years experience in choreography Experience in preparing for stage performance

3. Training in Script writing and Drama Scope of Work 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Provide at least 72 hours of training in the basic elements of developing and writing a script Guide each participant in completing at least one script for a drama of not less than 30 minutes Provide at least 72 hours of training in elements of theatre and working with scripts Assist the council with preparation for a public performance at the end of the training Provide certificates to participants who successfully completed the training Maintain an attendance register for training sessions Submit a final report on the training sessions with recommendations for further training

Qualification: -

Formal training and at least five years of experience in script writing and theatre performance Experience in facilitation

4 Training in Drumming Scope of work Provide at least 72 hours of training that will 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Educate participants about the types drums used in Kriol music– Sambai, gumbai, djembe Train participants in the elements/formats of beating a drum for traditional Kriol music Collaborate with the dance and drama facilitators to execute their training Produce a handbook for the training Produce video documentary of the training Assist the Council with preparations for a public performance to be held at the end of the training

7. 8. 9.

Provide certificates to participants who successfully completed the training Maintain an attendance register for the training sessions Submit a final report on the training sessions with recommendations for further training

Qualifications: -


Over five years experience in drumming for traditional Kriol dances Experience in facilitation Knowledge about the Kriol culture and history

5 Training in Basket Making Scope of work Provide at least 72 hours of training to 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Teach participants about the type and sourcing of material used to produce quality baskets Teach the art of basket making and produce at least three types of traditional baskets for display and reproduction Create a handbook/manual detailing the step by step process of making three selected types of baskets Provide certificates to all participants who successfully completed the training Maintain an attendance register for the training sessions Submit a final report on the training sessions with recommendations for further training

Qualification: -

Five year experience or more in basket making Experience in facilitation

6 Training in Bamboo and wood craft Scope of work Provide at least 72 hours of training that will 1.

Teach participants the type and sourcing of material used to produce bamboo and wood crafts 2. Familiarize participants with various traditional Kriol bamboo or wood arts and craft 3. Guide participants in the production of at least five items of bamboo and five of wood for display and reproduction 4. Create handbook/manual detailing the types of Kriol crafts that can be made from bamboo and wood 5. Provide certificates to all participants who successfully completed the training 6. Maintain an attendance register for the training sessions 7. Submit a final report on the training sessions with recommendations for further training Qualification: Over five years experience in the production of bamboo and wood art and craft Experience in facilitation

6 Training in Entrepreneurial Skills Scope of Work Provide at least 72 hours of training to cover 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

basic business management skills basic record keeping to include financial, inventory and sales promoting a business and selling Provide certificates to all participants who successfully completed the training Maintain an attendance register for the training sessions Submit a final report on the training sessions with recommendations for further training

Qualification: -

Minimum of Bachelor Degree in Business with entrepreneurial experience Experience in facilitation

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Belize Times ol

ñ a p s E n E

El Bejuco Remodelación del Gabinete Inminente, pero no sorprendente, la remodelación del gabinete el pelón está a punto de anunciar. Agobiado , de tanta mulada de sus ministros fastidiado, al fin ha recapacitado y en cambios de gabinete ha repensado .. Pero ¿qué cambios puede haber cuando de sonsos estas rodeado? Sin lugar a duda el ministro de Salud tendrá que ser removido y quizá en el ministerio de mujeres y niños será acogido, el con tanta experiencia.. En esa docencia… Y en su lugar quizá Boots pueda traerle salud al pobre como hizo en conseguirles casas un tanto chicas un tanto chuecas. Quizá Salva el papa sin sal que en sus días hizo bien también de la salud trayendo medicinas de Guatemala Al Finnegan en salud no porque Brad’s no vende medicina, aunque vengan de china A juan coy como ministro de salud tampoco, al rato se le van las tuercas del coco, y va a querer contrabandear los sueros poco a poco. El Ministro de Seguridad Nacional también ha de ser removido y para esto ¿quién mejor que al más balaceado? Boots de nuevo el más indicado… Su única competencia el ex ministrito Cardona pues cuando de pleitos se trata el coraje le sobra.. dale gas mi frijolero… tu único pecado es ser bolero Aunque Gapi también tiene interés, por aquello de la aduana.. que si le dan chance a este ministerio se salta como rana.. Pobre pelón este grupo no te sirve de nada a ver cómo te sale esta charada.

Lo Mejor De La Semana La primera señora y la primera hija siguen haciendo de las suyas. Ahora las dos representan al gobierno en la corte y hacen las millonadas.. Después del trece de diciembre cuando se pasen las enmiendas constitucionales se rumora que en el nuevo gabinete la Luisa será nombrada procurador, Deana se queda en el bufete de mami para seguir cosechando lo que pasa papi…y también mami… Flipping el ministro hace construcciones en Stann Creek, pero lleva gente desde Cayo que manda el menona… Boots hace casas en Punta gorda y lleva a su gente de Port Loyola. Aquí en el sur no tenemos chamba, ya no nos da para los frijoles, pasen un par de contratitos no sean malitos… En la ciudad de Belize, la basura sigue acumulando, el concilio a los basureros no está pagando, el pelón ayuda rehusando. El olor nos está asfixiando, si seguimos así pronto la peste nos estará matando. La mera neta pelón, ¿qué te esta pasando? La segunda señora insiste en el titulo de primera dama, titulo ostentado por la Señora del Gobernador.. Esta moderna Salome ha pedido la cabeza de Sir Colville, y como Herodes Antipas, el pelón dicha cabeza ha de rodar…. Adiós Sir Colville. Al juez no le importara pasarle el título a su cuñada… El ministro de leche se compro el Prado 2005 en $8.000.00 y con avance de sueldo…sin intereses… y le ha puesto placas ministeriales para no pagar su placa particular… modérate chico…. Recuerda que hacen falta tantas ambulancias.. Los trabajadores del estado han sido notificados de una próxima medida de constricción de salarios. Quizá si se cortaran los despilfarros de los ministros en sus viajecitos y hotelitos se pudiera evitar. Quizá si pusieran un alto a las movidas los trabajadores no tuvieran que sufrir estas consecuencias…


Sábado, 21 de noviembre del 2009

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA El Sábado 17 de octubre del 2009 el Consejo de Administración de la BNTU se reunieron para discutir los persistentes rumores de que el ministro de Educación, Excmo. Patrick Faber, iba a presentar el proyecto de ley de educación y formación, que incluye a la Comisión de Servicios Docentes, al gabinete de Ministros el Martes, 27 de octubre 2009. El Sindicato solicitó mediante una carta al Ministro de retrasar la introducción del proyecto de ley al Consejo de Ministros, porque todavía hay algunas cuestiones que eran necesarias aclarar. El Ministro ignoro las peticiones de la Unión y siguió adelante con su presentación. La Unión convoco una reunión de emergencia el miércoles, 28 de octubre. En la misma reunión el Ministro fue invitado a la sesión de la tarde y asistió a la reunión. Prometió que habría una serie más de consultas con los profesores. Sin embargo, al día siguiente, Jueves, 29 de octubre, en una conferencia de prensa, y de una manera muy arrogante, le dijo a la nación, y cito: "Si o no tenemos una Comisión del Servicio Docente, no le corresponde a la Unión para decidir. La gente de este país eligió a un gobierno y si el Ministerio de Educación, que es el órgano que establece las políticas, dice que vamos a tener una Comisión de Servicios Docentes, pues, es lo que realmente es". Fin de la cita. El Ejecutivo y los de Representantes de las escuelas de la Subdivisión de Corozal Rural de la Unión Nacional de Maestros de Belice se reunieron en la sesión de hoy, Sábado, 21 de noviembre 2009 para discutir los méritos y los deméritos de la Comisión de Servicios Docentes. El tema discutido más destacado era la composición de la Comisión, cuando once de los doce miembros propuestos tendrán poder de voto. Esto incluye al Presidente, quien tendrá voto de calidad. De los once miembros votantes de la Comisión existe la posibilidad de que seis son o serán afiliados con el Gobierno. Estos son el Presidente, el Director de Educación, el Representante ITVET y los tres padres, que serán seleccionados por Consejo Regional de Educación de las tres regiones diferentes, siendo, Norte, Centro y Sur. Los maestros tienen miedo de que la votación de la Comisión sobre cualquier cuestión puede ser fácilmente por motivos políticos. También se debatió la cuestión del Tribunal de Apelaciones, donde cuatro de los cinco miembros serán nombrados por el Primer Ministro. Y la decisión del Tribunal será definitiva dejando fuera la BNTU y los tribunales de la ley. Para empeorar las cosas, hemos sido testigos de cómo el Ministro de Educación expresa en público que algunos de los despidos en el Departamento de Educación han sido por motivos políticos, caso en mente, la señora Hirian Good. En vista de lo anterior, el Corozal Rural Branch de la BNTU rechaza la comisión en su forma actual e informa a sus miembros que no asistirán a la consulta fijada para el 25 de noviembre del 2009. Que viva la BNTU ! Solidaridad para siempre!


The Belize Times

Sunday, November 29, 2009

sunday, November 29, 2009


The Belize Times

years of a PUP Government

Moho River Bridge Valley of Peace Bridge Beaver Dam Bridge San Marcos/Salamanca Bridge Installation of Thousands of Culverts


years of Barrow & the UDP =

Still No Kendall Bridge

Life No Haad Out Ya, Life Haada Out Ya



The Belize Times

Sr. Primer Ministro

sunday, November 29, 2009

Ya ayudaste a tu familia...

Nos puedes ayudar a nosotros ahora?

Ya nos cansamos de imaginar!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times



The Belize Times


sunday, November 29, 2009


Elizabeth Pridgeon Ms. Martha Carrillo has arguably achieved more for sufferers of HIV and AIDS than any other individual in Belize, yet she has also consistently contributed to various other sectors of society through her general counselling skills and qualifications too. Unlike some people who know their professional ambitions from an early age, Ms Martha could never have imagined that her career would lead her into the lives of thousands of Belizeans who suffer HIV or AIDS, principally because during her youth there was no real comprehension of the illness in Belize. Despite this, growing up in Orange Walk Ms Martha always knew that she would spend her life working among the community and assisting as many fellow Belizeans as possible. After primary schooling at La Inmaculada, Ms Martha revealed her talents in various fields, both academic and extra-curricular, and she remembers herself as always being busy: if she weren’t excelling in group meetings (such as girl guides) then she was out and about exploring and adventuring around the town. During her final year at Muffles High School, Ms Martha won the National Women’s Quiz, which was the first of many achievements in her growing passion for gender and social justice issues. By the time she was attending Sixth Form at St John’s College, Ms Martha was also acting as a church youth group leader in Orange Walk, organising variety shows, fundraising for the parish, and preparing presentations for the annual youth jamboree. During this leadership role, Ms Martha had her first taste

of counselling, as several group members would share personal or private concerns with her, seeking advice and support. Even before she had graduated from sixth form, Ms Martha had been sought out by Women Against Violence and as soon as she had available time, she accepted the position of administrative assistant for this organisation. Learning a lot about gender based violence, and gaining experience in facilitating group sessions was beneficial to Ms Martha’s growing people skills, and after a year in this role, she accepted the role of teacher at Muffles High School. Whilst teaching Spanish and Art, she

also completed some counselling training provided through SAPA, and she thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Believing that perhaps unintentionally she had stumbled upon her professional niche, she also realised that without further training, she would never be entirely equipped to deal with all issues that, as a counsellor, she may be confronted with. Thus she began the competitive selection process for a FulBright Scholarship in the hope of acquiring sufficient financial backing to further her education in counselling. Not surprisingly, Ms Martha was successful in her application, and headed to the University of Louisville (Kentucky) to undertake a BA degree in Psychology. Here too, Ms Martha joined groups and organisations to constructively utilise just about every spare minute of her time, and one such community based activity was the Central American Program for Undergraduate Students (CAMPUS 8). Aside from focusing on bringing awareness of the Central American culture to the university environment, Ms Martha also led her group in work with illegal Mexican immigrants, organising Catholic mass in Spanish, social gatherings, the distribution of donated food parcels and children’s entertainment programs. For this social contribution, Ms Martha was the recipient of the prestigious Kentucky Colonel award. Upon graduation, Ms Martha eagerly returned to Belize and accepted a number of jobs over the following years, all involving some form of counselling or advisory roles (including posts at Pallotti High School, and St John’s Junior College). Whilst still working full time as college counsellor and educational advisor at St John’s, Ms Martha also agreed to join a newly forming group, Alliance Against AIDS, in her capacity as a psychologist/counsellor. A personal wakeup call, when a close colleague from the Alliance quietly passed away from AIDS, made Ms Martha realise that Belizean society needed to act upon the threat of HIV and AIDS immediately to prevent a national epidemic, and she realised that the nation as a whole needed informed leaders to bring about this much-needed change. Thus in 2001, when she was encouraged to apply for the post of Executive Director of the National AIDS Commission, Ms Martha considered the potential difference she could make to the lives of thousands of HIV and AIDS sufferers and accepted the post. Although Ms Martha had always preferred working directly with people (partly due to her endearing people-skills), she realised that in order to better the Belizean level of prevention, support and treatment of HIV and AIDS, she needed to temporarily

focus more on policy – rather than practical – levels of developmental change. Once the leader of the Commission, therefore, one of the most paramount objectives was to create an improvement in the quality of life for HIV sufferers in Belize; under Ms Martha’s leadership, in the early years of the twenty-first century, Belize received its first ever shipment of anti-retro-viral medications for HIV sufferers. Another key objective of the Commission was to increase national awareness of the virus, and encourage increased dissemination of information about preventing the spread of the disease. And slowly, through Ms Martha’s guidance, the Commission was able to reduce the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS, and better equip the nation to deal with the illness. Ms Martha was selected to accompany Prime Minister Musa to the UN General Assembly (Special Session) on HIV and AIDS in 2001, and shortly afterwards, the National AIDS Commission was jurisdictionally relocated to within the office of the Prime Minister, which also gave the movement more authority and credibility. Her final gift to the Commission was securing the Global Fund, which provided over $5 million to Belize over the course of 5 years in order to improve the multi-sectoral response to the three levels of HIV and AIDS development: prevention, cure and treatment. Since being almost forced out of her role by UDP glorifying media tactics following a minor traffic accident, Ms Martha has served Belize (and beyond) in her capacity as a HIV/AIDS Consultant and a Professional Counsellor. She deals with various different agencies, offering training courses to personnel; this work has included the development of an Operations and Procedures Manual for the Women’s Department, a Strategic Plan on the Issue of HIV/AIDS for the Belize Defence Force, and various training frameworks for leaders of different services and NGOs. Since last year, Ms Martha is delighted to now conduct work beyond the national level and onto a regional level with AIDS Inc, CARICOM, the Regional Stigma Discrimination Unit and several more besides. She is currently focussing on the creation and development of tool kits to be used within the education sector, the tourism sector, and the faith-based sector of society to continue and promote further understanding – as opposed to stigma – of the virus. Ms Martha has achieved for HIV sufferers something that was considered impossible twenty years ago; whereas HIV and AIDS was shrouded in taboo less than two decades ago, now there are comprehensive support networks across the country to curb the spread of the virus, and to support sufferers. And Ms Martha’s work seeps far deeper into society than solely with the sufferers of HIV and AIDS: through her persistent hard work, the idea of protected sex and regular medical examinations are accepted as de rigueur aspects of healthy living in today’s society, meaning that the spread of HIV and AIDS is more controlled than ever before. And through Ms Martha’s focus on vulnerable communities (such as homosexual groups, migrant sex workers, and indentured labourers), the future of HIV and AIDS in Belize looks to be ever improving. Ms Martha has recently returned to her home of Orange Walk, and while she continues to travel with her job, she looks forward to once again contributing to her own local society too. And Orangewalkeños are nothing but lucky to have such a philanthropic nation builder in their midst.


The Belize Times

sunday, November 29, 2009

VOICES Village

from the

CHAN PINE RIDGE Elizabeth Pridgeon Just a couple of miles south of Orange Walk lies the quaint village of Chan Pine Ridge. A Maya village, settled over a century ago, it was not until Belize’s drive for independence that the community was really able to develop and thrive with assistance from the Hon. George Price. Traditionally, Chan Pine Ridge had sustained itself on milpa agriculture, with land parcels being cut from the localised pockets o f e x t e n s i ve pine forests indigenous to the area (hence t h e v i l l a g e ’s name, ‘Chan’ meaning ‘small’ i n Yu c a t e c M a y a ) . Fo r g enerations, the village was only home to a handful of families, who traded amongst themselves a variety of produce including banana, plantain, maize, rice, beans, avocado, coconut and locally raised pigs. The village agricultural system was entirely dependent on horses for access and transportation, and thus horses were one of the most highly prized agricultural commodities in the community. As the village grew, and more people settled the area and cleared their own milpas, the need for paid labour occasionally arose, and the village rate was set around $3/week, or 60cents/day, ensuring that everybody was given the same opportunity to clear and develop land, and also ensuring that employment opportunities remained within the village boundaries, and thus community cash remained within the village too. By the 1930s, Chan Pine Ridge was grand enough to warrant an Alcalde system of governance, and in 1933 the village’s first Alcalde, Mr Trancito Torres, was elected to the position. This enabled ‘fajinas’ to be conducted to distribute communal work between all members of the community. This sense of collective responsibility ensured that the villagers were able to work together to better develop their community. One such successful village project was the construction of the entrance road into the village, which prior to the 1950s had been no more than a track worn away by repetitive equestrian passage. When the Hon. George Price visited the village on his campaign for Independence, he enrolled the Ministry of Public Works to assist with the access road by providing villagers with a truck capable of transporting stones. The villagers worked together cooperatively as was their custom, and after several months of continued voluntary work, villagers were able to pass from the village all the way to Liberty Avenue in Orange Walk without having to traverse down picados or creeks. Once the village was accessible, it opened up various opportunities for

the community, and the first idea to be developed was the establishment of an annual agricultural fair every March 19th. Public transport was provided by supporting families in town and presenters from as far as Blue Creek and Sarteneja competed in various categories, from best head of cattle to biggest pumpkin. Useful prizes such as farm equipment (forks, bridles and seed) were offered to the winners of each competition in a bid

to encourage a continuation of agricultural livelihoods in the future. However, the annual show is no longer as impressive as in its heyday, and the demise of the traditional milpa system within the village has even hindered village support of the event. Yet there are many other examples of how the village continued to strive for development, even at personal cost to themselves: the villagers created a school (alongside Peace Corps personnel), understanding the inherent value of education, even though most older generations had never received schooling themselves. They also combined forces

to create the community park to ensure that members of the community had a productive space to meet and practice sport or perform cultural arts. Unfortunately, amid the drive for development, the village was discouraged from protecting its cultural heritage and, like many villages throughout Belize, many aspects of the Maya culture were lost in Chan Pine Ridge. Perhaps the biggest change for the village came with the rise of the sugar industry (the village lies just a mile away from the Tower Hill factory). While the rise of a cash crop industry like sugar cane enabled the villagers to develop and advance financially, it came at the expense of the traditional Maya milpa system, which was guaranteed to provide yearround sustenance for the community. In fact, it is only now that the sugar prices are intolerably low that some villagers in Chan Pine Ridge are re-kindling their milpas and producing crops for their own consumption and village sale. Chan Pine Ridge hasn’t been derogatively impacted by development as many Belizean communities have. However, there are problems in the village that are being exacerbated in the current climate. Many men are forced to either commute to work or to emigrate to seek employment opportunities elsewhere, and this is creating an increasingly worrying number of single-parent families (or broken homes). There are also continuous complaints from villagers concerning the problem of mosquito infestations in the village, exacerbated through large areas of stagnant water after heavy rainfall, and the lack of insecticide spraying (which used to be conducted much more routinely). However, as for drugs, alcohol abuse and crime: it does exist within the village, but most people with such vices are eager to practise them away from the prying eye of neighbours, and with Orange Walk so close, many leave the village on a weekend if they want to misbehave. With so many of Chan Pine Ridge’s community being descendents of the initial couple of families

that settled the village, the residents are more like one big family than a dispersed community. This essence of community can be seen in many aspects of village life, not least of all because Chan Pine Ridge has established itself as a major broom producing village, all because of 4 villagers who saw a business opportunity and grasped it several decades ago. These milpa farmers sought guidance in broom making, joined the Orange Walk cooperative for such tradesmen, planted their ‘paja’ material, and then passed on the information to many other villagers in order to increase communal opportunities to develop and earn more. Today, the village remains one of the principal broom-making villages of the country, with at least eleven independent producers employed full-time in the industry, and many other smaller-scale workers besides. Chan Pine Ridge has the image of a sleepy, tranquil village over-shadowed by its urban neighbour. But under this facade, the village is a hive of activity, able to sustain itself whilst entering into commercial ventures simultaneously. Elderly members of the village believe that the only downfall is that a village once so united can now be divided and aggressive all under the premise of politics. The Alcalde has disintegrated, and the village council doesn’t continue the ‘fajina’ tradition, although the chairman does offer a rubbish disposal service for residents to try to dissuade people from dumping on the entrance road to the village, which has seriously impaired the appearance of the village over recent months. Chan Pine Ridge is one of the unique villages that perhaps should be looking to its past for solutions to its future: a village that was never plagued by hunger or grief would be wise to disregard the ‘benefits’ of modernity and once again become a traditional paradigm for other communities throughout Belize.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Elizabeth Pridgeon Since July 2003, Orangewalkeños have been able to receive some of the best quality photography in Belize, compliments of Royel’s Photo Studio. The owners of Royel’s, Mr Roy and Miss Perla Perera, represent a combined photographic force, the former receiving photo service training from Belicolor, and the latter being raised amid a family of photographers dating back generations. Anyone requiring passport-sized photos for licences, photos for various forms of identification, professional wedding photography, quince-años souvenir photos, graduation coverage, advertising packages or individual and family profiles will receive attentive service and care at Royel’s Photo Studio.


Elizabeth Pridgeon Since the recent inauguration of the new Maya Island Air terminal at the Corozal airstrip, there is more and more passing trade through Ranchito and along the airport access road. What better place for a thriving business, then, than just outside the airport property, where K J Snacks is currently situated. K J Snacks caters to the appetite requirements of travellers to and from the Corozal airstrip, providing soft drinks, snacks and quick dishes to customers between the working hours of 7.30am and 5.30pm. Their breakfast menu offers many traditional favourites including omelettes, ham and eggs, fryjacks and toast – perfect for the hungry traveller before a day in San Pedro. All-day bites such as Jamaican beef patties, hot dogs, nachos and Johnny cakes are made to order on demand, and served with a choice of natural juice (sometimes even including the local speciality, blackberry). And whilst munching on their selection of savoury delights, K J Snacks also provides customers with four computers offering internet access for the reasonable rate of $3/hour. This service, plus the similarly low rates for printing, has encouraged many local villagers to use the facilities, regardless of whether they are booked on an imminent flight or not, which means that a steady stream of people are nearly always frequenting K J Snacks. They also offer a catering service of traditional Belizean favourites such as rice and beans and escabeche for those who order in advance. K J Snacks also has a licence to sell beer, and it is expected that it will restock its fridges in the near future to ensure that it keeps up with all its customer’s demands. K J Snacks ensures that flying passengers (and locals alike) have all their needs well catered for, every day of the week.

They also offer a JP service, and assistance with visa applications for Belizeans wishing to obtain international visas for travel.

And the Pereras even ensure that their opening hours suit everybody’s schedule: any of the above services are offered between 8am and 12:00


noon, again in the afternoon from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, and in the evening from 7:00pm to 9:00pm (Wednesdays excluded). The couple intend to remain at their current premises as long as continuous trade permits them to cover their location expenses, which will hopefully be for many years to come. Within the next year, they hope to extend their facilities into digital imaging and digital printing, and perhaps expand from there into new services in the future. Mr Roy is also a qualified photo laboratory technician, so the potential is almost endless as to how the business may grow. But that doesn’t mean that the core principles of the company will change: quality service, customer care and value for money have underlined the company’s success for years, and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the future.


The Belize Times

Sunday, November 29, 2009

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Belize #1 Sports Page

Triple B & Gentle Touch lead FFB women’s football playoffs Belize City, November 21, 2009 The Triple B’s of Belmopan and the Gentle Touch girls of Esperanza village both posted big wins in the 1st week of playoffs of the national women’s football competition organized by the Football Federation of Belize; Triple B’s upset Belize City United 2-1 at the M.C.C. garden, while Gentle Touch ran rings around Big Falls FC for a 3-0 win at the Norman Broaster Stadium on Saturday evening. Kaina Martinez and Tara Hernandez led the Triple B’s attacks supported by Miriam Villamil and Vanessa Maldonado on the wings and Kaya Cattouse and Lynette “Panchy” Gabourel at midfield. When the Triple B’s won a free kick, Lynette Gabourel’s execution found Kaina Martinez, who finished with a shot on goal to put the visitors up 1-0 at the half time break. The Belize City side refreshed its defense with Karla Flores replacing Salambu Munnings, while Triple B’s Eva Bernardez relieved Miriam Villamil. Even so the city defenders Melony Tasher and Helen F l owe r s c o u l d not contain Tara Hernandez who broke free to drill a second goal past the Belize City keeper

Ermine Ferguson in the 75th minute. Shinelle Gentle compounded their problems by pushing Bernardez off her feet, earning herself a red card ejection. The Belize City girls got some in with Helen Flowers’ textbook execution of a free kick at the edge of the goal area that curved the ball over the wall of defenders perfectly into the far corner of the goal as the visitors went on to post a 2-1 win. Gentle Touch striker Kimberly Perez had a blast as she scored a hat trick for a 3-0 win over the Big Falls FC girls. Kimberly surprised the P. G . g o a l i e Gianellie Aguilar with the winning goal in the 3rd minute of play. Cynthia Salazar and Cindy Fuentes were backing up Perez attacks on the wings, but the Big Falls

defenders Sara Arzu, Carolita Jacobs and Eileen Graham held the Cayo girls to a 1-0 lead up to the half time break. In the 2nd h a l f, C y n t h i a Salazar brought up the ball on the right flank and centered perfectly into the goal area for Kimberly to finish the play with a 2nd goal in the 58th m i n u t e. P G ’s Ju l i a S a n ch e z and Claudia Rodriguez were breaking up the Cayo girls’ attacks but they could not stop Fuentes and Salazar from getting off shots on goal, which fortunately Aguilar was able to save. Veronica Chiac entered the ball game for Big Falls FC, and Katrina Gotz and Eileen Graham pressed forward for a goal, but the Cayo defenders Kendra “Peaches” Gentle, Dianelli “Shampoo” Wade, Monique Godoy and Dana Bennett held the visitors scoreless until the long whistle, while Perez completed her hat trick with a 3rd goal in the 64th minute. Gentle Touch travels to the Toledo Union field in Punta Gorda for the rematch with Big Falls FC, while Triple B’s will host Belize City United at the FFB field on Saturday afternoon, November 28.

SCA’s 4B girls win Relay Triathlon Belize City, November 21, 2009 St. Catherine Academy Form 4B’s Ivily Vasquez swam, Shanice Skeen rode and Meisha Teichroeb ran to win the SCA Relay triathlon held on Newtown Barracks beside the Memorial Park last Saturday, November 21. Together they clocked 21:29 minutes to win the 1st place trophy. Form 2FW clocked 23:46 to win the 2nd place trophy with Megan Martinez in the swim, Gabriella Habet for the cycle leg and Kursha Pollard on the run. Form 3F clocked 23:46 to win the 3rd place trophy with Francesca Sharp in the swim, Jayda Guydis on the ride and Leanne Murray on the run. All 16 forms participated, including a teachers’ team. Aidan Palacio swam, cycled and ran the entire course in 24:12 to win the individual triathlon event, while Emily Thompson took 2nd in 27:49. The Form 4AB girls clocked 23:53 to place 4th, with Geraldine Sosa in the swim, Christian Rodriguez on the bike and Christy Green on the run. Angelica Vasquez, Keisha Laing and Melissa Usher of form 3AB clocked 25:49 to take 5th place, while Diandra Fabro, Analisa Habet and Chelsye Ashbye of form 3SC clocked 26:03 to finish 6th. Inga Woods, Gianellie Williams and Chelsea Perera of form 2CM were clocked 26:32 to finish 7th while Lynette Palacio, Kiana Wagner and Aaliya Williams of

Form 2 MG’s clocked 26:50 to take 8th place. The teachers: Ms Felks, Ms Kelly and Mr Cacho clocked 27:33 to finish 9th. SCA principal Salome Tillett presented the trophies to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for the relay and individual triathlons, acknowledging the corporate sponsorship for the fund-raising event: Brothers Habet which contributed $2,000, Atlantic Bank which contributed $2,200, Atlantic Insurance which added $1,500 and Unicomer which chipped in $500.


The Belize Times

sunday, November 29, 2009

Belize #1 Sports Page

Team ACE wins team table tennis championship B e l i z e C i t y, November 22, 2009 Team ACE captained by Nelito Ayuso, along with Carlos Cui, Jorge E s p a t a n d Fa r e e d Ahmad won the championship finals of the 1st ever team table tennis tour nament o r g a n i z e d by t h e Belize Table Tennis Association BTTA at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Sunday. In the semifinals, the No.4 seed Sugar City team led by Mandy Gomez, Tyrone Tun and Roy Rosado upset the No. 1 seed Team Racqueteers: Amir Vasquez, Peter Wang and Tux Vasquez 5-3 to advance to the finals, while Team Ace eliminated the No.2 seed Team No Mercy led by Daniel Habet, Jamil Bedran and Landy Habet by a 5-2 win to advance to the finals. In the consolation match series for 3rd place, the Racqueteers team swatted Team No Mercy 5-1. Amir Vasquez took the 1st match

3-1 over Landy Habet, Peter Wang blew away Daniel Habet 3-0 in the 2nd match, and Tux Vasquez smashed Jamil Bedran 3-1 in the 3rd match. No Mercy’s Daniel Habet won the 4th match over Amir Vasquez 3-0, but the Racqueteers secured the 3rd place win when Tux Vasquez took out Landy Habet 3-0 and Wang waxed Jamil Bedran 3-0. In the final, Team ACE won over Team Sugar City 5-2. ACE’s Jorge Espat

won the 1st match against Tyrone Tun 3 games to 1, ACE’s Nelito Ayuso won the 2nd match 3-0 over Roy Rosado, but Sugar City’s Mandy Gomez won the 3rd match 3-1 over Carlos Cui. Nelito Ayuso won the 4th match 4-1 over Tyrone Tun, but again Mandy Gomez won the 5th match 3-2 over Jorge Espat. Carlos Cui won the 6th match 3-1 vs. Roy Rosado and Nelito Ayuso took out Mandy Gomez 3-0 in the 7th match.

Kraal Road FC, Valley Renaissance, Tex Mar United & San Felipe Barcelona win thru to Belize Bank Superleague semifinals

Belmopan City, November 22, 2009 Kraal Road FC won 2-1 over Cayo South United at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium last Saturday night to enter the Belize Bank Superleague football semifinals. Valley Renaissance and San Felipe Barcelona also enjoyed big wins, while Tex Mar United secured their spot in the semifinals by a 1-1 draw with the Paradise Freedom Fighters at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium last Saturday night. Ricky Tamai gave the Cayo South fans something to cheer about when he escaped the Kraal Road defense to drill the city keeper Linares with the Cayo squad’s first goal in the 32nd minute of play as they took a 1-0 lead into the half time break. Kraal Road’s Jarret Davis avenged this insult early in the 2nd half

in the 48th minute and Tyrone “T-bone” Muschamp drove in the game winner in the 69th minute. Kraal Road FC will have Tex Mar United for supper when the semifinals begin at the M.C.C. garden on Sunday. Defending champs Valley Renaissance of Dangriga exacted payback from the Placencia Assassins with a 3-0 blowout at the Carl Ramos Stadium on Saturday night to enter the semi-finals 3-1 on goal aggregate. Valley’s captain Kareem Peters scored the winning goal in the 4th minute and Leonard Valdez iced the win with a 2nd goal in the 31st minute. Kenroy Arthurs made doubly sure

of the win with a 3rd goal in the 55th minute. In the semifinals, Valley Renaissance will meet San Felipe Barcelona who drilled Hattieville F.C. 3-2 in San Felipe on Sunday afternoon. In Independence on Saturday night, the Paradise Freedom Fighters aveng ed their 1-0 humiliation the week before when Delroy Flores scored the 1st goal in the 27th minute of play to give them a 1-0 lead up to the half time break. Tex Mar United’s ‘old man river’ Roberto Muschamp showed the PG boys he’s still dangerous when he delivered the equalizer in the 56th minute and the Independence squad locked up shop after that to shut the PG visitors out of the next round.

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Belize #1 Sports Page

Gwen Liz girls & boys win in CSSSA basketball playoffs Belize City, November 20, 2009 The Gwendolyn Lizarraga High School girls and boys have both won spots Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) basketball competition. The girls have 4 wins, soon to become 5, while the boys have 7 wins which may become 8 when their game with the Sadie Vernon Technical high school boys is completed. The Wesley College girls posted their 3rd win against the St. Catherine Academy girls 28-19 in overtime last Friday night. Devonay Herrera led the Wesley girls with 11pts, Genae Samuels added 4pts and Kelsey Roches and Anna Pinto chipped in 3pts each. Shanice Humes and Melissa Williams tossed in a bucket apiece. Kursha Pollard led the SCA girls with 17 pts, and Kafira Gill added 1 bucket. The Anglican College and Nazarene High School girls have withdrawn from the competition. The Gwen Liz boys posted their 7th win over the St John’s College boys on Monday. Matthew Young led with 27pts, Sherwin Garcia added with 2 pts and Raheem Flowers chipped in 5pts. Russel Staine led SJC with 22pts, Brancon Castillo added 11 pts and Kendis Williams tossed in 10pts The Gwen Liz boys picked up their 6th win running over the Wesley College boys 70-44 last Friday night.

Again Matthew Young led with 29pts, Raheem Flowers added 14pts, and Sherwin Garcia was good for 10 pts. Akeem Trapp added 6pts. Vince Young had led the Wesley boys with 13 pts, Rodwell Neal added 12 pts and Rahyme Sacasa drained in a trey to add 11pts. Defending champs Sadie Vernon boys failed to post their 8th win when their game with the Gwen Liz boys was suspended after a fan ran onto the court and tried to assault a Sadie Vernon player. The Sadie Vernon boys were leading Gwen Liz 41-37, the closest any team has come to winning over Sadie Vernon. Matthew Young had scored 22pts. The Sadie Vernon boys picked their 7th win 80-48 over the Edward P. Yorke High School boys last Wednesday. Aaron Cooper led Sadie Vernon with 22 pts, Kachief Thomas and Peter Mckoy each added 10pts, while David Robateau scored 9pts, London Reneau – 8pts and Raheem Gaynair – 7 pts. Terique Gabb drained in a trey to lead E.P. Yorke with 17 pts, Orinykro Akpobodor had 11pts and Hanson Crawford added 8pts. The E.P. Yorke boys remain winless as they fell to the Tubal institute boys 71-81 on Monday. Ian Wagner led Tubal with 30pts, Darren Longsworth added 21 pts while Marc Marriott chipped in 10pts. Hanson Crawford led the E.P. Yorke boys with 21 pts, Akpobodor

added 14 pts and Terique Gabb scored 13pts The St. John’s College boys outlasted the Nazarene High School boys 82-81 to post their 5th win last Tuesday. SJC’s Brandon Castillo and Kingsley Eusey had 16pts each, while Kendice Williams added 15pts and Raheem Staine - 14pts. Alejandro Baptist had led Nazarene High with 43 pts, Kadeem Courtenay added 14pts and Ryan Flowers drained in a trey to add 11pts. The Nazarene boys recovered to post back to back wins, edging out the Tubal Institute 77-72 last Friday night and spanking Wesley College 52-47 on Tuesday. Alejandro Baptist led with 28 pts, Alberto Cuellar hit 3 treys to add 19 pts, and Kadeem Courtenay added 12pts. Against Wesley, Alejandro scored 16pts, Alberto Cuellar added 14pts and Kadeem had 9 pts. Vince Young led Wesley with 14pts. The Ladyville Tech boys also picked up their 3rd win 80-57 over the Anglican Cathedral College boys on Tuesday. Fitzgerald Alvarez led Ladyville with 18pts, Jael Ottley had 11pts and Kenroy McCord added 10pts. Travis Bernardez led the A.C.C. boys with 24pts, while Raheem Franklin added 9 pts. The Excelsior High School boys have also withdrawn from the competition and playoffs begin on Monday, November 30.

FC Belize & BDF win thru to BPFL finals No more goals were scored in the 2nd half, and the game went into overtime. Orlan Lyons got himself ejected with a red card, but the visitors could still not score. Harrison Tasher and Ryan Simpson converted FC Belize’s first 2 kicks while Man of the Match goalie Elroy Rowley stopped Verdes’ first 2 kickers. Verdes’ Luis Mendez and Edon Rowley converted, but Leon Cadle and Elroy Rowley converted their kicks to send Verdes packing 4-2.

Belize City, November 22, 2009 FC Belize looks forward to winning a 3rd national championship after outgunning Hankook Verdes 4-2 in a penalty shootout at the M.C.C. garden on Sunday to win thru to the Belize Premier Football League championship finals. They will take on the Belize Defence Force, which won 5-2 on goal aggregate after a 1-1draw with the San Pedro Dolphins 4-1 at the Ambergris Stadium on Sunday. Hankook Verdes’ Amin August, Marlon Meza and Ricky Jimenez looked

to clinch their berth in the finals but could not get by the city defenders: Ian Gaynair, Shannon Flowers, Leon Cadle and Orlan Lyons. Norman “Tilliman” Pipersburgh, Edon “Yellowman” Rowley, Shamir Pacheco and Everald “Tarry” Gabourel backed up the visitors’ attacks at midfield but they blundered into giving up a penalty when Verdes’ sweeper Trevor Lennon took down Jerome Archer inside the 18-yd box. F.C. Belize’s Harrison Tasher converted to give the city squad a1-zip lead going into the half time break.

Out on the island the BDF took a 1-0 lead when Evan Mariano scored in the 26th minute. Hilberto Caliz equalized for the Dolphins in the 79th minute but this could not equalize the 4-1 loss the Dolphins had suffered in Dangriga last Wednesday. Hilberto Caliz had scored first in the 27th minute, but Paul Nunez made it 1-1 when he scored in the 37th minute and again in the 51st minute. Evan Mariano and Orlando “Lichy” Jimenez added 2 more goals for the 4-1 win.


The Belize Times


Reflections A day in their shoes…

By: Mike Rudon Jr.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Megalomania: 1 : a mania for great or grandiose performance 2 : a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur ... I’ve been angry a lot these past weeks…hell, I’ve been angry a lot these past months. Those who don’t know me so well would say it doesn’t show, and I’m still the same old mellow, lovable character I’ve always been. Those who know me very well say I’m like a time-bomb ready to explode. See, things aren’t going so well in our little Belize. In fact, things are very, very bad. I’d be willing to say that things are the worst they’ve ever been in our jewel in the Caribbean, and I’d be willing to bet that a whole helluva lot of people would agree with me on that. And to make matters damn near unbearable in my twisted mind, the nation is being led by a Prime Minister with a monumental ego, huge vocabulary, limited economic knowledge, absolutely no shame and diamond encrusted blinders firmly in place. The Prime Minister makes me very angry. I believe that he is a megalomaniac millionaire who is running this country into the ground while ensuring that his family gorges at the public trough. I believe that the Prime Minister is a coldhearted, uncaring despot who has lost sight of the fact that when it comes to governance, leadership is best accomplished through service, and not service of Lois et al, but service of all Belizeans without fear or favour. I am of the firm conviction that the Prime Minister is a petty, small-minded little man. So that basically sums up what I think about the Prime Minister of this country. I couldn’t care less about Dean Barrow the man having these traits…but Dean Barrow the Prime Minister with these traits is a Mugabe-inspired nightmare for this country and its people. He makes me very angry. But my anger goes deeper than that. Lately I have become increasingly frustrated about the situation with the BML workers. One hundred of those workers have already been sent home. The rest will be sent home this Friday. They are being sent home because the UDP City Council cannot pay them. The UDP Central Government refuses to help. Mayor Zenaida Moya doesn’t even speak on the matter. The Prime Minister having de-

clared that he won’t give the Council one cent has washed his hands of the matter. And that’s the end of that – 150 families with their means of support taken away just a few weeks before Christmas. I am frustrated with the media. Today the BML story is just a blurb in the news, no big deal. By tomorrow, it’ll be something which happened. By next week, it will be last week’s news. What does that say about the media? Where is this mighty force that formed part of the wave which washed the previous administration out of power? Back then, something like this would have caused a media frenzy. Today, it’s just a news story, here today gone tomorrow. The media seems uninterested in the corruption inside City Hall and the mismanagement which have led to the demise of the BML workers. The media seems uninterested in the Prime Minister turning his back on these workers and their families just weeks before Christmas. The media seems uninterested in the plight of these poor workers. Back then if something like this had happened, the media would have visited the homes of these poor Belizeans on a nightly basis, producing tear-jerking story after story. Back then, the airwaves would have been filled with the chant of revolution. Today the media is silent. Today the media is content to give the PM and Zenaida and Phillip a free pass and carte blanche. I am frustrated with our leaders in the city, and I don’t mean the UDP representatives because as far as I am concerned they are an absolute waste of time. I would like to see our PUP representatives in the city stand up against the injustices being carried out against our people. Now, more than ever, we need our leaders in the city to make their presence known. The people are crying out for it. We need our leaders in the city to stand with the fired workers from BML, to march in the streets with them, to stand with Hirian Good in her quest for justice, to side with those who have been victimized. Now, more than ever, we need our PUP leaders from the city. I think the problem with many of you reading this, and yes, me as well, is that we don’t walk in the same shoes of the BML workers who have absolutely nowhere to turn. It’s easy for me to write in the most colorful and expressive of terms about the plight of the BML workers but see, I’ve never been absolutely desperate and absolutely destitute. Hell, yes, I’ve been broke and yes there’ve been hard times, but it’s hard for me to put myself in the shoes of those BML workers who are at the end of their rope. It’s hard for a lot of us to fathom the thought of hearing our children cry because they had nothing to eat before being put to bed in a corner of a broken down wooden shack with rain coming through the holes in the walls. I think that the time is coming when we will have to walk in the shoes of these people and get the sense, so to speak. Then, I predict that for the Barrow administration, the ‘whole world will erupt against them…I’m talkin’ bout a revolution!’

sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times

Strictly Personal

Barrow makes $45 million mortgage debenture disappear

by In one of the most artful pieces of legal legerdemain ever, Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow said on Wednesday that in his view the passage of the legislation that “legalized” the expropriation of the majority shareholding of Belize Telemedia Limited, had made the >BZ$45 million mortgage debenture held by British Caribbean Bank, formerly the Belize Bank (Turks and Caicos) Limited, in effect disappear. Barrow told a local talk show that “… what government has done is to step into the shoes of the creditor." He went on to further assert that: “Government acquired the right of the creditor... government did not assume the right of the debtor" He underlined that: “Government has taken away the creditor's right to go against the debtor." Several members of the Belize’s legal and business community have expressed outrage at Barrow’s assertion pointing out that there can be no assumption of a debt by anyone at all, without the permission of the creditor. They further note that by claiming to have involuntarily replaced a mortgage debenture, a legal instrument, with a simple undertaking, Barrow is undermining the nation’s entire finance system. But Barrow’s belief in his powers of legal prestidigitation borders on delusionary. In an interview broadcast on Channel 7 Wednesday night he said: “Government in its acquisition, in the order made by the Minister acquired that mortgage debenture which in effect means that government is subrogated to the rights of the bank. Government steps in the shoes of the bank, government in fact then inhabits the space of the creditor. The mortgage debenture is thus in government’s favour and the loan to Telemedia that it secures is a loan that is now owed by Telemedia to government. Government has not assumed BTL’s debt. “That would mean that government has stepped into the shoes of BTL, it is the complete opposite. Government has stepped into the shoes of the bank. So rather than government now owing the loan in the place of Telemedia, government is the person to whom the loan is owed in the place of Belize Bank Turks and Caicos.” By definition a mortgage debenture is a corporate loan collateralized by mortgage on the specified assets of the issuing firm. The original amount of the loan with the Bank back on July 6th, 2007 was for US$22,500.00 for a period of forty-eight months ending on July 6th, 2011. According to Michael Coye, a director of British Caribbean Bank, “The loan was obtained by B.T.L. to purchase shares (that)

were held by RBTT as well as to finance expansion projects and for general working capital … “It was set up where the first few years were interest only. BTL had been making their payments up until August 2009, which is when the government acquired ninetyfour percent shares in BTL through the nationalization of the company. Since then they have not been making payments and have resulted in the loan being in default.” Now my understanding is that the loan is secured by the mortgage debenture, and if DOB’S GOB wants to claim that they have “acquired” the mortgage debenture as part of the expropriation of the majority shareholding of BTL, BCB seems not to care too much. After all, there is the matter of the Loan Facility Agreement which is a straight forward binding agreement between BTL and BCB. Under the terms of the mortgage debenture BTL had in effect mortgaged its properties at the Boom Northern Highway junction, Kings Park, Regent and Bishop Streets, Church Street and Duck Lane, and in Belmopan. The bank it would seem would rather just have the loan, cum interest repaid rather than be bothered with court actions and auctions et cetera in a depressed real estate market. The Loan Facility Agreement provides for a number of “events of defaults” including the failure to pay and any changes to the ownership structure or management of Telemedia without the consent of the BCB. The BCB says that following the expropriation of BTL, they initiated discussions with both the new board of directors of Telemedia and GOB representatives but to no avail. The loan is in default and the Dean Barrow administration seems determined not to pay. What I understand Barrow to be saying is that BCB, if it is to get back its money, will do so whenever compensation is paid by GOB for the acquisition since he has waved his legislative wand and bundled it all into one package – mortgage debenture and loan agreement be damned. In effect he is saying that when he compulsorily acquired the majority shareholding in BTL, he also compulsorily bought, on credit nonetheless, the loan from BCB, and he will pay them for that right at a place and time presumably of his choosing, and do I hear the innuendo that it will also be at a price of his choosing? To paraphrase Senator Lisa Shoman, Barrow is saying that he has taken BOTH the assets which were pledged for the loan, (the shares, the properties, the future dividends of BTL), AND the loan itself. GOB lent monies to no one. BCB did lend money to BTL. If Government now seizes the BCB loan and puts itself in its place. (which it cannot do legally without BCB consent), the GOB is liable to pay to BCB whether BTL pays off the loan or not. The really real here is that we, the taxpayers of Belize are now stuck with a multimillion dollar bill that is growing with each passing day. Even by Mr. Barrow’s own admission we now owe BTL’s former majority shareholders a minimum of BZ$300 million plus (as of Wednesday, November 25th, 2009) another US$22,658,632.34 owed to the BCB plus accumulating interest. As of this week we are now a rogue state in the international financial sector, and the betting here is that it is only a matter of time before we are a failed state.



The Belize Times


PON DI GULLY We are talking NONSENSE, he says.

By anthony sylvestre For a Prime Minister and someone who has this great facility of words and is considered a wordsmith, Dean Barrow increasingly talks loosely, recklessly, disrespectfully. Take this past Tuesday for instance. The Amandala Newspaper carried a news story of the 45 million dollar debt that the government of Belize has incurred without getting approval from the National Assembly. In response to comments made by Senator Godwin Hulse on this illegal and hypocritical conduct of this government who railed fire and brimstone in Opposition of the passing private debts to the Belizean public without getting the approval from the National Assembly, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that


“Godwin Hulse is talking nonsense”. We expect the Prime Minister to hurl such diatribes at us PUPs, but not the good Senator. But, I suppose a great many of the Belizean society are talking nonsense here. That we don’t get it; that we unfortunately do not have the intellectual capacity to understand; that we do not know that we are being shafted with a 45 million debt rammed into our collective you know what. But it is a pattern of his: talking recklessly, disrespectfully and down to people, that is. Remember when in July the Unions were complaining about the amendment to the Settlement of Disputes in Essential Services Act, he declared “…[if ] they want to threaten war, bring it on. There will be no retreat absolutely from what we intend to do “; or when he in August, 2008 in the House of Representatives called the Chief Justice’s ruling on the referendum case “idle”; or just last week he applauded government controlled BTL’s interruption of service for over 90,000 Smart customers, even though the PUC considered that ill advised. But back to this 45 million debt Barrow has rammed down our collective

you know what. Even Adele Ramos, who is fond of the Prime Minister, seems to have had to step back on this one. In the Amandala Sunday 22nd, 2009 edition, Adele noted that that the acquisition of BTL back in August was “on incorrect claims that it would put an end to litigation with the Ashcroft group of companies”. For, as is now evident, only more litigation is on the horizon, even if the Prime Minister calls them ‘nuisance”. And in this past Tuesday of the Amandala, Adele had to remind Barrow that it was not Godwin Hulse who said that GOB had acquired the BTL private debt, but his government press office. And another thing, why refer to the saddling of the Belizean taxpayer with a $45 million debt as an “acquisition”, as though are some great benefits to be accrued to the Belizean taxpayer by this move? But, like I said, I suppose we are all taking nonsense and Prime Minister Barrow knows otherwise. But all the same, let us look at the facts and all. The Prime Minister called into the KREM WUB morning talk show on Wednesday morning in an attempt to clarify the issue. He said that the government is not acquiring the BTL debt, but is stepping in the shoes of the creditor (Belize Bank) and that the press release issued by government last week was a consequence of an article in the Reporter newspaper citing that BTL owes 45 million to Belize Bank. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t make much sense on the gully side. With the correct connections, it seems, you can now have the government acquire your mortgage and rather than you paying your monthly mortgage as agreed, you don’t pay until you fall into luck with

Sunday, November 29, 2009 enough money to pay. Wouldn’t that be just a wonderful world if we could all have it like that! The Prime Minister is trying to have his cake and eat it. He is pandering to local public sentiment, but also trying to assuage potential purchasers of BTL that everything is okay; that BTL’s book debts do not include this 45 million. I would love to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt on this one, but it is not adding up. If the government steps in the shoes of the creditor (that is Belize Bank) or not, Belize Bank still has to get paid. All that is happening is rather than BTL paying the 45 million dollars directly, government and the tax payer (or perhaps some benevolent millionaire/billionaire (preferably a UDP) will assume that 45 million dollar debt. Belize Bank will get theirs, no doubt about that one. Let the Prime Minister explain who will pay. It’s the people of Belize who will incur the 45 million dollars debt regardless of how this is spun. No potential buyer of BTL, having done its due diligence, will pay that $45 million. The Prime Minister knows this. But as my Jamaican friend would say- “dah fuh he world; we just di pay fi live inna it.” When the Prime Minister “stronged” BTL from Michael Ashcroft in August, Belizeans far and near were rejoicing. There were some who questioned the prudence of moving swiftly to acquire BTL without investigating what we were getting into. Ashcroft did not and still has not publicly condemned the acquisition. It now appears Ashcroft set a trap. Not much due diligence was done and the Prime Minister fell for it. But the Prime Minister is adamant that he “has all the marbles.” And we are talking nonsense.

sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times

Notions by: Apathy

Darwin says you must die…

It is generally accepted that all life forms have over time evolved from common ancestors. The theory is known as the theory of evolution and was put forth by Charles Darwin. He has a more interesting theory called the theory of natural selection which proposes that the traits that make it more likely that a species will survive in the current habitat are the ones that are passed on. He further proposes that the organisms with less desirable traits in the current environment are the ones that over time face extinction. It is this same theory then that I intend we study in order to understand what in effect is happening in modern Belizean politics today. Certainly the conditions and habitat are changing and constantly. The species must adapt or perish. Extinction happens when a species is unable to survive changing conditions or superior competition in its natural habitat. I am told by experts in the field that dinosaurs and dodo birds have become extinct both in the wild and in local politics. But that really is not very surprising for what can a dinosaur really change into and well, dodo birds really aren’t very smart. Sad to say there are still many dodo birds and dinosaurs in the party. These people have nothing new to bring to the table; they are unwilling, yea unable to change with the times. See if you think that those old tricks will still work and that people will now settle for the same ole same ole, well that just won’t fly. This is a brand new era, and really aren’t we all glad. As a party we need to change or we die. It’s the resounding truth that is so clear after elections. Those dinos or dodos that still want to throw stones and try to pat themselves on their backs for jobs well done in the last election - well it’s no wonder we lost. I mean don’t take it

personally; there have been lots of changes in the party and all of them for the better. At the Belize Times for instance we have fresh new writers and that other paper has our old perspective. But hey no hard feelings, no sour grapes if you just can’t cut it at the Times.

I can offer some helpful advice though - there is a new worldwide movement called The Voluntary Extinction Movement. It proposes that we live and not reproduce and die out so as not to propagate unsuitable traits. Hint anyone? I mean do we really need any


more dinos or dodos? Do we need any more frustrated, warped shells running around town? Don’t fight it. Don’t be unwilling to accept what even nature has ordained. You change, adapt or die. Survival of the fittest, that notion has been around for a long time.


The Belize Times

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wesley Collage Congratulates Class of 09'

The Board of Management of Wesley College takes pride in congratulating the following 2009 Graduates for their outstanding performance in the June 2009 sitting of the CSEC Examinations sponsored by the Caribbean Examinations Council: Individual Subject Award – English A (Best performance in country) ESHTON OREN ROBATEAU

Certificate of Excellence


Certificate of Achievement:





In addition, we salute the teachers whose diligence, dedication and outstanding commitment allowed the school to achieve 100% passes in Chemistry, Geography, Human and Social Biology, Integrated Science, Office Administration, Physical Education, Physics, Technical Drawing and Visual Arts. Thanks graduates and teachers…continue to make us proud: Sursum Corda!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times


Atlantic Bank launches Credit Relief Program

BELIZE CITY, Belize, Monday, November 23, 2009 – In recognition of the fact that our country is in a recession, Atlantic Bank Limited announces its Credit Relief Program. The Bank will actively work with its customers and the community to provide relief to those whose financial situation has been adversely affected by the economic downturn. Some of the initiatives being undertaken by the Bank under the program include: Local credit card customers that are in good standing will enjoy relief through an interest reduction of 2% per annum from December 2009 through December 2010 on their balances, making it the lowest in the market. In addition to the reduction in interest rates, all credit card customers will be granted a two months waiver on minimum payments effective December 2009. Combined with the above, consumer loan customers that have a good credit history may enjoy an additional interest rate reduction on the ongoing Christmas promotional loans. To further assist our consumer loan customers, waivers of up to three months installments may be granted upon request. Atlantic Bank will also apply the Credit Relief Program to its corporate customers by providing solutions aimed at addressing their cash flow shortfalls to assist with their financial stability. Please visit, call or email your nearest Atlantic Bank office for further information on the Credit Relief Program. Atlantic Bank: Responsible Banking, Intelligent Solutions


The Belize Times

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Belize Times

Who Will Pay the $45 Million?

(Continued from page 1)

owed by Telemedia to government. Gover nment has not assumed BTL’s debt. That would mean that government has stepped into the shoes of BTL, it is the complete opposite. Government has stepped into the shoes of the bank. So rather than government now owing the loan in the place of Telemedia, government is the person to whom the loan is owed in the place of Belize Bank Turks and Caicos.” Legal and banking experts that the Belize Times spoke to today claim that the Prime Minister’s assertion is just so much ‘hogwash’ and has no legal basis. What Barrow is essentially saying,

they told us, is that not only did GOB acquire the assets of BTL when it was nationalized, but it also acquired the loan itself, which makes absolutely no sense. According to Barrow, although GOB never lent any money to BTL, GOB is now the entity to which money is owed by BTL. Our experts today stated that they believe that Barrow is playing a very dangerous game indeed, banking on anti-Ashcroft sentiment rather than any adherence to law. A release from the British Caribbean Bank states – ‘Telemedia has defaulted on its obligations under the Loan Facility Arrangement and as a result all indebtedness and liability of

Telemedia to the Bank has become immediately due and payable. The Bank is taking the necessary steps to recover the amounts due and owing. The view that GOB’s acquisition of the mortgage debenture prevents the Bank from taking steps to recover the approximately BZ$45,000,000 owed to it by Telemedia is a wholly mistaken view.’ Here at the Belize Times, we would dare to say that the Prime Minister is behaving in his trademark arrogant and high-handed manner. We find it frankly unbelievable, even without advice from our experts that any entity can step into the position of creditor without having


lent any money or like facility. To us it seems relatively simple. BTL owed British Caribbean Bank money. GOB took over BTL. The loan is in arrears. BCB is seeking to recover its monies. So BTL/GOB has to pay up. Dean Barrow is saying that instead, BTL now owes GOB that money. This seems absolutely ludicrous. The plain reality is this. Belizean taxpayers have now been burdened by an additional $45Million plus debt simply because the Prime Minister allowed his ego to guide his hand. The nation is being led down a rocky road, guided by a megalomaniac with no vision.

UDP/GOB can’t unload Telemedia in competitive market – Smart must GO!

(Continued from page 1) abruptly and unilaterally cut international service to all 90,000 Smart customers on Friday evening of November 20. The powers that be at Telemedia had signaled to Smart that they were unhappy with the present interconnectivity agreement in a letter dated November 13, in which they advised Smart they would be cutting the international service. Smart executives responded by inviting Telemedia to propose a quote for what they might consider a reasonable rate for Telemedia to continue to provide the service. When Telemedia proved intractable and refused to negotiate a compromise solution, Smart registered a protest with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Tuesday, November 17, and the following day advised the Belize Chamber of Commerce of the unreasonable stance Telemedia had taken.

That same day, November 18, the Chamber of Commerce expressed the concern about Telemedia’s anti-competitive attitude in a letter to the PUC, which responded by writing both parties advising Telemdia that it would be in the best interest of the Belize business community that Telemedia continue to honor its existing agreements with Smart Speednet. This advice fell on deaf ears and Telemedia cut off Smart customers’ international service on Friday, November 20. Smart engineers, in an effort to restore service to customers, used an alternative line which was still up and running, by which Smart had monitored its switching exchange mounted atop a Telemedia building at their St. Thomas Street compound. On Sunday morning, November 22, Smart personnel requested and got access to their equipment at St.

Thomas Street and with a slight adjustment, were able to restore international service to their customers. When Telemedia figured out what the Smart people had done, they cut out that service also on Wednesday, November 25 at 5:00 PM. They justified this action by saying Smart had not given them two weeks advance notice for permission to gain access to the Smart equipment on top of the Telemedia building. But Smart did not need access to the equipment until Telemedia cut its service on Friday, November 18! Should they have waited 2 weeks to restore service to their customers? As we go to press, BTL has cut service to Smart cellular sites on two towers in Belize City and in Ladyville. There are credible reports that BTL intends to cut Smart service in the north of the country next.

Currently 90,000 Smart customers are being affected by these arbitrary moves by BTL. The jobs of almost 100 employees are at serious risk, as it is obvious that the monster Barrow Telemedia Limited will stop at nothing to destroy its competition. The PUC has shown its true colours and are advising negotiations even though it has been made clear that BTL is not prepared to negotiate. This is hardly surprising considering that GOB/BTL/PUC are all run by the same dictator. The moves by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in these past months – first to hijack, nationalize and politicize BTL; then to seek to destroy any competition is an outright declaration of war. Here at the Belize Times we have been reliably informed that if Dean Barrow wants war, then it is WAR he will get.

(Continued from page 1) mature leader of a country, was last heard interfering in a case filed in the Supreme Court. Having appointed his brother to be a judge, his brother has appeared in a case in which he is accused of bias. No Prime Minister can interfere in court cases. What is wrong with the Prime Minister. Now comes his ridiculous explanation concerning a loan owed by Telemedia to British Caribbean Bank. When Barrow nationalized BTL, his government acquired

responsibility for the assets as well as the liabilities of BTL. BTL owes $45 million to the British Caribbean Bank. Caught off guard when the Bank claimed for repayment, Barrow schemed up a weird explanation that he had nationalized the Bank’s loan. This is nothing short of nonsense. Barrow has indeed increased the public debt by $45million. In truth the public debt has increased by over $300million as the acquisition of BTL is a

debt owed to the previous owners of BTL. Belize’s public debt has actually increased by $345million. Only last month another of Barrow’s lies was publicly exposed. Claiming he had put millions of dollars as a stimulus package to help the economy Barrow was made to look the fool when Opposition leader Johnny Briceno pointed out on television that from the budget debate he had warned Barrow not to mislead

Belizeans by claiming that budgeted capital projects were stimulus programs. A stimulus package is when extra or additional funds are placed into the economy to create jobs and employment. No such package has been implemented by Barrow. Belize is in a very serious financial crisis, but don’t suggest that to the deceitful Prime Minister and his millionaire family members.

Millions for Lois While 100 Workers Sent Home


The Belize Times

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Belize times 091129  
Belize times 091129  

Belize Times newspaper