24 MAR SCAN HERE
The Belize Times THE BELIZE TIMES
24 MAR 2013
The Truth Shall Make You Free
ISSUE NO: 4837
CORRUPTION on steroids Belize City, March 20th, 2013 A newly-registered company purportedly owned by the Government of Belize to manage millions of tax payers’ dollars has already attracted a flock of UDP cronies like vultures preparing to sink their beaks into a fresh carcass. The company, first introduced by Prime Minister Dean Barrow during his lame Budget presentation on March 1st, is called Belize Infrastructure Limited. The purpose of the company is, as the PM claimed, to “create jobs, stimulate demand, purchase private sector material and supplies” in the construction market for and on behalf of the Government. While the issue of monopolising the sector will raise eyebrows among the private sector, the real controversy has to do with the company’s set up, which will see UDP cronies, who are already
UDP cronies will profit from their involvement in this public company
Guats abandon Oct. 6 referendum
Dangriga Town Council Acquires New Equipment
Sedi says “Belize [is] prepared to
Mystery Guatemalan Foreign Minister Luis Fernando Carrera
Obama cites Belize as Drug Zone
City of Belmopan, March 21, 2013 The Budget Bill for the Fiscal Year 2013/14 has nothing in it for the Belizean people. It does have loads of goodies for
UDP cronies and ghosts. The attention of the BELIZE TIMES was brought to a very mysterious line item in
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THE BELIZE TIMES
PM ignores call for Land Reform Dear Mr. Prime Minister, I am writing to you to request a meeting on what I, and other Belizeans, consider an urgent need for land reform, to take place on Tuesday of next week, March 12 2013. On Tuesday of last week, a group of around 150 Belizeans, led by the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, marched 3
Dangriga Mayor raises concerns over stalled Market Project
2 steps forward, 5 steps backward Dear Editor, It is great news that the Football Federation of Belize has decided to play the international friendly with Trinidad’s national team at the FFB field in Belmopan. When I heard that the MCC would have been used because the FFB field had been reserved for an entertainment event that day, I wondered whether Chimilio had returned to our federation. But I’m not writing on this controversy over the wrong use of the proper stadium. No, my issue is that while we can say that we have an internationally-sanctioned stadium to play football on, we have absolutely no appropriate public facility for the other popular sport – basketball. For almost three years now, the Civic Center has been condemned. The Civic Center was the ONLY adequate basketball court available to the public in the entire city. A city with over 80,000 residents of which a majority are energetic and can’t-keep-steady young people. Is it any wonder why there is so much crime? All basketball competitions are now held at the Bird’s Isle. That facility is privately owned and it costs organisers every time they have an event there. Has the construction of a new facility been delayed because its demise has financially benefitted a former UDP Minister turned businessman? Or am I just being a conspiracy theorist? To allay my concerns, the Prime Minister should have speeded up the process of constructing the new state of the art basketball facility he publicly promised our COCABA medalists in 2009. The PM flaunted nationalism and his Government’s prioritization of basketball as the reasons why they will construct a state of the art facility. But it turned out to be pure pretty speech as the only accomplishment of his Government has been to destroy the sport. Signed, Former National Basketball Team Player
LOCAL 22 Mar
ect Steering Committee (PSC) on all the BMDPs, that the Dangriga Project currently have available $1.1M. This is suggesting that despite eight months of time, labour and material that apparently is invested on the Project site that only approximately three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) have been disbursed to the Project up to this time. This very fact is reason for concern and perhaps why the employees and Service Providers are not paid on a timely basis. Therefore, given the aforementioned, the Dangriga Town Council hereby requests that the situation is regularized at the earliest with a view to: 1. Resume/continue the Project at an accelerated rate so that it is completed on the scheduled time. 2. Employ more personnel, particularly our Dangriga residents, to facilitate the accelerated rate that may be necessary to complete the Project on the scheduled time. 3. Ensure that our Service Providers are paid their outstanding balance 4. Ensure that our Vendors who are temporary relocated are permanently resettled in order to prevent any further loss of income. 5. Prevent further unnecessary inconvenience to the Residents of Dangriga that may be occasioned as a result of the undue delay of the Project.
Mr. Ernest Raymond Project Coordinator SIF Headquarters Constitution Drive P.O. Box 459 Belmopan 12 March 2013 Dear Mr. Raymond, I hereby respectfully register my concern and disappointment in regards to the progress made on the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), the Dangriga Market Renovation and Extension Project which officially started in July 2012. This project is now officially eight months old and with only four months before the projected completion of the Project of July 2013. However, based on what is evident on the ground it appears that his project is significantly delayed and if not accelerated may not be completed in July 2013 as initially scheduled. Kindly be informed that the Project appears to be at a standstill and hardly anyone, particularly our residents of Dangriga, seems to be on the Project site at this time. Similarly, the Vendors, who are temporary relocated, are now also concerned as they are complaining about some drop in sales resulting from the relocation. This situation is contrary to the objectives of the Social Component which stipulates and/or implies that the resident Dangrigana are to benefit from employment and the Vendors should not suffer any significant economic loss. Furthermore, there are also several Service Providers who are lodging complaints to the Council of non-payment for services and/or material provided. Noteworthy, is that, based on the update received from the Proj-
Respectfully, Major (Ret’d) H. Gilbert Swazo Mayor Dangriga Town Editor’s Note: The contract for the market project in Dangriga was awarded by the Social Investment Fund to Kenard Smart, a former UDP candidate in Corozal.
Update: The letter above was sent to the Prime Minister of Belize, on Tuesday March 5th 2013, requesting an audience on the topic of land reform. No reply has been received to date.
THE BELIZE TIMES serving Belize since 1957 as the longest continuous newspaper. Founder: Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, People’s United Party Leader Emeritus EDITOR
Alberto Vellos LAYOUT/GRAPHIC ARTIST
Chris Williams OFFICE ASSISTANT
Roberto Peyrefitte Printed and Published By The Belize Times Press Ltd.
weather 23 Mar
times around the National Assembly, calling on the lands department for transparency, accountability and land for Belizeans with need. Using the text to email service which we set up for this cause, just over 125 persons also sent direct messages to the lands department registering their discontent with the system of distribution practiced in this country. I have not yet received the tally for the signatures collected in the paper based petition, but I have no doubt that the number is well over the 306 signatures received in the online petition. I am told these numbers matter when one is trying to make a political statement, but this is not a political statement; it is an urgent moral appeal for collaboration to correct a system nationally known to be the source of countless and continuing social (and moral) injustices. The map attached shows the 2004 cumulative result of the land grabs, about which you yourself have spoken out against on the floors of the national assembly. I shudder to think what the 2013 map would look like realizing the small fraction of Belizean people it would represent. Please, allow representatives of BGYEA and its social partners an audience with you this coming Tuesday to deliver and discuss the attached ‘National Land Reform Collaboration Agreement’. Thanking you in advance, Samiyyah RIFQA Andrewin Founder, Belize UNBOXED
27 Mar 6 Feb
Tel: 671-8385 #3 Queen Street P.O. BOX 506 Belize City, Belize Email: email@example.com
Exchange rate of One Belize Dollar
United States (USD): $ 0.5064
Barbados Eastern Caribbean (BBD): $ 1.0119 (XCD):$ 1.3671
Euro(EUR) : $ 0.3922
Sterling Pound Guatemala Quetzal CANADIAN DOLLAR CHINESE YUAN Trinidadian (TTD) INDIAN RUPEE (GBP): $ 0.3335 (GTQ): $ 3.9640 (CAD): $ 0.5184 (CNY): $ 3.1474 : $ 3.2491 (INR): $ 27.510
THE BELIZE TIMES
PUP holds Referendum Education Campaign
PUP Leader Hon. Francis declared that the PUP will defend Belize’s independence, sovereignty & territorial integrity Belize City, March 19, 2013 The historic Independence Hall, the headquarters of the PUP’s movement of nationalism and the struggle for Belize’s independence and territorial integrity, was the venue for the PUP Eastern Caucus’ Education Campaign on the proposed referendum on Tuesday, March 19 2013. Following the remarks of the Chairman of the Eastern Caucus, Dr. Francis Smith, who encouraged those in attendance to utilise the information to make the best decision, Deputy Party Leader Carolyn Trench-Sandiford commenced a presentation. Deputy Leader Carolyn had taken on the task of conducting research into the age-old dispute between Belize and Guatemala and the salient aspects of the proposed referendum and preparing a discussion paper to be reviewed by members of the PUP. This coincided with the PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca’s commitment that the Opposition would consult with Belizeans and its members before deciding its official position on the referendum. The Deputy Leader’s presentation was thorough and enlightening. More importantly it was fair and balanced, as it presented arguments which are considered for and against taking the Belize- Guatemala dispute to the International Court of Justice. She indicated that while Belize’s independence, sovereignty and territorial boundaries are fully recognised by many nations, Guatemala’s territorial claim hangs over like a dark cloud. She discussed the “grey areas” and risks of going to the ICJ and also the threats of not solving the dispute. At the end of the Deputy Leader’s presentation, those in attendance enthusiastically put forward questions and comments. The room surged with national-
ism, as many remembered that it was the PUP Leader Emeritus, the late Father of Nation, Rt. Hon. George Price, who withstood all threats posed by Guatemala and defended Belize mightily. Several well-known attorneys in attendance including Dickie Bradley, Arthur Saldivar, Anthony Sylvestre Jr. and Kevin Arthurs pierced through the arguments for the ICJ. They questioned the ICJ’s history of compromise rulings, the background of the judges and the falsehoods of Guatemala’s claim. Another Deputy Leader in attendance, Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, recalled Belize’s right to self-determination, to which nations belonging to the United Nations gave their stamp of approval in a unanimous fashion in 1981. The Party Leader was energised in his address, upon seeing democracy in action and recognising that his decision to consult with Belizeans first had been a necessary step. He told the forum participants that it is very important for Belize to be united and for Belizeans to show respect to the difference in opinion over the referendum and the ICJ. Hon. Francis said he was not amused by the antics from Government officials, in an attempt to corner the Opposition into making a quick decision. “We will not take any lectures from Dean Barrow or any other UDP on what it is to be nationalistic,” said Hon. Francis, “the PUP is the party which led our country to the height of nationalism and the struggle for independence and sovereignty”. The Opposition Leader also made it clear that the only representative it has on the Referendum Commission is the Party’s Secretary General Myrtle Palacio. Hon. Francis said the PUP will continue to carry out its consultation before its National Party Council makes a final decision. Until then, he encouraged members of the PUP and Belizeans to become informed about the issue as best as they could for the time is near when they are called to defend our nation.
Eastern Caucus Chairman Dr. Francis Smith speaks on the importance of being informed
Deputy Leader Carolyn Trench-Sandiford presents a summary of her thorough research
THE BELIZE TIMES
Placencia Land Grab compensation a done deal! UDP cronies paid $150,000 Belize City, March 18th, 2013 The UDP cronies who were given land in the protected Placencia lagoon six days before the 2012 election have already been compensated a total of $150,000 by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Com-
Hon. Gaspar Vega
Dorian Pakeman pensation followed the Government’s decision to bow to public pressure for the wrongful land deal to be reversed. Those involved are Vega’s son’s girlfriend, Dominique Gomez. The Acting Director of the Belize Press Office, Dorian Pakeman, who is hired under the Office of the Prime Minister. Vega’s relative Bertran Brown (who is living with Vega’s niece) in Orange Walk. And Dennis Usher, who is a close friend of the Vegas. The Prime Minister declared last week Wednesday that because Cabinet had reversed the land sale, the Government would compensate at market value. That compensation value had not been worked out, said the PM. But it seems the PM isn’t keeping an eye on the shenanigans taking place at Vega’s Ministry. The Chief Executive Officer in that Ministry, Beverly Castillo, confirmed to Channel 5 News late last week that the compensation is not a consideration, but a done deal. Castillo indicated that since October 2012, a total of $150,000 was given to Vega’s close friends as compensation. The news of the compensation has infuriated the local community in Placencia and Seine Bight. Residents believe it is corrupt for the Government to give money to anyone for a land deal that should have never occurred in the first place. More so when those involved are closely connected to the Minister of Natural Resources.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Questions to Ministers Can the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance say how much of the $10,000,000 spent by the Government in the fiscal year 2012/2103 for “Legal and Professional Advisory Services” was paid to the law firms: Barrow and Williams, Barrow and Co., and Young’s Law Firm? Can any of the two Ministers of Sports say whether the Marion Jones Sporting Complex will be completed within the next decade? And also, when will the construction of a proper basketball facility to replace the Civic Center begin? Can the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance say how much the Government spent on brand new luxury vehicles for Ministers in the last fiscal year, and whether a two year moratorium on the purchasing of new vehicles will be enacted to save revenues for the Government? Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs explain to the nation how it is that he and his contingency of diplomats were badly misled and misinformed about Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs attendance at the meeting in Washington over the weekend? Will the Minister of National Security comment on the United Sates President’s placing of Belize on the Major Illicit Drug Producing, Illicit Drug-Transit and Money Laundering list for the third year in a row?
THE BELIZE TIMES
Taking Belizean for Stock:
Behind the Budget Numbers (Part I)
hile the verbose politicians will be deep in the bowels of the National Assembly presenting the single most important piece of law for the next twelve months, most average Belizeans will be more concerned about their failure to secure a room on San Pedro for Easter or what price fish vendors will exact for their produce which is essential for the tradition that demands fleeting Good Friday penance. For the others whose noses are well bellow the nationally embarrassing subsistence line of poverty, making the $5.50 per day for food is much too engaging than they can afford to listen to a bunch of high spoken, A/C pampered and SUV chauffeured politicians. Unfortunately for Belize and its economically vulnerable citizenry, the budget presentation of Thursday and Friday, March 21 and 22 has been made a mockery by the UDP. The very little interest, tolerance or understanding the common Belizean had for Dean Barrow’s budget speech jargon and his loose-lipped babbling was dried up when he somehow decided to tell the nation that there is 5.3% growth in Belize. This is surely a satirical understatement of the prosperity only he, himself, his cronies and his family enjoys. We repeat again that the Government’s 2013-2014 Budget Proposal is arguably the single most important piece of legislation. Barrow declares Ladybird type figures from a paper and becomes “poetic” with numbers but we live reality. We go to the Chinese shops, the butane depots, and the bus stations. The BELIZE TIMES will call these numbers cruelly insulting lies. We say, ask any Belizean not on Seashore Drive. They will “kimbo” and politely ask you “which part that 5.3 deh?” In the confusion and frustration of numbers that is the Budget Bill, the BELIZE TIMES visited with the Leader of the Opposition who was bunkered down diligently combing through the numerical slush presented by the Government. He had unlocked the Rubik cube behind which the UDP Government had hidden this budgetary fraud on Belizeans by conducting his own due diligence. It was particularly reassuring to know that even though the numbers are intimidating to us lay people that one of our national leaders is fully versed in the foreign language of economics. On the other side, and unfortunately for Belize, 99% of the representatives on the UDP side will be very busy “doodling” throughout the entire budget speeches while others will be intensely drawing stick men and other random scribbling. In between the art work they will wait for an opportunity to spew red herrings or character attacks across the floor. This we note has become old; but, we understand that the UDP cannot stand toe to toe with the Opposition on substance. In reality, the budget presentation provides the Government with a unique opportunity to engage the Belizean people on priorities, goals and objectives that we wish to set for ourselves as a nation and people over the next fiscal year. We take note that it is hypocritical and deeply regrettable that we realize that there is an absolute failure of this UDP Government to carry out any consultation in respect of this year’s budget bill. This is a low down dirty shame but understandably consistent with the UDP’s total disrespect for the social and economic partners in development. No consultations with the Council of Churches. No consultations with the Unions. No consultations with the agro-productive sector. Chamber of Commerce, nope. Belize Business Bureau, nah. None with the youth and student government leaders. None with the artists and
musicians and none with us, the people of Belize. The contrast is that the PUP has kept faith with its commitment to consultations with the various stakeholders. The PUP fully recognizes that in 2013 consultation is not optional, it is a requirement for development. Then, it is no surprise that the Budget for FY2013/14 is disconnected and divorced from the Belizean kitchen, cup board and piggy bank reality. One person who was interviewed described the budget with a colorfully creole adage: “full belly di tell empty belly, kip haat, dududarling.” This is five years in a row, we, Belizeans are mocked with a full menu of chest thumping, whining and empty rhetoric. But as we check the reality, all the major socio-economic indicators are heading in the wrong direction, Jack. The UDP budget will do nothing to change that downward course. Unemployment and underemployment continue to devastate our Belizean families wreaking particular destruction on the hopes and aspirations of our youth and women. Even if you want a job you cannot get it. The fact is that over 30,000 Belizeans are actively seeking a job but cannot find one. Poverty, too, is on the rise, and today in Belize some 145,000 Belizeans are destitute poor. Crime and violence continue to bludgeon, torture and cripple our Belizean way of life. Law abiding citizens live in fear. Investment and economic growth are negatively impacted. There is a growing distrust of police and our system of justice. The UDP swore on their mother’s grave that the cost of living would go down “NO MATTA WHAT”. It has instead skyrocketed and the Unions argue - through their analysis - that it is by some 30%. The Belizean people are sick and tired of the excuses and the blamegame that have come to define this UDP administration. Our people need jobs and money in their pockets not excuses and lies about the past. This budget is a dangerous lie and a costly joke. How can you take this budget seriously when it makes no mention of the hundreds of millions of dollars owing to BTL and BEL which is a real and existing liability? Another putrefied feature is the Belize Infrastructure Ltd (BIL). If you believe Barrow, it is a “special purpose vehicle that will create jobs, stimulate demand, purchase private sector material and supplies and generally raise that tide that will float all Belizean boats.” Big words, Jack. We sound the alarm bells. We expect this to be nothing more than a “UDP hustle vehicle” that will sink this UDP administration. Answer these questions about BIL: Why is this private company necessary to carry out the work of government? Will this company be competing with the private sector? Who will it be purchasing materials and supplies from? Who will manage this company? Will the Contractor General and the Auditor General have oversight of this company? Will it be subject to the Finance and Audit Reform Act? The petty politics of the UDP must end. Minister Lois Farrakhan spoke to the UDP, he said: “When opposition does something that [the UDP] does not like, an opposing idea is not necessarily bad. Opposition is supposed to critique the party in power, that’s good for the country.” Remember he warned them describing them as “immature” when criticized? Well this is an important juncture and we are talking the people’s money, Jack. So tighten up. We are now demanding meaningful solutions because these problems are not “play play”. Don’t play with the people’s money and their happiness. Or else…
THE BELIZE TIMES
Guats abandon Oct. 6 referendum Sedi says “Belize [is] prepared to accommodate Guatemalans”
Belize City, March 20th, 2013 Guatemalan officials have decided to abandon the special agreement signed with Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington in December 2008, in which the Ministers agreed to hold simultaneous referendums on the October 6th 2013. This is the latest information coming out of Elrington’s embarrassing trip to Washington, which Guatemala’s Foreign Minister abandoned also. The reason for the anticipated withdrawal is the Referendum Act which was amended by the Barrow Administration, spitefully, to make it more difficult for Belizeans to effect changes through that constitutional process. In 2008, shortly after taking office, Barrow attempted to strip Belizeans of their fundamental rights. He changed the Amendment Act, introducing a new clause that made referendums binding to his Government, only if over 60% of the voting population participated in it. The Guatemalans have expressed deep concern that the clause makes it difficult for the Belize Government to achieve a YES vote on October 6th. Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina, a former military general, surprised Belize’s diplomats when he held a press conference to announce that they would seek to postpone the date of the referendum. Sedi Disrespected Even after all this confusion, Belize’s foreign minister continues to flipflop on the most important national issue. Sedi and his delegation of Foreign Service officials had to pack their bags and make a hasty retreat back home, red in the face after they were dished out a heavy dose of disrespect by the Guatemalans. Elrington and his team had rushed to the US capital, in what now appears to be a junket, for what was dubbed an “emergency” meeting at the behest of officials of the Organization of American States (OAS). The meeting was to include his Guatemalan counterpart to discuss Guatemala’s request to postpone the referendum on whether or not both countries wanted Guatemala’s false claim to Belize to be resolved by the International Court of Justice. But the Guatemalan Foreign Minister was a no show, citing a “family emergency” but actually flying off to Costa Rica and then to the Vatican for the installment of the new Pope. Elrington took a major slam to his inflated ego and body. He found himself making all sorts of excuses for the Guatemalans after having to meet with subordinates from the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry. This is a fundamental no-no in diplomacy protocol. A brutal sign of how serious the Guatemalans take our Government. Mixing Rap and Reggae Elrington did not take his clarinet with him, but he tried to create fusion music by trying to mix rap with reggae in a totally confusing television interview with Channel 5’s William Neal. He denied it was not an emergency meet-
ing. But why was it held on a Sunday if it wasn’t? He said that his Government will go ahead with the Referendum slated for October 6th but that he and his Cabinet colleagues may want to yield to Guatemala’s request for a postponement. Elrington tried to put a positive spin on the briefing, while rubbing his legs. He said: “The Foreign Minister of Guatemala was unable to come but the message which we were hoping he would bring was in fact furnished to the meeting. We have that information now in writing and it is only left for us to take it back to the capital to get instructions from the Government and the Opposition on how to move forward on it.” That is a heap of bull….. There are a number of questions arising from that statement. Do we not have an Ambassador to Guatemala? And what about exchanging notes through our diplomatic representatives or using the means of the internet? Or perhaps Elrington assumed that we were still in the days of Christopher Columbus - an assumption that is quite likely right judging from his fancy turtle-neck winter coat. Or perhaps he has assumed the role of a diplomatic courier, rather than that of Foreign Minister of Belize. Elrington should have known that the Foreign Minister of Guatemala would not have been at the meeting before he and his delegation went on this junket. If he did not, the competence of our Ambassadors to the United States and Guatemala must be questioned. If the Guatemalans did not notify his delegation before they arrived in Washington, rather than Elrington saying it was “an excellent meeting” he should lodge a diplomatic protest. Elrington said “We have an agreement to go to the ICJ on the 6th of October 2013”. There is no such agreement. The agreement, signed by him without the knowledge or consent of the National Assembly, is to hold a referendum on October 6th to determine whether or not we should go to the ICJ. But he hinted that he is still prepared to be manipulated by the Guatemalans when he said, “Belize is prepared to accommodate whatever suggestion is coming from the Guatemalans.” It must be noted that the so-called Referendum Unit falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This means that there has to
be some political influence and that it is not performing a function that can be inconsistent with the government’s political position on this issue. Overall the people of Belize have every reason to be skeptical about Elrington’s relationship with Guatemala as he continues to make garbled statements on this issue. We would not want to further erode what’s left of his integrity by calling him a pawn.
One of Guatemala’s most recent acts of disrespect was to instruct all of its schools to include Belize in Guatemala’s map
THE BELIZE TIMES
Opposition concludes budget consultation
Belize City, March 18, 2013 The Opposition PUP has done what the Barrow Administration failed to do. Met with a budget that perpetuates unrealistic needs of Belize, the PUP has led a series of consultation forums with various organisations and individuals to take note of their needs, concerns, suggestions and general views on the 2013-2014 Budget as presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The PUP Leader Hon. Francis
Fonseca and other key officials of the Party took part in meetings with the Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Churches, the National Trade Union Congress, Association of Evangelical Churches, Galen University, and COLA. At every meeting, participants spoke frankly about the serious shortcomings of the Budget. For members of the Belize National Teachers Union, the Budget failed to meet a top priority of their members’ – a salary increase to their financially-battered teachers.
Contraband Sugar between Belize and Mexico Orange Walk District, March 18, 2013 Mexican authorities have raised alarm over an increase in the contraband of sugar from Belize. Sugar industry officials in the neighbouring country say that they have intercepted several bulks of sugar being smuggled into and through Mexico coming from its porous border with Belize. Officials say the black market is hurting their sugar industry, which is already beset by deteriorating sugar qualities. The sugar from Belize is smuggled like this. Empty sacks labelled with the logo of the San Rafael Pucté Factory are brought into Belize. Those empty sacks are filled with Belize-produced sugar, and then taken back into Mexico through the unmonitored river channels for trade in their market. In Mexico, sugar prices are more lucrative. While Mexico has complained of the loss of revenue, Belize has also suffered with periodic shortages of sugar in the local market. The shortage, caused by the illegal but officially-sanctioned export of Belize’s
For members of the Chamber, the increasing wage bill and evidence of waste in Government are matters of grave concern. The Opposition PUP is more understanding of the realities facing Belizeans following the consultations and intends to make a proper representation. The Prime Minister, on the contrary, is out of touch with the needs of Belizeans. His reality has been one that all is well, and Belize can continue living off promises and political antics putt off by his party.
Sacks of sugar smuggled from Belize were confiscated by Mexican authorities
07 7 Dangriga Town Council Acquires New Equipment
Dangriga Town, March 20, 2013 The Dangriga Town Council Mayor Major (Ret’d) H. Gilbert Swazo has shared the good news with the BELIZE TIMES that his Council is expecting the arrival of newly-purchased equipment to carry out work in the municipality. Mayor Swazo informed that the Council has acquired a back hoe loader with the assistance of a supportive Belizean American in the United States. The equipment, a 2002 Ford XL back hoe, was purchased at a reasonable price of $40,000. The BELIZE TIMES checked with several local suppliers of similar equipment and found that for that price, one would be purchasing a 1984-model equipment. The Dangriga Town Council is making a sound decision with the acquisition of the equipment that will help them carry out works in the municipality.
black market has been reported to be Belize’s border with Guatemala. In January 2012, the Guatemalan press reported the interception of a truck loaded with 140 sacks of sugar from Belize. The driver of the Guatemala-licensed truck, 22 year old Víctor Manuel Osorio Sarceño, had confessed to the Police that he had collected the sugar load in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, for distribution in Santa Elena and San Benito, Guatemala. Belize officials reported the value of the seizure at $6,200. In Guatemala, the sugar would have sold for about $9,000.
Liquor License NOTICE
In January 2012, Guatemalan authorities confiscated 140 sacks of sugar from Belize
sugar, was so bad at one point, the Barrow Administration appointed a Cabinet Committee to investigate the reports of contraband. That Committee,
headed by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, never turned in a report on its findings. Another point of the
Notice is hereby given that Albert W Elrington is applying for a Publican Special Liquor License to be operated at “BBQ Restaurant”, situate #87 North Front Street, Belize City, Belize District under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980.
THE BELIZE TIMES
CORRUPTION on steroids Continued from page 1 hired by the Government, benefit from the private ownership of public shares, and then more UDP politicos – including Ministers – being appointed as Directors and collecting salaries and huge perks. This deal stinks to high heaven of serial corruption! This is the mother of all scams. Endorsed by the Prime Minister and facilitated by UDP politicians and despots, the likes of UDP ambassador Mark Espat who did not forget to include his partner Paul Thompson in the ‘grabbings’. This deal is bound to test Belizeans’ tolerance for corruption which under the Barrow Administration has climbed through the roof. The BELIZE TIMES has obtained a copy of Belize Infrastructure Limited’s company documents filed into the Companies Registry on February 27th. It states that the company is “state-owned”. Yet, the shares are split between Joseph Waight, the Financial Secretary, and former UDP Secretary General Audrey Wallace, who is now the Chief Executive Officer in the Prime Minister’s Office. And then, the company has a slew of private individuals as Directors who are appointed by the Prime Minister.
The Chairman is the incompetent Minister of Works, Rene Montero, followed by co-Chair, Minister of State Herman Longsworth, and Directors Joseph Waight, Audrey Wallace, Lennox Bradley, Allan Sharp and Paul Thompson. These directors will all collect monies for their “services”
“from time to time”, including travelling and hotel expenses, salaries, percentage of profits or “otherwise” as the Directors themselves may determine. If your head isn’t spinning from the web of corruption, it will with the rest of shenani-
gans. The company documents state that its purpose is “to undertake the design, construction and management of capital projects”. This objective is identical to the already existing Ministry of Works, which reads “the responsibility involves…all functions connected with the design, execution, supervision and maintenance works”. One would think the Prime Minister’s intention is to shift the responsibility from the incompetent leadership at the Ministry of Works, but that can’t be since Rene Montero is now both the Minister of Works and the Chairman of the new Belize Infrastructure Limited. Longsworth, the co-chair of the company, owns a private construction company that was responsible for the million-dollar unfinished fence that was erected before any sports facility at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. Belizeans have learnt to always be on guard with anything the UDP does. But this attempt to subvert democracy and the integrity of public service must be resisted strongly. It is clear that the real “special purpose” of new public/private for-profit company is really to enrich UDPs, while Belizeans struggle to survive. The Prime Minister has already indicated that $60m will be pumped into the company. Belize is a land of laws, not lawlessness. Corruption in public life is prohibited and can be punished under our laws. Belizeans defend your land.
Belize City, March 18, 2013 What is going on in Belize? Someone should pinch us and tell us it is not true. Reports to the BELIZE TIMES are that Mayor Darrell Bradley is in another compromising position. This week in the Supreme Court of Belize, we confirmed that Darrell has a private law firm called, Lavender Chambers. Yes, we said “Lavender”, as in the dainty flower lavender. Our reporter confirmed that in fact Mayor Bradley has formed a law firm called “Lavender Chambers” with Alifa Elrington, who is a councillor at
THE BELIZE TIMES
the Belize City Council herself. We have pointed out before in BELIZE TIMES that the Mayor should be a full time Mayor in accordance with the Belize City Council Act. This has been flamboyantly ignored. Now His Worship the Mayor is out in full lavender. Attorneys chuckle at the absurdity of it because who would name a law firm “Lavender Chambers”? That is a name more suited to a San Francisco Gentlemen’s night club. The comic relief is at “rofl” level, as the building where the law office is housed on Dean Street is painted, you guessed it right, the colour lavender. Yes, a pastel lavender. The kind suited for the Easter dress of a four year old girl. We need to get serious for a bit though. On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 a queer thing happened when Michael Young’s Law Firm appeared on behalf of BEL in a matter with Darrel on the “other side” representing Lavender Chambers. He was the attorney for the Belize City Council. This matter was before the Continued on page 31
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BELIZE A.D. 2012 (DIVORCE) Action No. 167 RACHELLE REBECCA ESTEPHAN CODIANNE BETWEEN and PATRICK CLARENCE CODIANNE
TO: PATRICK CLARENCE CODIANNE TAKE NOTICE that a Petition for dissolution of marriage dated the 13th day of September, 2012 endorsed with a notice to you to appear and answer the charges therein has been filed in the Supreme Court of Belize by RACHELLE REBECCA ESTEPHAN CODIANNE and that you are required within fourteen days of the second publication hereof to enter an appearance at the Supreme Court in Belize City, Belize, should you think fit to do so and thereafter to make answer to the charges in the said Petition AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that in default of your so doing the COURT will proceed to hear the said charges proved and pronounced judgment, your absence notwithstanding. MUSA & BALDERAMOS ATTORNEYS FOR THE PETITIONER
THE BELIZE TIMES
en Español Tomando a los Beliceños como broma: Detrás de las cifras del presupuesto (Parte I)
ientras los políticos elocuentes estarán en lo mas profundo de las entrañas de la Asamblea Nacional, presentando la pieza más importante de ley para los próximos doce meses, la mayoría de los beliceños estarán más preocupados por no poder conseguir una habitación en San Pedro para Semana Santa o a qué precio los vendedores de pescado venderán sus productos que son esenciales para la tradición que exige penitencia el Viernes Santo. Para los otros cuyas narices están muy por debajo de la vergonzosa línea de subsistencia de la pobreza a nivel nacional, para los que ganan $ 5.50 por día para la comida, es demasiado difícil que puedan permitirse el lujo de escuchar a un grupo de políticos elocuentes, mimados en sus vehículos de lujo con aire acondicionado y chóferes. Desafortunadamente para Belice y sus ciudadanos económicamente vulnerables, la presentación del presupuesto del jueves y el viernes 21 y 22 de Marzo se ha convertido en una burla por el UDP. El poco interés, la tolerancia o la comprensión que los Beliceños tenían a la jerga y al balbuceo de Dean Barrow mientras presentaba el presupuesto se ha acabado, en el preciso momento en que se le ocurrió decirle a la nación que hay un 5,3% de crecimiento en Belice. Esta es sin duda una subestimación satírica de la prosperidad que sólo él, él mismo, sus amigos y su familia disfruta. Repetimos una vez más que la Propuesta del gobierno del Presupuesto para el 2013-2014 es sin duda la pieza más importante de legislación. Barrow menciona cifras de tipo mariquita y se pone “poético” con los números, pero nosotros vivimos la realidad. Nosotros tenemos que ir a las tiendas, a los depósitos de butano, y a las estaciones de autobuses. El BELIZE TIMES llama estos números crueles insultantes mentiras. Decimos, pregúntele a cualquier Beliceño que no vive en Seashore Drive y ellos cortésmente le preguntaran “Donde esta el 5.3%?”. En la confusión y frustración de números que es la Ley del Presupuesto, El BELIZE TIMES visito al líder de la oposición que se atrincheró con diligencia revisando el torrente numérico presentado por el Gobierno. Él ha descifrado el cubo de Rubik tras la cual el gobierno de el UDP había ocultado este fraude presupuestario a los beliceños mediante la realización de su propia debida investigación. Fue particularmente tranquilizador saber que a pesar de que los números nos intimidan a nosotros las personas comunes, que uno de nuestros líderes nacionales está completamente versado en la lengua extranjera de la economía. Por otro lado, y para desgracia de Belice, el 99% de los representantes en el lado del UDP estará muy ocupado haciendo “garabatos” a lo largo de los discursos durante el debate, mientras que otros estarán intensamente dibujando figuritas y otros haciendo garabatos al azar. En medio de la obra de arte esperaran una oportunidad para arrojar mentiras, insultos o ataques personales hacia la oposición. Esto ya se ha vuelto viejo y aburrido, pero, entendemos que el UDP no pueden enfrentarse cara a cara con la oposición. En realidad, la presentación del presupuesto proporciona al Gobierno una oportunidad única para involucrar a la gente de Belice sobre las prioridades, metas y objetivos que se desean alcanzar para que nosotros mismos como nación y como pueblo para el próximo año fiscal. Tomamos nota de que es hipócrita y profundamente lamentable que nos damos cuenta de que hay una falta absoluta de este Gobierno UDP para realizar cualquier tipo de consulta en materia de ley del presupuesto de este año. Esto es sumamente vergonzoso, pero es comprensible y consistente con la total falta de respeto del UDP por los agentes sociales y económicos en el desarrollo. No hay consultas con el Consejo de Iglesias. No hay consultas con los sindicatos. No hay consultas con el sector agro-productivo, Cámara de Comercio, nada. Belice Business Bureau, peor. Ninguno de los jóvenes y líderes estudiantiles del gobierno. Ninguno de los artistas y músicos, y ninguno de nosotros, el pueblo de Belice.
El contraste es que el PUP ha mantenido la fe en su compromiso con la celebración de consultas con las partes interesadas. El PUP reconoce plenamente que en el 2013 la consulta no es opcional, es un requisito para el desarrollo. Entonces, no es de extrañar que el Presupuesto para el 2013/14 este desconectado y divorciado de la cocina beliceña, de la despensa y de la realidad de la alcancía. Una persona que fue entrevistada describió el presupuesto con un colorido adagio criollo: “la barriga llena le dice a la barriga vacía, estate tranquila, todo esta bien”. Con este ya son cinco años consecutivos que nosotros los beliceños somos objeto de burla, con un menú lleno de golpes de pecho, gemidos y una retórica vacía. Pero a medida que chequeamos la realidad, todos los principales indicadores socio-económicos van en la dirección equivocada. El presupuesto del UDP no hará nada para cambiar ese curso descendente. El desempleo y el subempleo siguen devastando nuestras familias beliceñas, sembrando la destrucción en particular de las esperanzas y las aspiraciones de nuestros jóvenes y mujeres. Incluso si quieres un trabajo no puedes conseguirlo. El hecho es que más de 30.000 beliceños están buscando activamente un trabajo, pero no puede encontrar uno. La pobreza también está en aumento, y hoy en Belice unos 145.000 beliceños son pobres indigentes. La delincuencia y la violencia siguen agarrotándonos, torturan y paralizan nuestro modo de vida en Belice. Los ciudadanos respetuosos de la ley vivimos con miedo. La inversión y el crecimiento económico se ven negativamente afectados. Hay una creciente desconfianza de la policía y de nuestro sistema de justicia. La UDP juró sobre la tumba de su madre de que el costo de vida se reduciría “NO IMPORTA QUE”. Por el contrario se ha disparado y los sindicatos argumentan - a través de su análisis - que es en un 30%. El pueblo de Belice está enfermo y cansado de las excusas y el juego de culpa que han llegado a definir esta administración del UDP. Nuestra gente necesita empleos y dinero en sus bolsillos, no excusas y mentiras sobre el pasado. Este presupuesto es una mentira peligrosa y una broma costosa. ¿Cómo se puede tomar en serio este presupuesto cuando no se hace mención alguna de los cientos de millones de dólares que se deben por BTL y BEL? que es una responsabilidad real y existente. Otra característica putrefacta es la nueva compañía Belice Infraestructura Ltd. (BIL). Si usted le cree a Barrow, se trata de un “vehículo de propósito especial que creará puestos de trabajo, estimular la demanda, la compra de materiales y suministros del sector privado y en general elevara la marea que va a flotar todos los barcos de Belice.” Palabrotas, digo yo. Sonamos las campanas de alarma. Esperamos que esto no sea nada más que un “vehículo de ajetreo del UDP” que hundirá esta administración del UDP. Conteste las siguientes preguntas acerca de BIL: ¿Por qué es esta empresa privada necesaria para llevar a cabo la obra de gobierno? ¿Competirá esta empresa con el sector privado? ¿De quién compraran los materiales y suministros? ¿Quién se encargará de esta empresa? ¿El Contratista General y el Auditor General supervisaran esta empresa? ¿Va a estar sujetos a la Ley de reforma de Hacienda y Auditoría? La pequeña política del UDP debe terminar. El Ministro Lois Farrakhan habló al UDP y le dijo: “Cuando la oposición hace algo que [al UDP] no le gusta, una idea opuesta no es necesariamente mala. Se supone que la oposición debe criticar al partido en el poder, eso es bueno para el país”. Recuerde que él les advirtió y los describió como “inmaduros” cuando se les critica. Bueno este es un momento importante y estamos hablando del dinero de la gente. Así que a apretar digo yo. Ahora estamos exigiendo soluciones significativas debido a que estos problemas no son “juegos”. No jueguen con el dinero de la gente y su felicidad. O si no...
11 Obama cites Belize as Drug Zone
THE BELIZE TIMES
“Citizen security deteriorated countrywide in 2012… these threats will continue if more serious measures are not taken by Belize’s government” INSCR Report 2013 Belize City, March 19, 2013 U.S. President Barrack Obama has listed Belize as a major illicit drug producing, drug-transit, money laundering country for the third consecutive year. Obama’s designation of Belize as a drug hub is a major blow to the Barrow Administration which has been peddling Belize to the international donors and dragging its foot on crime fighting to attract millions every year from Uncle Sam. Just where all the money has gone is anybody’s guess. But it’s about to come to a head. The US President’s blacklisting, which forms part of the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) that was released this month, lists Belize alongside countries such as Afghanistan, Burma, Guatemala, Haiti and Pakistan.
The report evaluated the level of illegal drug related activity in the countries and the response of their Governments. The report also looked at citizen security as well as financial crimes such as Money Laundering. The report stated that while the Belize Coast Guard and Anti-Drug Unit is improving its efforts, the security arms are lacking appropriate “funds, equipment and personnel”. “Belize’s overall counternarcotics efforts suffer deficiencies in intelligence gathering, analysis, and capacity of the judicial sector, in addition to corruption and inadequate political will,” signalled the INCSR report. The report also raised alarm over increasing crime and violence in Belize, noting that 2012 was a record year for murders.
Will Police’s new anti-crime strategy work? Belize City, March 18, 2013 Last week police released a flurry of crime statistics ahead of Commissioner Allen Whylie’s first media appearance since he took over the post from David Henderson in January. There were five more murders reported as of the end of February, 2013, than in January and February of last year; six more cases of carnal knowledge; and fifteen more shooting incidents. Other major crimes saw drops, particularly robbery, burglary and theft. However, police have only made six arrests in relation to 22 murders this year, compared to 3 for sixteen murders last year. While it is minor improvement, there are still too many unsolved cases such as the four men brutally murdered at Dean and Plues Streets in early January. Another cause for concern is the murder spread. While Belize City and particularly the Southside continues to see the majority of murders, there have been as many as four deaths taking place in Ladyville and Hattieville and other serious shooting incidents reported. In the area of drugs and ammunition police are taking less of the streets – mostly the found property and occasional raids by the GSU/Special Branch. The rest of the country has been relatively quiet, particularly the West and North which last year saw their worst years to date for major crimes and particularly murder. Against that backdrop the Department continues to deal with an image of incompetence, corruption, political involvement and being out of touch with the general public. On Monday, Commissioner Whylie announced “structural changes” including the appointment of four regional commanders and the
re-zoning of Belize City into four precincts replacing the eleven zones created last year. Belize City’s top cop, Miguel Segura, said that the new precincts will be fully integrated with their own investigation, intelligence and community policing units and have their own commanders, many well-known names such as Alford Grinage, David Chi, Alden Dawson and Gualberto Garcia. The Rural Sub-Formation will also be receiving an influx of officers posted to such far-flung communities as Bermudian Landing and Maskall – while most of the incidents have been taking place much closer to the central area marked by Hattieville and Ladyville. The Department has gotten a special advisor by the name of Ashok Continued on page 18
“Citizen security deteriorated countrywide in 2012. There were 145 homicides over the course of the year, surpassing Belize’s all-time high of 129 in 2010. Drug trafficking and drug-related violence continue to rise in 2012, threatening the security of Belizean citizens and the integrity of the country’s borders. These threats will continue if more serious measures are not taken by Belize’s government,” stated the report. The report also cited that in 2012, the Corozal District experienced a 120% increase in murders compared to 2011. There was also an increase in drug activity in Belize, at least in the area of drug interception. “In 2012, Belizean authorities seized and destroyed 19.1 metric tons (MT) of marijuana, 156 MT of precursor chemicals, 55.4 kilograms (kg) of
cocaine, 1.4 kg of crack cocaine and 4.9 kg of crystal methamphetamine”, indicated the report. Belize is considered a major money laundering country, according to the US report, because its “financial institutions engage in transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from all serious crime” such as narcotics trafficking. The report also assessed corruption under the Barrow Administration. It highlighted that “a lack of resources, weak law enforcement institutions, an ineffective judicial system, and inadequate compensation for civil service employees and public safety officials” has allowed corruption to thrive. The assessment also condemned the Barrow Administration for failing to enact laws to tackle narcotics-related corruption.
THE BELIZE TIMES
24 MAR MAR 24
THE BELIZE TIMESTIMES THE BELIZE
Carter Makes Waves
Belizean songstress Tanya Carter is making huge waves across the region with the release of her new single, “Ex Boyfriend”. The Christopher Birch-produced track has raced up music charts, both in Belize, and Jamaica where it was produced. “I wrote the song with someone in mind, and also it comes from the personal experiences of other persons that I talk to. Everybody has that one ex-boyfriend that they can’t get enough of, but eventually have to leave,” Carter told the Jamaica Observer this week. Carter, who is currently in Jamaica working on other projects, also released a video for the new song, which was produced by Carlo Habet. The BELIZE TIMES is proud to share some exclusive behind the scenes photos of the making of the “Ex Boyfriend” music video along with other photos of Ms. Carter’s work in Jamaica.
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Belize vs. Soca Warriors at FFB Field on Saturday Belize City, March 19, 2013 Belize’s National A Football Team will play an international friendly match with one of the region’s top football teams, the World Cup-tested Trini Soca Warriors, at 8:00pm on Saturday March 23rd, 2013 at the FFB Football field in the City of Belmopan. 25 of our top players were called to training at the Football Federation of Belize field in Belmopan as of Monday this week for final preparation for the match. The Soca Warriors squad arrived in Belize on Monday, also, to test the pitch and prepare for the
game. The game is a preparation match for both teams that have advanced to the Gold Cup which will be held in the United States in July of this year. Belize has been placed in Group C along with Costa Rica, Cuba, and the United States. Belize will play the US on Tuesday July 9th, Costa Rica on Saturday July 13th and Cuba on Tuesday, July 16th. The Soca Warrior is in Group B along with Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti. Their first match will be against El Salvador on July 8th.
SP boys & Nazarene girls
Independence girls & Camalote boys are softball champs
win softball nationals
San Pedro boys are champs Independence girls are champs Belize City, March 16, 2013 The Nazarene High School girls remained undefeated as they clinched the high school softball championship by a 17-2 win by mercy rule against the Belize Rural High School girls at the Rogers’ Stadium on Saturday, March 16. Nazarene’s pitcher, Ashley Lucas, struck out 3 batters. Belize Rural’s 1st base Marva Anthony came home in the Continued on page 15
Belize City, March 10, 2013 The Independence Primary School girls won the national primary schools softball championships hosted by the National Sports Council at the home of softball Rogers’ Stadium on Friday, March 8. Independence’s pitcher Thalia Interiano struck out 6 batters to lead her team to a 7-3 win over the Biscayne girls for the championship. Independence’s right-fielder Arren Andrews won the Most Valuable Player award. 3rd place went to the Cayo girls who won 23-6 over the Aguacate R.C. school girls. In the male competition, the St. Jude R.C. School boys from Camalote Village, Cayo district, won the championships after MVP Shemar Tablada struck out 5 batters in a 12-5 win over the Independence boys. 3rd place went to the Carmelita Government School boys who won 11-4 against the Holy Redeemer RC boys.
MVP Shemar Banner Camalote boys are champs
Tromeisha Tillett bats
Nazarene girls are champs
24 MAR MAR 24
THE BELIZE TIMESTIMES THE BELIZE
SPORTS 15 Men’s Open Doubles & Women’s Open Doubles Tennis tournament
Runner-ups: Samira Pott & Shelby Musa
Winners: Maureen Utsman & Judith Brooks
Winner: Mike Meighan and Mitra Minavelli; Runner Ups: Curtis Musa and Billy Musa Jr.
SP boys & Nazarene girls Continued from page 14 1st inning and pitcher Sabrina Campos came home in the 3rd inning. Lucas, Elma Wade and Sade Pook each went 3 for 3, scoring a run in each inning. Ashley Rudon, Tromeisha Tillett, and Karina Cacho each came home twice; while Georgia Williams and Shantel Longsworth scored a run apiece. In the male competition, defending national champs, San Pedro High, defeated the Belmopan Comprehensive School boys, 4-3. MVP pitcher Konrad Gonzalez struck out 10 batters. Gonzalez allowed no runs in the first two innings, while Damian Pollard and Luis Herrera came home in the 1st inning to lead 2-0. Compre’s Jhawn Gamboa came home in the top of the 3rd, and Compre’s Noah Moro and pinch-hitter Aaron Gamboa came home in the top of the 4th to lead 3-2. Alex Roches tied the score 3-3 in the 4th and Gonzalez shut out the Compre boys in the top of the 5th. Alex Roches 3-run hit to left field brought home Luis Pinelo, Ray Cole and Damian Pollard in the bottom of the 5th but the game was over after Pinelo crossed the plate 4-3.
Belize City, March 19, 2013 This past weekend the Brodies & RFG Insurance male and female doubles tennis tournament kicked off at the Belize Pickwick Club tennis courts under the auspices of the Belize Tennis Association. In the women’s category, Maureen Utsman and Judith Brooks took the victory over Shelby Musa and Samira Pott 6-4, 6-2 in a well contested match, with Brooks dominating at the net and Utsman displaying court experience. The stage was set for the finals between the Billy Jr. and Curtis Musa brothers and Mike Meighan and Mitra Meenaveli duo. The finals could have been anyone’s victory, but this time the power of Meenaveli / Meighan edged the experience and court craft of the Musa brothers to take the victory in a tie break 7-6, and 6-4, in what was a nail biting match. Meighan/Minavelli had
advanced to the semi-finals by overcoming Shaun Finetty and Roger Taylor 6-0, 6-3. Peter Quan and Ellison Flowers defeated Ian McField and Marco Fantoni in a well contested match (2-6, 6-3, 6-3) to advance to the semis. The Musa brother team advanced to the semis by default over Matthew Hulse and Norman Garcia who did not show up for the match; and the other brother team of Mike Sosa and Chris Sosa defeated the doctor team of Dr. Mark Musa and Dr. David Hoy in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. In the semis, Meighan/Meenaveli defeated Quan/Flowers 6-2, 6-1, and the Musa brothers overcame the Sosa brothers 6-4, 6-2. Both semis were well contested and the players displayed great tennis acumen. The Belize Tennis Association will announce its next open tournament very soon, and it encourages all tennis players & enthusiasts to keep on playing and practicing.
Barney Brown, Jim Scott & Salvador Alvarado win Weekend Warriors races
Belize City, March 17, 2013 Team Scotia Bank’s Barney Brown, Team Santino’s Jim Scott and Team Zitro’s Salvador Alvarado won the A, B, C divisions respectively of the Weekend Warriors’ series of races held on the Philip Goldson and George Price Highways on Sunday, March 17. A Division 2nd – David Pollard - BCB/F.T. Williams 3rd – Warren Coye -Team Santino’s. B Division 1st – Jim Scott - Team Santino’s 2:09:10 2nd – Santino “Chief” Castillo Team Santino’s 3rd – Daniel Cano - M&M Engineering C Division (Philip Goldson Highway through Boom Hattieville to Leslie’s Imports) 1st – Team Zitro’s Salvador Alvarado 2nd – Ronald Meighan - Team Medina’s House of Jewelry 3rd – Manuel Esquiliano - Truckers Posse The annual junior Cross Country Classic organized by the Interim Committee of the Belize Cycling Association, from the San Jose Succotz ferry to Leslie’s Imports in Belize City is coming up Sunday, March 24.
THE BELIZE TIMES
THE BELIZE TIMES
Scales of JUSTICE
By Anthony Sylvestre Jr.
Interview with a Gunman! The first thing you noticed was the coolness in his face and his beaming smile. This perhaps explains how it is that although not even a full 25 years old, he had already fathered four children with four different women. His face contrasted his hands. They were rough, his fingernails uncut and stained with what unquestionably was marijuana residue. It was the result, he explained, of years of massaging the marijuana that he would roll up in the “funto” and then smoke. His fingers too, if the rumours in the streets were right, were used for a more sinister purpose. They were his gun finger. He held his right arm outstretched, looking intently at his fingers as he wriggled them. He seemed in a contemplative mode. Then he
He had me lost. “I nuh understand yuh. What you di talk bout?” I found myself asking him. “Deh nuh do nuttin fi we!” he said again, this time more emphatically. “I go in and outta jail yeah, and like everytime I come out, ih just get harder. First thing, who wah hire wah gunman. And then, memba, wah gunman can’t go work anyway cause if ih do dat, ih di give weh ih marrow.” The young man’s frankness floored me for a second. “But tell mi something,” I found myself finally being able to ask. “How you end up di be wah gunman?” The young man’s response was nothing I expected to hear:
smiled to himself, still studying his fingers as though recollecting the deeds he had done with the use of them. And he somehow had a sense of pride about his hand. “And check this out,” he said. “Deh nuh do nut“Yuh could now collect fi be wah tin fu we,” badman. Govament di pay he said, still lookyuh fi be wah badman. ing at his Who wah then stop be hands. wah badman if yuh sure ah “Who you di talk wah money every week.” bout?” I asked. “Di govament!” he respond- “Because nuttin else neva deh fu ed. “Yeah, look pon me. I 23, I do,” he said. “You go dah school, have four pickney with four baby and come home dah evening. You mother and yeah, I do it by my- nuh have no nuttin fi do, so yuh self.” just hang out wid whichever clik.
FORT GEORGE DOMINOES TOURNAMENT
PUP Chairman Henry Usher with 1st place winner
17 Yuh heng out, roll up wah ting and somebody wah set up wah mission fi yuh go pon,” he continued explaining. “I mi di go dah high school yeah. But yeah, I just get caught up. “ “And ah suppose when yuh do dah first mission there is no turning back?” I intervened with. “How yuh wah turn back?” he responded as though my question made no sense. “Memba, dah people yuh hurt yuh know, and people have family and suh dah wah sick cycle. Afta dat, yuh just haffi ready fu whatever,” he continued. And what he was saying made a lot of sense and explains a lot of what may be transpiring in the streets of Belize. “But weh unnu get gun from?” I asked. “How could somebody weh nuh have money buy wah gun?” He started to laugh. “No mein,” he said. “Yuh could buy gun yeah, but yuh could also barrow wah gun, or just jack wah gun.” “Dat dah wah dangerous life though,” I responded. “And if the police meet yuh with wah gun, dah five years yuh di look fi spend.” My observation did not faze him. “Ih dangerous yeah, but yeah, what yuh wah do? I prefer di police buk me wid my ting dan fi me deh outta road and wah next gunman buk me and blaze me up.” As the young man continued, I began to wonder if life was imitating art here in Belize, whether I was speaking to “Nino Brown” from the movie New Jack City or “Wayne” from the movie Shottas. But the young man was right in one thing he said: “And check this out,” he said. “Yuh could now collect fi be wah badman. Govament di pay yuh fi be wah badman. Who wah then stop be wah badman if yuh sure ah wah money every week.” When Dean Barrow stood up in the House of Representatives in March, 2011, in his budget presentation, he declared that he had the answer to the country’s crime problem. His answer was to transport “high- energy gang members and affiliates” from Belize City to the rest of the country. This has only legitimized the “gunman lifestyle” in Belize. I wonder if he realizes two years later what he has done to our beloved country with the implementation of his “brilliant” solution and if he has any plans to undo this sorry state of affairs that he has brought on our country.
High school students get Reef Week outing
March 19, 2013 Some 40 students today got an opportunity to experience firsthand the magnificence of the Belize Barrier Reef. As part of its Reef Week activities, Oceana in Belize today took the students from Southside Belize City high school
on an excursion to Caye Caulker and its nearby Marine Reserve. Led by qualified tour guides, the students – most for the very first time ever—got to snorkel at Coral Gardens then to interact with nurse sharks and stingrays at Caye Caulker’s famous Shark-Ray Alley.
Will Police’s new anti-crime strategy work? Continued from page 11 Chand from India, a career policeman with 30 years of service sent here on “loan” for one year. The Commissioner also announced improvements to intelligence gathering under Special Branch and a renewed emphasis on community policing efforts. Notably the Minister of National Security was not present on Monday – in fact has said precious little about his portfolio since the start of the year, preferring to speak on just about everything else but crime and security. His plan for “crime-ridden” zones implemented last November was short-lived and not referred to at all by Commissioner Whylie on Monday. Will any of it work? It appears that the Department is concentrating on cleaning up Belize City and the Belize District as that remains the greatest area of concern, but like all plans it takes time to work and the criminals are certainly paying attention and always seem to be one step ahead. The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) no longer grabs as many headlines as in previous years – a clear reaction by officialdom to their occasional mistreatment of citizens. But
THE BELIZE TIMES
how do you gather intelligence and protect informants when as in the case of Romel Palacio Jr and Shelmadine Sanchez honest citizens are ruthlessly gunned down simply because they have the information which can send a killer to jail for the rest of his life? How will the Department revalue the role of the GSU and other special units which are increasingly being seen as thugs in uniform? Will Mr. Chand’s arrival see the final implementation of recommendations first presented by Jamaicans Harold Crooks and Dr. Herbert Gayle several years ago, considering that conditions have not gotten better in the intervening time but progressively worse? Will more police stations be built, particularly in Precinct 2, which presently has precinct stations on Mahogany Street and Fabers Road but both areas have seen the worst shooting and killing – the deep Lake and Collet and Port Loyola areas? By contrast Precinct 4 has 2 stations, Precinct 3 the primary Queen Street station and a booth at BTL Park, and Precinct 1 at least 4 stations including main station at Racoon Street.
Since its introduction to Belize the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. some three years ago Oceana has Reef Week aims to raise sought to allow as many Belizeans awareness of the pivotal role the as possible, especially the young, Barrier Reef plays in Belizean lives to experience for themselves the and livelihood. Oceana premiered wonders of the Belize Barrier Reef. a mini-documentary titled “Meet “This is the first ever nationa Fisherman” during a cocktail wide Reef Week, so there is absoparty hosted at the Radisson Fort lutely no way we could celebrate George to launch Reef Week. this week without providing an opThis eight minute video features portunity for some students from two primary-school aged, aspiring our less well-off Southside Bejournalists asking local fishermen lize City neighborhoods to see for about their experiences and chalthemselves and come to apprecilenges. ate our awesome treasure, the BarOceana has planned a series rier Reef. It is ours to enjoy and use of events to mark Reef Week responsibly so that like our parents which it is hoped becomes an anpassed it on to us, this generation nual event. The Week culminated can pass it on to Belizeans, as well with a parade off the Belize City as visitors, yet unborn,” shared coast of decorated boats styled a Oceana in Belize Vice President Sea Carnival, followed immediateAudrey Matura-Shepherd. ly by a Reef Fair at the San Cas Students on today’s outing Park at Fort Point, opposite the came from Excelsior High School, Baron Bliss Lighthouse. An invitaGwen Lizarraga High School and tion is extended to all to come out Maud Williams High School. and enjoy these events which are More experienced students of St. planned not just to be eco-friendly John’s Junior College and the Unibut family-friendly as well. versity of Belize and a volunteer marine scientist assisted the tour in explaining the splendor of the Belize Barrier The fastest selling newspaper in Belize Reef on display at
BY ORDER OF MORTGAGEE NOTICE OF INTENTION TO SELL HOLY REDEEMER CREDIT UNION LIMITED a statutory body formed and registered under the Credit Union Act, Chapter 314 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000, and whose registered office is situated at No. 1 Hyde’s Lane, Belize City, Belize District hereby gives notice of its intention to exercise its power of sale as Mortgagee under and by virtue of a Deed of Mortgage registered at the Land Titles Unit between KAY USHER of the one part and HRCU of the other part. HRCU will at the expiration of two months from the date of the first publication of this notice sell the property described in the Schedule below. ALL offers to purchase the said property must be made in writing to HOLY REDEEMER CREDIT UNION LIMITED from whom full particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained. SCHEDULE ALL THAT piece of parcel of land situate on Bougainvilla Street, Ladyville Village, Belize District, being the Lot No. 80 and more particularly delineated and described as shown on Plan No. 1651 in the Lands and Survey Department, Belmopan, recorded at the General Registry in Crown Lands Book (Plans) TOGETHER with all buildings and erections standing and being thereon, the freehold property of KAY USHER DATED the 25th day of February 2013 HOLY REDEEMER CREDIT UNION LIMITED 1 HYDE’S LANE, BELIZE CITY, BELIZE Phone: (501) 224-5644 Fax: (501) 223-0738
Of this and that… Blood Clothe Wow. Belize is really loose. There was a Jamaican poet. She came to Belize. The name of her show was a Jamaican cuss word. It is worse than the “f” word there. NICH slip down. Artistic freedom is one thing. Sensationalism is a tool. Artists use it. It shocks us. We wake up. But we also need to know what we are listening to. “B claat” will get you attention in Jamaica. The “N” word will get you attention in America. Poetry. That is good. Our children saying “b claat” is not “sobolious”.
half lane bridge. Not going to work, braa. What a thing when the road sinks. Someone should show dat boy the houses at Leanerville. Pack Bread vs. Creole bread Cruffy love pack bread. The good ones are made at Chinese bakeries. “Sunny n Tan” is just a name. It drop dah wata long time. Creole bread used to rule. Now Creole bread is a delicacy. Like cassava bread. This is just laziness. Let’s blame long nails. Let’s blame wutliss man. But somebody still have to put dey hand inna flour or get send back to “dey mumma.”
Waste Not Customs had a big bust. Big up. They confiscated 1300 cases of cigarettes. That is BH$286,000.00 Dollars worth. Big money. Duh, no burn dem. Do not let this be another Rosewood campfire. No waste the cancer sticks. Government should give them away at Central Prison. Serious thing. Cancer Pains There was a lady on the news. Her name is Ethel Opoubori. She has stage four cancer. Doctors have given up on her. It is sad. Cancer is painful. She was asked what was on her mind. She thought about one thing. She said she worried. She worried that she could no longer take care of her grandbabies. It hurts your heart. We really need to put fire under the children having these children. What happened to the mother of the grandbabies? What happened to the father of the grandbabies? The woman is God fearing. In her last days her mind is not on her maker. Her mind is on kids that should be taken care of. Mommy and Daddy need to step up. No dumping on Granny. Those days are gone. You spread your bed hard. Go sleep in it. Let the lady make good with her maker. Cho. Dizzy Council Darrel wants a six lane highway. Cement mi seh. How he done reach highway? This is jokes. Six-lane highway goes into a
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No lie Prices in Belize are ridiculous. Everything has gone up. No reason. No advance notice. Even coconut gone up. It used to be one dollar. Now it is dollar and fifty cents. Rain water soon go up. Out the greasy bag Crime is nothing nice. It is like Seven Seas Cod-Liver oil. One a day. There is a trend. We should notice it. 90% of murders happen close to a Chiney shop. We should install cameras at each Chiney. They get a discount on their Trade Licences. We catch the murderers. Everyone happy. Thing done. Dorrel Smith Hunger is in Belize. Imagine that. With all the green and animals. There is poverty galore. There are people with no money to eat. Food. Basic food. This is a sin. There is a street hero. He is an unsung hero. Dorrel feeds the poor. Well, you have to buy. But poor people can get a plate of food for $1, $1.50 and up. Nuff respect Dorrell. Blessed are the meek. BTL bogus BTL is a waste. We own it. So they say. We no get nothing yet for it. Triple up and double up no count. We pay for that. BTL is an embarrassment. The internet speed is slow. A cave man would get frustrated. The latest embarrassment is the phone book. There is an ad. It
is in a UDP newspaper. Full page. It is a shame. It is March. We nearly get to September. BTL is just putting out the 2013 phone book. Look yah. What kind of joke is this? Will someone call Jules Pa and tell them something. Please stop count poor people money a little. Just for a sec. Realize that this da foolishniss. A phone book is like a yearly planner. How you can bring it out when the year di look fi done? This is the time to start the 2014 phone book. The ad says it will be out in April. Over 120 days gone. We were using the wrong book. Chuuuuups. BNE dem Oil is millions. No, billions of dollars. We have an oil company in Belize. It is Belize Natural Energy. They are sucking that oil out like it is hot cow foot soup. They have a commercial on tv. They say they pay tax. Ok. And…? UDP used to insult them. Bout Sally and Susie. Then they turned into government. We hear a Barrow with ile contract. We hear about an impossible windfall tax. That pop down long time. Then silence. We should nationalize them. This is just my view. Tek it weh. They have done nothing for Belize. We get crumbs. In other countries, big companies “leggo their hand”. You have the Pepsi Center. You have American Airlines Arena. Not even a bus stop from BNE. Where is the big Belize Natural Energy Arena and Sporting Complex? Some people get away with murder for too long. Just what me think, ma’asa. Look good It’s not just me. Someone has to say it. Fernando Carrera is the Guatemalan Foreign Minister. We do not trust him. Seriously, look at his picture. He looks like an Espat brother. Think about it. How come we never see Carrera and Mark at the same time? Call Special Branch. Call Crime Stoppers. Seriously, tell the truth and shame the devil. Seriously. Unu no laugh, mein. March PUP March is a big month. For the PUP there is lots of party. Allah gave us Francis Fonseca in this month. He gave us Said Wilbert Musa. Two of them are March men. God bless March.
There is good and bad in everything. That Dean Barrow, he. Shub up e self inna everything. That anti-christ nuh born March too. Jah Jah is showing us balance. There is good and evil. Good and bad. Francis and Dean. Donde Estas Simplis? There was a lot of noise. There was big title. No one knows what it means to be Special Envoy for women and children? We know it cost like a million bucks for an office. Then there was foolishniss about first lady. There was inspiration center. Bald heads. Hollywood magazine covers. Ok. No problem. We should not criticize someone with cancer. But hey. Hey. Hey. Someone put on a tv for Kim. Put it on under the rock where she is. Put it on at 6:30 p.m. Carnal knowledge has gone up by 300%. An eight year old baby was fed sleeping pills. It was done by her mother so she could be raped. Ugly cases of child abuse from San Pedro. All manner of wickedness against our children. Where forth are Thou? Have you traded the innocence of our children? Sold it for the legacy of a building. Four walls? If you are sick, Mumma, we understand. Get better. But let someone else do it. This war on our children need fi stop and stop NOW! Festival of the Arts It is the most frightening thing ever. The Bliss hosts little children every year. They perform on stage. They are so cute. They are off key. They are distracted. Sucking at their shirt collar. Terrible actors. Hair plait too tight. Too many clips. Brand new hair cut. But they are so innocent. So cute. You want to hug ‘em. What is frightening? How they get from there to the evening news. Drug dealers. Rapists. Assassins. Foul mouthed cigarette smokers. Tattooed up. Chest powdered, Guinness pint in hand. Single mothers. Dead beat fathers. That is a big leap, boss. Forgiveness This verse is tough to swallow. But “Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him”. 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NIV)
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Recipe of the week Baked Tilapia Ingredients 4 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each) 3 tablespoons butter, melted 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons capers, drained (optional) 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/8 teaspoon paprika Directions Place tilapia in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the butter, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt; pour over the fillets. Sprinkle with capers, oregano and paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 425Â° for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Yield: 4 servings.
MARRIAGES Josue Elias Berjes, 25, to Maria Antonia Dubon, 26, both of San Ignacio Town, Cayo District Anibar Ruiz, 33, to Maura Aguirre, 30, both of Benque Viejo del Carmen Town, Cayo District Juan Carlos Hernandez, 25, to Lilian Noemi Perez, 31, both of Calla Creek, Cayo District Aldo Albert Tun, 29, to Nury Vilmary Juchim, 20, both of Chunox, Cayo District Gille Antonio Naj, 28, to Mavely Ely Maritza Mendez, 23, both of Chunox, Corozal District Eder Ademir Santoya, 27, to Luisita Meleni Tun, 25, both of Chunox, Corozal District Herman Valentin Linarez, 49, to Aida Olga Margarita Wesh,
47, both of Chunox, Corozal District Angel Ernesto Arevalo, 23, of El Progreso, Cayo, to Asucely Anayte Naj, 21, of San Ignacio Town, Cayo District Heber Oswaldo Guerra, 27, to Kelita Isabel Lopez, 22, both of St. Matthewâ€™s, Cayo District Noel Leonel Henriquez, 35, to Maria Bennina Menjibar, 29, both of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District Richard Llewelyn Reid, 36, of Belize City, to Sophia Dolores Gillett, 32, of Sandhill, Belize District Gilberto Espinoza, 35, to Anadel Carmen Aguilar, 24, both of Corozal Town, Corozal District Edwin Aroldo Gonzalez, 30, to Heidy Valesca Miranda, 19, both of Corozal Town, Corozal
District Juan Carlos Villas, 26, to Zayra Sulemy Carrillo Cab, 27, both of Libertad, Corozal District Benedicto Perez, 23, to Iris Alicia Jimenez, 23, both of Sarteneja, Corozal District Cerveriano Garcia, 37, to Rosa Ruiz Reyes, 40, both of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye Justin Charles Benguche, 23, to Vanessa Tessa Neal, 21, both of Orange Walk Town, Orange Walk District David Manaen Emmanuel Sobers, 26, to Judy Jasmin Soberanis, 29, both of Burrell Boom, Belize District Juan Jesser Patt, 21, of San Narciso, Corozal District, to Magali Noraida Witzil, 22, of San Felipe, Orange Walk District Juan Carlos Ruiz, 25, to Naibi Marisa Alamilla, 20, both of Cristo Rey, Corozal District Nadir Amilcar Ku, 31, to Luciana Patricia Nah, 29, both of Patchakan, Corozal
District Gilbert George Tec, 31, to Janel Darcel Cayetano, 27, both of Maskall, Belize District Stanley Jefferson Bradley, 33, to Sherilyn Lisa Young, 33, both of Belize City
DEATHS Michelle Cordova, 24 Delmys Andrew Rogers, 70 Kristy Lynn Sy, 32 Miguel Angel Guerrero, 44 Calistra Delcia Tate, 52 Oren Christopher Humes, 32 Keisha Melody Young, 34 Ernest Daniel Savery, 37 Adolfa Zetina, 69 Eugene Eric Castillo, 68 Tiffany Lean Moya, 21 Orvin Norman Henderson, 85 Serena Evangeline Rhaburn, 76 Alma May Cleland, 87 Bernaldine Castillo, 71 Cesar Godinez, 6 Luis Daniels, 56 Godfrey Rhamdas, 52
BIRTHS Born to Isaak Schroeder and Elisabeth Schroeder nee Enns, a girl, Elisabeth Born to James Alexander Williams and Neidy Johana Williams nee Suazo, a boy, Aaron James Born to Gilbert George Tec and Janet Darcel Tec nee Cayetano, a boy, Jaheim Gian Born to Jair Jael Teck and Olendi Linet Teck nee Chi, a boy, Jaeden Gael Born to Stanley M.J. Smith and Erla Latoya Smith nee Cutkelvin, a boy, Shannon Frank Born to Godwin Percival Neal and Shermadine Idolly Neal nee Maskall, a girl, Shenelle Amarie Born to Federico Cus and Neria Cus nee Choco, a girl, Anayee Neroly Kelly
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Reid Farrakhan 3rd Visit By G. Michael Reid Belize was blessed with the third visit of Minister Louis Farrakhan this past week. Farrakhan is a very popular but also very controversial fellow. Though many folks love to sit and hear him speak, there is always something to be found in his message to make one sit up and disagree. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, we tend to most often, focus on just that area where we disagree and readily throw the baby out with the bathwater. Louis Farrakhan has lived a very interesting life. Before converting to the Islamic faith, Farrakhan was an accomplished violinist and a promising Calypso singer. His name Farrakhan is actually the Arabic word for Charmer, which is the name he used in his Calypso singing days. Farrakhan speaks with the same rhythm, flavor and innuendos that can be found in Calypso music. Farrakhan’s lectures are usually powerful, timely and relevant. He packs auditoriums wherever he goes. Farrakhan is usually at the center of controversy and has been labeled many things including racist, homophobic and most often, anti-Semitic. Farrakhan has categorically denied these charges and believes that this perception of him has been shaped by the American media. Those labels are not without reason however, since Farrakhan often speaks against homosexuality, condemns Jews for “stealing Palestine” and teaches that “white people were created from blacks 4,000 years ago on an Aegean island by a black scientist”. One thing is for sure, Farrakhan has millions of supporters not only in the United States but around the world. In October 1995, Farrakhan
love for one another. It is left to be seen if his full week of lectures will make any difference for Belize. While in Belize, Farrakhan spoke on many issues including politics, crime and the economy. He encouraged Belizeans to unite, not only among themselves but also with the rest organized and led a “Million Man of Central America and the CaMarch” on Washington, D.C. ribbean. Farrakhan pointed out which was hugely successful. that with all the arable land at Black men from across Amerour disposal, we should be able ica heeded the call and conto feed ourselves and no Belizverged on the nation’s capital. ean should go hungry. Touché! The theme of the march was Where Farrakhan broke the the call to black men to renew taboo was when he ventured their commitments to their faminto the area of the Guatemailies and communities. Eighteen lan claim. Unity and love of years later, not much seems to brother is all good and well but have changed and it seems that when it comes to this Guatethe messenger has outlasted his malan thing….well, Belizeans message. are a little “touchies”. This is a Farrakhan considers himself very sore spot for Belizeans and a student of Elijah Muhammad at this particular point and time who was himself a student of that sore is festering and is suWallace Fard Muhammad who per sensitive. appeared in Detroit in the early Farrakhan should have been 1930’s, and who the Muslims properly briefed and advised believe to be God’s incarnate. At not to go there. Knowing Farrathe core of Muhammad’s teachkhan and his love of controversy however, that might be just the reason why he did go there. Farrakhan Farrakhan’s visit to Belize is timely for it comes suggested that Belizeans and Guatemalans should at a time when things are…well, for lack of a live together and love one better word, dread! Murders and serianother as brothers and sisters. Yeah…sure, but ous crimes are out of hand and for the a little thing in the most part, it is black on black or Belizean there’s way: an “unfounded claim”. If Guatemala would drop on Belizean crime. that claim tomorrow, we’d be as sweet and loving as ing is the general perspective is timely for it comes at a time “loving Josey and Betsy syrup”. that the present world society is when things are…well, for lack Until then however, Farrakhan broken down into three distinct of a better word, dread! Murmight have more luck convincing categories. The first group is ders and serious crimes are out our young black men to put down 85% of all races and faiths, who of hand and for the most part, their guns. Farrakhan is powerful are supposedly deaf, dumb and it is black on black or Belizean and persuasive but when it comes blind and are easily led. These on Belizean crime. Farrakhan’s to Guatemala, he better be ready 85% are supposedly manipulatmessage is all about unity and to move mountains! ed through ignorance, the skillful use of religious doctrine, and the mass media. This is done by a 10% who are comprised of the rich and who make practical slaves of that 85%. Farrakhan, and Wallace Fard before him, are supposedly a part of the remaining five percent, who are considered “poor righteous teachers of the people”. This five percent apparently know the truth about the manipulation and are tasked to teach the 85%. They are however, in a constant struggle with the ruling five percent which has led to numerous confrontations and assassinations. Careful deliberation might incline one to a more serious consideration of the doctrine. Farrakhan’s popularity has long been shrouded in the suspicion that he was somehow involved in the assassination of another popular Muslim leader, Malcolm X. Malcolm was killed in 1965 while addressing an Organization of Afro-American Unity rally in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom. While Farrakhan has long denied ordering the assassination of Malcolm X, in a 60 Minutes interview in May 2000, Farrakhan admitted that some of the things he said may have led to Malcolm’s death. “I may have been complicit in words that I spoke”, he said. “I acknowledge that and regret that any word that I have said caused the loss of life of a human being.” A few days later Farrakhan again acknowledged that he might have “created the atmosphere that ultimately led to Malcolm X’s assassination.” In spite of all that, Farrakhan has grown immensely popular and has single handedly led the Nation of Islam (NOI), which had all but fallen apart following Elijah Muhammad’s death. Farrakhan’s visit to Belize
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Broken Relations, Hardened Resentment Godfrey Smith
March 15, 2013 members of the supposedly PUP-domAttorney General of inated association who themselves Belize, Wilfred Elrington, feel the bar is unfairly manipulated by explained in solemn tones blue blood elites - but from both sides on the evening news this of the political divide. week why he was amendThe true motive for the proposed ing the Legal Profession amendment, however, lies somewhere Act to break the Bar Asbetwixt and between the perception sociation’s exclusive hold of the bar as being PUP-dominated and on the practice of law in the Attorney General’s long-standing Belize. It was, first of all, feeling that the bar has not accorded he said, unconstitutional him the recognition and respect ento compel lawyers to bejoyed by the elite of that club. His elelong to an association. He vation to senior counsel was opposed criticized the bar for being by senior members of the bar. Well The Attorney General - resentful monopolized by elite famiinto the mid-90’s, he was still attending lies, stultifying and ineffectual in promoting the inbar meetings. When he last offered himself for president at one of terests of its members, functional “in name alone” these meetings, he was outgunned by Derek Courtenay. and dissolute in spending membership dues on Mr. Elrington volunteered that he gave instructions for this whiskey and rum. He is bent on shaking up what amendment to be brought after he was appointed in 2008. Underhe perceives as a moribund status quo. standably, it simmered on the backburner in a ministry facing a litIt is anticipated that the bar will make a any of pressing challenges. In his solicitor general, Cheryl Krusen, full-throated denunciation of this amendment at Mr. Elrington has found a fellow traveler on resentment road. Fresh its membership meeting on Monday March 18th into her post, Mrs. Krusen clashed head on with the bar over the 2013. But with Prime Minister Dean Barrow having Belize Constitution Ninth Amendment Bill, the most controversial signaled his acquiescence to the amendment bill, piece of legislation to be tabled in recent memory. Her dazzlingly it is a fait accompli. Bar members’ time would be swift elevation to the rank of senior counsel by Acting Chief Justice better spent engaged in introspection and ideas for Awich was opposed by the bar and very nearly challenged in court as reforming the association. being illegal. Sour relations over the ninth amendment curdled into The starting point is for lawyers to recognize implacable resentment over this “disrespect” shown her by the bar. that, refracted through the lens of public opinion, She refused to pay $18,000.00 in bar membership dues on behalf of we are seen as a rapacious, unscrupulous and the government lawyers and propelled the amendment to the Legal blasé cabal manipulating a costly, slow and crumProfession Act to the top of the legislative agenda. bling legal system while flying the flag of justice as In Jamaica there is more than one bar association and memits proud standard bearers. bership is not compulsory. In Barbados, there is one association in It is noteworthy that two of Belize’s four prime ministers have come which membership is compulsory in order to practice law. If some from the bar. An association this resourceful and well-connected could members are indeed insisting on their right not to be forced to be have boasted a better track record of contributing to the performance members of the Bar Association of Belize, then that is perhaps reason and reform of the justice system. The bar could, for example, have had a enough to amend a requirement which is accepted as being unconstilegal aid website that encourages public self-help by providing free temtutional. plates for things like wills, simple contracts, leases, bills of sale, deed That would be a pity. It is true that bar members already tend to polls, statutory declarations. A handful of high school scholarships could hew along political lines on controversial issues. It is also true that the have been awarded each year to deserving marginalized youth. Reforms bar might not have adequately discharged its social responsibility to the could have been initiated so that, as an example, persons wishing to wider society. As a spearhead for law reform it might have failed. But divorce each other (without ascribing blame) could do so without requirunleashing rival associations within a tiny profession will only exacering the services of an attorney. bate divisiveness in a society that can ill-afford it. The profession is too There is more than a kernel of truth in the Attorney General’s accusmall to meaningfully sustain more than one association. For reference, sations. But it is far from being the whole truth. A fact check will disexamine the Chamber of Commerce and the Belize Business Bureau. close that many different persons (from unrelated families) have served Hopefully, this will be a case of the mountain roaring and giving as president of the Bar Association of Belize over the past 25 years. birth to a mouse. A new association will require energy and organizaFrankly, the well-established practitioners have traditionally tended to tion to bootstrap itself into existence. It will have to find a good leader avoid the responsibility of leadership at the bar, and attract away membership from the caught up, no doubt, with heavy client caseexisting bar - a tall order in a conservaload. tive profession given to complacency and In days gone by, before cynicism and enself-interest. nui blunted interest, I schemed with others to Mr. Elrington might think he is teachensure that the “right” president was elected. ing the bar a lesson and getting even with We would mobilize support around a candidate, it for past slights. In the end, this move propose a slate, quickly move “that nominawill have no impact in terms of improving tions be closed”, thereby catching unsuspecting the justice sector. An Attorney General members off guard and cutting off the possibilless blinded by resentment should have ity of challenge from the floor. We toasted to been able to, with the authority of his these feats of accomplishment. Victory, after office behind him, inspire the profession all, is the just deserts of the better organized. and the wider society with a vision for But resentment and disenchantment quietly wide-reaching reform. and understandably metastasized against this The article is reproduced from kind of democratic ambush. There are PUP www.flashpointbelize.com The Solicitor General - disrespected
Home Economics Belize - Land of Opportunities By Richard Harrison Belize likes to romance itself as a leader in conservation of natural resources and as an environmentally friendly nation. As proof.....it points to its large tracts of lands and sea that are under declared Protected Areas...with a plethora of laws that prohibit the harvesting of various species of fauna and flora. Any student of history knows that Prohibition, from time immemorial, has been proven to be the most ineffective and inefficient method for curbing human behavior and attitudes....especially when enforcement is next to impossible. Natural resources conservation and environmental protection should have a cost-benefit dimension. To increase the “PROFITS” from investments in natural resources conservation and environmental protection....one can either increase the output/production of the objects of conservation.....or decrease the costs/consumption. ALL of Belize’s conservation and environmental protection efforts have thus far been skewed on the cost side...in a failing attempt to limit, by legal prohibition, the harvesting of natural resources. The results are there for everyone to see....depleted fish, lobster, conch and shrimp stocks; depleted timber stocks, depleted game meat stocks, depleted bayleaf stocks, depletion of sapodilla posts and botan posts, etc., all valuable assets of utility in the livelihood of being BELIZEAN.....all in a country that is naturally blessed with rich water and land resources. The cost of this depletion has been most difficult on the lower income folks.... because short supply has caused the prices of all these commodities to skyrocket. A single bayleaf that used to cost $0.10 in 1981 now cost $1.00 or more. A pound of fish that used to cost $1.25 in 1981 now cost $4.00 or more. This depletion of stocks is coming at a heavy price. This failed “concept” of natural resources conservation and environmental protection is generating great LOSSES for the people. For heaven’s sake, we cannot even enjoy a gibnut, picare nor hicatee anymore....products that could make the dining experience in Belize even more UNIQUE and VALUABLE. This is because our focus has been on limitation of consumption/harvesting (ie. reduction-of-cost side of the profit and loss model)....with NO investment in the increase of outputs via production and propagation. This again points out one of our principal weaknesses as a people… we are not production oriented!! We are a people cultured to reap without planting… and this is the principal reason why our debts have been increasing relative to our GDP ever since 1981. To turn this around....we have to THINK and ACT differently... we cannot expect better results by continuing to think and act in the same way. Our efforts at curtailing consumption should be tempered... and our efforts at increasing production by cultural propagation should be enhanced with investment. Why is there no INCENTIVE or CO-INVESTMENT for people in Belize to invest in breeding and farming gibnut, picare and hicatee? To invest in bayleaf farming? To invest in fish farming in the sea? There is a ray of light....the Placencia fishermen cooperative is investing in seaweed plantations off the coast!! Seaweed
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is very nutritious....containing many essential amino acids and trace elements that are vital for human physiology. Seaweed can completely substitute imported corn starch in the preparation of foods, as a thickener for gravy, etc. The restaurateurs and chefs need to be shown how to use the product, once it is brought to market....and the consumers need to be made aware of the health benefits. Seaweed can be used for many more purposes than just the drink that Belizean’s know it for. We have so many natural resources and environmental conservation students that are out of a job... or employed in fields completely irrelevant to their area of expertise. A fund should be set up to co-invest with these students.....where they put their time and energy as equity....and the fund put up the capital (which these students don’t have)... both are equally vital ingredients for production results. As long as we continue to keep capital and knowledge/energy apart....we cannot expect growth-in-production results. Imagine the possibilities.....if a group of Belizean natural resources development students were to form a small company that could bid for contracts to repair the damage done to our riparian forests. Am sure they could also earn some contributing income from the private land holders of riverside properties. Not only the fauna and flora would rebound for the benefit of all.....but our water resources quality would also see drastic improvement in a short space of time. How about if a group of the best students were awarded upon graduation with a lease of some 200 acres of government land, and a co-investment contract to plant bayleaf? Or rosewood? Or zericote? Or pine forests? In no time, they would become attractive to equity investments from international companies investing in forestry and the carbon-market. I have identified the funds now being sunk in the black-hole that is Protected Areas Conservation Trust (P.A.C.T.), and the resources generated by the Environmental Tax Act....as resources that need to be re-focused and retooled. These together represent a potential fund of near BZ$30 million per annum. At least 50% of this should be directed towards these kinds of production-enhancing competitive co-investment initiatives with persons/groups specialized and trained in the field. This is an entrepreneurial concept....the projects will be born in the mind of an entrepreneur....willing to risk his/her time and energy..... therefore, it should not be a requirement that applicants for these “contracts” be registered cooperatives or NGO’s. They should be individuals or groups with a viable business and operational plan. These co-investments should be called and seen as CO-INVESTMENTS IN NATURAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT and ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.....not as “benefits” or “donor funds” or “grants”. They should be followed up with annual “performance appraisals”, which determine continued investments, withdrawal of investments, spin-offs, and other business-oriented exit-routes for the fund. The competition for these resources would be so tight....that we will get very high-yielding projects and results. Belize would increase its PROFITS from natural resources conservation and environmental protection TEN-FOLD... if it were to take this lecture into consideration... and make the necessary steps to consolidate and re-allocate these scarce resources. This article was written by Richard Harrison, a local businessman and investor in the manufacturing and service industries. Mr. Harrison holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University, United Kingdom. Send comments to harrisonbz@yahoo. com
For Sale By Order of the Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd., a company duly registered under the Companies Act, Chapter 250 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition, 2000, and having its registered office at Cor. Albert and Bishop Streets, Belize City, Belize, hereby gives notice of its intention to exercise its power of sale as Mortgage under a Deed of Assignment of Mortgage made the 26th of July, 2010, between RICHARD M. ESTEPHAN of the one part, and Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd., of the other part, and recorded at the Land Titles Unit in Deeds Book Vol. 23 of 2010 at Folios 1371–1396, the said Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd. will at the expiration of two months from the date of the first publication of this notice sell the property described in the schedule hereto. All offers to purchase the said property must be made in writing and full particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained from the said Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd. SCHEDULE ALL THAT piece or parcel of land being Block No. 4 containing 3.75 acres situated East of the Northern Highway near the Houlover Bridge, Belize District as shown on the Plan attached to the Minister’s Fiat Grant No. 820 of 2008 dated 15th December, 2008 TOGETHER with all buildings and erections standing and being thereon. DATED this 6th day of March, 2013. MUSA & BALDERAMOS 91 North Front Street Belize City Attorney-at-Law for Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd.
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The National Sex Offender Registry
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph The idea for a National Sex Offender Registry came from America with the enactment of “Megan’s Law,” which was implemented in 1996 and required states to establish sex offender registration and notification requirements. Under this law, states must release any relevant information about registered sex offenders necessary to protect public safety. The law allows disclosure of personal information collected under the state registration program for any purpose permitted under state law. Under these guidelines, states retain significant discretion to determine the necessary circumstances under which to disclose registration information to the public. In Belize, the need for the enactment of a National Sex Offender Registry similar to Megan’s Law is urgent. I wrote about child sexual abuse in the article, “Wake Up Belizeans: The Silent Epidemic of Child Sexual Abuse is Staring Us in the Face” (February 23, 2013) due to the recent increase in sexual crimes against our young children. To date, the President of the United Women’s Group, Wendy Castillo; activist, Ms. Rhenae Nunez; and Attorney, Antoinette Moore have all supported the need for the enactment and implementation of such a bill in written publications. I am sure that more individuals, who must be commended, are also at the forefront of
this worthy cause. I write to keep this issue in the news, to see that major reform on the issue is on our nation’s national agenda, and to educate our community. The Need for a National Sex Offender Registry A National Sex Offender Registry will provide an accounting of individuals who have been convicted of crimes of a sexual nature against a minor girl or boy. These individuals may be convicted of crimes ranging from child rape to indecent exposure. The requested registry would provide the nation with a list of the predators’ names and addresses, as well as the nature of the crime. The Registry would help to build an accurate list of the number of sex offenders in the country. By linking our network with INTERPOL, the international police organization of which Belize is a member, we can track international sexual predators who hide in our country and or visit to violate our children and then disappear without being prosecuted. Presently, Belize has two sex offenders listed online with INTERPOL, one from our country and the other from Guatemala. We hope that long-term, all predators can receive proper assessment and treatment for their condition. Belize Sex Offender Online Registry On February 27, 2013, the Belize Sex Offender Online Registry was set up on Facebook. Ms. Rhenae Nunez, a local community activist, started the online registry. I applaud Ms. Nunez for taking a risk to protect our children, and I hope that the community will support her with the implementation of a National Sex Offender Registry. She is using Facebook to provide passive community notification about recent offenders. However, I would like to provide a few insights about how we can provide balanced and reliable information about this complicated issue as we debate whether Facebook is a good medium to temporarily keep the public and law enforcement updated. Citizens can
remain informed by checking the online posting of the crime and location of the offender. The concept of posting the offender’s identification on the Internet is a great idea. However, I question how we protect individuals who do not have access to the Internet or a computer. What is the best direction that we can take to implement the best policies to protect everyone? Proponents of sharing information concerning sex offenders through the Internet give the following reasons: We need to know if a sex offender is living in our neighborhood or country. The information provided on the Internet is easily accessible by the public. The rights of children outweigh the rights of the sex offender to privacy. There may be incidents where someone may recognize an offender engaging in a sexual activity that violates their parole. Opponents cite the following deterrents to the online Internet registry: The online registry does not work to deter sexual crimes, which is a documented fact. We cannot register those not guilty of victimless crimes as a danger to others when they are not. The registry may allow predators to network among each other. The information posted may be inaccurate or incomplete. The practice extends an offender’s sentence. The registry makes it difficult for the offender to find or keep a job. Vigilantism is a concern. Predators may experience discrimination. The registry provides a false sense of security among people living in the community. Once they know that an offender is living nearby, they try to keep their children away from the area. An offender may change his or her address without ever registering again. The offender may offend in areas outside of the notification zone. The pros and cons of the specific arguments about the current debate of whether to establish an online
Sex Offender Registry speak for themselves. The debate and enactment of stringent laws is critically important in the protection of our children. The Belize Sex Offender Registry on Facebook is a first step and a useful tool for educating the public about sex offenders. The notification can improve communication between law enforcement and the community through sex crime education and prevention activities so public safety messages are more effective. As I close, the question lingers in my head as to when we will enact the National Sex Offender Registry. Similarly, how will we link our newly developed database with that of the United States and the global community for individual case inquiries, computerized database matching, and hybrid approaches that would allow the districts to generate discrete lists of sexual offenders who are actively sought by law enforcement officials? The debate will continue, but remember this quotation: “Children who are victimized through sexual abuse often begin to develop deeply held tenets that shape their sense of self: ‘My worth is my sexuality. I’m dirty and shameful. I have no right to my own physical boundaries.’ That shapes their ideas about the world around them: ‘No one will believe me. Telling the truth results in bad consequences. People can’t be trusted.’ It doesn’t take long for children to begin to act in accordance with these belief systems. For girls who have experienced incest, sexual abuse, or rape, the boundaries between love, sex, and pain become blurred. Secrets are normal, and shame is a constant.” - Rachel Lloyd, Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale. An Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself. Dr. Angela Banner Joseph holds a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Change from the Fielding Graduate University
Belize High School participates in Harvard Association forum Belize City, March 19, 2013 The Harvard Association Cultivating Inter-American Democracy welcomed the Belize High School Delegation from March 14, 2013 to March 17, 2013 for XIX Summit of the Americas in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This is the first time Belize has been represented.
Leading the delegation was Debate Club President Ashley Gillett and members included: Alexis Musa, Bryan Garbutt, Breannah Musa, Carisa Perera, David Hoy, Kristen Chamberlain, Mariana Moguel, Maria Moh and Renee Schakron. Chaperones included Teacher Advisor Dr. Isabel Tun and parents: Drs. Inez and Jose Moguel, Mr. Carlos Perera, Mrs. Filomena Moh
and Mrs. Martha Garbutt. Over the last nineteen years, HACIA Democracy has consolidated itself as the most prestigious OAS simulation on the continent. HACIA Democracy is an unparalleled forum for students across the continent to learn and debate about the problems that affect the region and thus prepare themselves to be
the future leaders of the Americas. The BHS Delegation 2013 was commended for their contributions by the organizers and made such a formidable representation that BHS has already been invited to return. Belize High School congratulates the entire delegation on a job well done.
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SUDOKU PUZZLE #8/2013
Saving Tips Your home, your office • Unplug appliances, or use a Many people work from home power strip and use the switch on at least one day per week. Working from home saves energy and time the power strip to cut all power to by cutting out the need for commut- the appliance, to avoid “vampire” ing, but it may increase your home loads. Many appliances continue energy bills unless you practice en- to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These ergy-saving tips. The first thing is to ensure that vampire loads occur in most appliyour office is equipped with ener- ances that use electricity, such as gy saving equipment—you will see DVD players, TVs, stereos, comas much as 90% savings. Here are puters, and kitchen appliances. Unplug battery chargers when some useful tips. the batteries are fully charged or Home Office Tips • Selecting energy-efficient of- the chargers are not in use. • Use rechargeable batteries fice equipment and turning off machines when they are not in use can for products like cordless phones result in significant energy savings. and digital cameras. Studies have • Spending a large portion of shown they are more cost effectime in low-power mode not only tive than disposable batteries. If saves energy but helps equip¬ment you must use disposables, check with your trash removal company run cooler and last longer. • Putting your laptop AC adapt- about safe disposal options. er on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off auAnswers for last week’s puzzle tomatically) can maximize savings; the transformer in the AC SUDOKU PUZZLE SOLUTION #7/2013 adapter draws power con¬tinuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter. • Using the power management settings on computers and monitors can cause significant savings. • It is a common misperception that screen savers reduce a monitor’s energy use. Not true. It’s best to use automatic switching to sleep mode or simply turn it off. • Another misperception, carried over from the days of older mainframe computers, is Answers for last week’s puzzle that equipment lasts longer if it is never turned off. $ Long-Term Savings Tip $ • Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; laptops use much less energy than desktop computers.
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SCIENCE & TECH R
Selected By Chris Williams
Samsung’s new Galaxy goes beyond the touchscreen 15 March 2013 Until now, Samsung’s smartphone patent battles with Apple have focused on who owns inventive rights to surface-bound gestures such as “pinch-tozoom” and end-of-scroll page bounceback. But last night Samsung moved the battle into what seems like clear blue waters - with a move into the third dimension. Launched in New York, the Galaxy S 4 Android phone will give users control of certain functions with “no need for finger-touch activation”, says Samsung, which is based in Suwon, South Korea. Top of such features looks like being Smart Scroll, which senses where you are looking on a page to automatically scroll the browser, emails or Twitter timelines up or down. “It detects your eyes and recognises the movement of your wrist, and then scrolls the pages up or down accordingly,” says Samsung. But it is not clear that true eye-tracking is being used - mashable.com reports that it is in fact a type of face and tilt recognition. Whatever it is, it seems to work. A related facial function is Smart Pause, which stops video running when you look away from the phone screen
and starts it up again when you’re back. That could be annoying if you’re looking away from the boring bits on purpose but hopefully it is a user-activated trick. Catch a demo care of the BBC here - at 42 seconds in. The Galaxy S 4 also includes a function called Air View, in which you can hover a finger above a tweet, say, to preview the content it links to. And Air Gesture
lets you switch music tracks or advance to the next video by simply swishing your hand dismissively above the screen. Depending on how they have been physically realised, these features could lead to more patent battles: Apple has applied for patents on “hovering” above touchscreens to gain extra functions from the buttonsfrom the solar panel using a technique called maximum power point tracking (MPPT). A solar panel’s power output is dictated by environmental conditions, such as temperature and the amount of sunlight, as well as the resistance of the circuits connected to it. MPPT monitors the conditions and changes the resistance to ensure the maximum possible power output at any given time. The innovation lies in how the stored power is released to charge a phone. A customer sends a text message, which in Uganda costs 110 shillings, to the device. Once it receives the message, an LED above a socket on the battery lights up, indicating that it is ready to charge a phone. At the Konokoyi coffee cooperative, each text message allows a phone to be charged for 1.5 hours. A fully charged Buffalo Grid unit can last for three days, has up to 10 charging points and charges 30 to 50 phones a day.
To bring the cost down further, Buffalo Grid hopes to co-opt the cellphone network operators into subsidising power for charging the phones, or even making it free. What’s in it for the network operators? “When you bring power to phones that don’t have any, people will use them more,” says Buffalo Grid’s Daniel Becerra. “Instead of paying for the charge, people will spend more on airtime.” It has taken Nandutu a while to make villagers comfortable with the process. “It’s a cashless business,” she says. Sometimes, phones can take more than 1.5 hours to charge, which means sending another text message. “You need to explain to the people what it means,” she says. “It’s not just about one SMS. It depends on the time the phone takes to charge.” Two text messages are still cheaper than the usual cost to charge a phone. Buffalo Grid also plans to do trials in Sierra Leone, where coffee traders are gearing up to pay farmers for their crop using cellphones. “It’ll be a tragedy if a family cannot receive their wages just because they don’t have enough battery power,” says Becerra. “So, the coffee traders have asked us to implement our unit across these communities, to make sure that every single phone is working all the time.”
Mouth-breeding frog is coming back from extinction Not to freak you out or anything, but Australian zombie frogs may soon be hopping the earth, vomiting up their babies from eggs incubated in their stomachs. 20 March 2013 Habitat destruction drove the gastric-brooding frog (Rheobatrachus silus) to extinction in 1983, but researchers have now created an early frog embryo from frozen specimens with the goal of bringing it back to life. The gastric brooding frog was the only animal known to give birth through its mouth. It swallows its eggs after laying them, lets them grow for about six weeks, and then dribbles
out tadpoles. To clone the frog, Michael Archer and colleagues at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, isolated the nuclei from the cells of frogs that had been frozen for 40 years. They transferred them into the eggs of a modern frog, Mixophyes fasciolatus, which then divided several times as if to form an early embryo. The research, which has not yet been published, was presented at a TEDx conference on “de-extinction” in Washington DC last week.
Of all extinct animals, why choose this frog? As far as de-extinction projects go, it is a relatively easy species to resurrect. Its DNA is abundant in frozen specimens, and it has close relatives that are still alive to serve as egg donors. In contrast, the Tasmanian tiger, an extinct marsupial that Archer also wants to clone, would be very difficult to revive because it has no living relatives. Plus, frog embryos in eggs aren’t exposed to the hormones and
immune system of the host mother as a mammal embryo is. Archer says he hopes to raise his cloned frogs in an aquarium, but it’s possible that the researchers may need to simulate the stomach of a mother frog to get the embryos to grow.
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Who do you know? A couple years ago, I went on a trip to Chetumal with some family members. Upon arriving at the border, I was disappointed to see a line so long and thick that it looked like a huge concert was going on! I thought we had left out early enough to avoid the usual overcrowded situation, and I was not prepared to see the border so swamped with people. After waiting in what seemed like a stagnant line for almost a half an hour, I met a former student of mine who was a now a police officer and apparently posted at the border at the time. He began to question me, asking my whereabouts. I thought it was strange, but decided to go along with his flow. I told him what we were about to do, after which he made a request which rather freaked me out! He wanted us to give him our passports. No one had any idea what he was up to, and we were unsure at first if he was to be trusted with our papers. Anyway, I mentioned to everyone that he was a past student of mine. He then scooted off with our passports, and ten minutes seemed like ten hours because of our insecurity! He returned with our passports and told us to walk right pass the tons of people standing in front of us and that there was no need to check in with Belize Customs as they wrote something in our passports, and we would be able to proceed across the border as officials! He saved us nearly two and a half hours of waiting time in the line! I have learnt over the years that many times it is who you know in this life that can help you to go forward. The student in this story knew me. He was pleased with me as a teacher and found it a joy to do a favor for his old mentor! Put a different way, knowing the right persons gives you keys to different locks and you don’t have to be running into closed doors and brick walls to accomplish your goals! With these keys you can simply turn different locks and have effortless entrance into unreachable places! This reminds me of one place that we should all be trying to get into, and that is the Kingdom of God. Getting into this place should be the most important thing that anyone could do in their lives, and living on the outside is the greatest disservice one could do to themselves! The problem is that there are so many ways that people believe you can enter into this Kingdom; it makes the situation complicated and extremely tricky! Kind of like Russian roulette, if your choice is wrong you can end up in eternal damnation. According to the constitution that I study, better known as the Bible, it says you will enter the Kingdom based on who you know! If He (Christ) says he knows you then you will be able to enter into the kingdom. If he says ‘I do not know you’ (Luke 13:27), then my friend you are in great trouble! In the same way as on earth, in the kingdom of God you will have access based on who you know. According to Christ he is the only person who can grant you access to the kingdom (John 14:6). According to this section of the constitution, you cannot enter the Kingdom because of your brother, or sister, or friend, or based on your good behavior. It is not even based on God feeling sorry for you! The only way to enter the kingdom is by who you know and that person is Jesus. That is what this scripture is saying. To know someone means that you spend time around them, you understand what they like and what they don’t like, what gets them upset and what is dear to them. But the word “know” has an ever deeper definition as it is used in the constitution. It speaks about intimacy as between a man and a woman. So I cannot say I know God because I heard about him or even because I utter a casual prayer to him every day! Knowing Him is based on your relationship with him as your Lord or boss! Is he your boss? Let me put it another way. He wants to be your friend but his definition of friend goes like this “you are my friends if you do whatever I command you to do” (John 15:14)! My Question to you for today is one of the most important ones you will ever be asked in your entire life “who do you know?” Your answer will have eternal repercussions! Until next week God bless!
Dyspepsia/’ Burn Stomach’ Dyspepsia is a term for a group of symptoms that include heartburn, acid By Dr. Mark Musa reflux, upper abdominal pain/burning, bloating and can be associated with nausea and vomiting. This group of symptoms can represent problems arising from the stomach, gallbladder and sometimes the pancreas gland. What are the causes of Dyspepsia? The main causes are acid refluxing or flowing up from the stomach into the esophagus causing heartburn/indigestion or even chest pain. Ulcers and inflammation of the stomach (Peptic ulcer disease) can present with burning or severe constant pain/discomfort in the upper abdomen. A chronic infection of the stomach by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is one of the main causes of ulcers and inflammation of the stomach. Gallstones, which is common in Belize, present with severe upper abdominal pain and is often associated with nausea and vomiting. Another common cause of upper abdominal symptoms include side-effects of medications particularly anti-inflammatory medications—like ibuprofen and diclofenac. Cancer of the stomach and pancreas represents <1% of the overall cause of dyspepsia symptoms and would be associated with certain red-flag/alarm symptoms such as: weight loss, signs of bleeding, low blood count, difficulty swallowing, worsening symptoms despite treatment, or chronic vomiting. Ways to investigate and treat Dyspepsia The initial strategy to manage these symptoms would involve to TEST and TREAT for the bacteria H. Pylori. This would involve doing a blood or stool test for H. Pylori and if positive giving the eradication treatment which would include an acid blocker (e.g. Omeprazole) + 2 antibiotics for 1-2 weeks. If the H. Pylori test was negative, a course of an acid-blocker such as Omeprazole, Lansoprazole for 1 month along with dietary and lifestyle changes would be the initial treatment. Who should be further investigated? If symptoms are persisting or severe then an upper abdominal Ultrasound scan to exclude the common problem of gallstones should be done. The next test would involve examining the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine with a camera: Upper Endoscopy. This should be done in all patients with the red-flag/alarm symptoms, and also with persons over the age of 50 yrs presenting with new onset of dyspepsia symptoms. An upper endoscopy should also be considered if symptoms continue or worsen despite undergoing the TEST and TREAT strategy. Lifestyle and Dietary changes for the Treatment of Dyspepsia Losing weight, Healthy eating, stopping Smoking, reducing Alcohol and coffee are important in reducing and controlling symptoms. Avoiding pepper, spicy foods, fried foods, chocolate and reducing milk and dairy products will help significantly. Other measures include eating frequent small meals, raising the head of the bed, and avoid strenuous exercise for at least 2-3 hrs after a meal. You should eat earlier in the evening and do not lie down for at least 2-3 hrs after your last meal.
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THINK ABOUT IT NO I.C.J. It’s official. There will be no I.C.J for Guatemala. Guatemala has been hinting and hinting, and last Sunday they made it official. Belize was requested to attend an urgent meeting on Sunday 17 March at OAS Headquarters in Washington (why is the Headquarters there and not in Mexico, Brazil or Venezuela?) Belize’s Foreign Minister was instructed to give up Church on Sunday and haul his butt to Washington. Which he hastily did. There he did not meet Guatemala’s Foreign Minister. That Foreign Minister had gone to Rome to attend the inauguration of the new Pope, Pope Francis. You see, the Pope has exposed the British Government and said they “unsurped” the Falkland Islands from Argentina. For those who don’t know what is going on in the world, the United Nations had passed over 40 Resolutions calling on the British to settle the dispute over Falkland Islands with its rightful owner, Argentina. The British don’t want to go to the I.C.J. They even held a bogus referendum with 1,600 British subjects voting to say they wish to remain under the British. The Referendum has nothing to do with who owns the Falkland Islands. So last Sunday there was our Foreign Minister at OAS Headquarters waiting around for a letter telling him and his government that Guatemala isn’t taking part in the referendum on 6 October this year. For the past four days the Cabinet held no urgent meeting to discuss this roadside bomb. They are in a state of shock. They did not see this coming. They had no plan B. They are even swallowing the Prime Minister’s lame reaction that Belize may still proceed with the referendum. What an exercise in futility. Who is the government trying to impress? The British? For a fist-full of dollars. The Guatemalans are laughing at our government. What cringing cowards they see in our Cabinet. Not once have they stood up to Guatemala, or the OAS or the British. Sign this. And we sign this. Sign that and we sign that. The government sold out Belizeans. By way of an illegal referendum which does not fall under any of the provisions of the Referendum Act No 1 of 2008, Belizeans were being encouraged to take part in a process of taking the Guatemala issue to the I.C.J. Once the I.C.J. made a ruling, for example, that Belize was to give up territorial sea and a portion of Punta Gorda Belizeans could NOT hold a referendum to decide whether or not they accepted this. Why? Because the UDP Government signed a “compromi” in 2008 by which the decision of the I.C.J is “FINAL and BINDING”. Yes, our government compromised us and
deprived us of our right to agree or disagree with the ruling of the I.C.J. CRAZY MONEY AND ILLEGAL The UDP Government in the same document allowed themselves to be tricked. The unfounded claim of Guatemala to Belize became the “legal claim” to Belize. Check the document for yourselves. If Guatemala has a “legal” claim, the court has to find a legal solution and give them legal benefit. Our government says it does not know what claim Guatemala will take to the I.C.J. Sometimes it is all of the country. Other times its half. But if our government does not know, how could they have agreed to sign a compromi and be so willing to go to Court? Every criminal, rapist, robber, thief and murderer must be told what the Police is claiming against them before they can go to court for trial. But our foolish government going to Court and don’t know what Guatemala is claiming. Phillip Goldson would never agree to go to the I.C.J. George Price would never accept Guatemala taking us to I.C.J. Let us learn from our history. In the early 1970’s the British told George Price the only solution to solving the Guatemala dispute and get independence was to give Guatemala a portion of Toledo district. The British threatened George Price. They told him he would get no aid; he would have no British troops to protect us if Guatemala invaded. By coincidence, in 1975 Guatemala demanded the southern quarter of Belize in return for our independence. George Price was worried. He was frightened. Rightly so. But he did not give in. He did not sign any compromise. He did not low down. He along with Lindy Rogers, Assad Shoman, Said Musa, Vernon Harrison Courtenay, Robert Leslie and others went to the world. They lobbied Caricom, Commonwealth countries, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union and the United Nations. By 1975 the General Assembly of the United Nations passed the first major break-through resolution. It affirmed that Belize had a right to a secure independence with ALL its territory. One hundred and ten nations voted in support. Nine voted against and sixteen abstained. Not a single Spanish country in Central and South America voted for Belize. Our Cuban friends voted for us. The internationalization of our cause did not pause. It intensified. We won over the Latin countries. There were times when to save money George Price had himself and members of the lobby organization sleeping in one hotel room. By 1980 W.N Resolution 35/20 required that Belize became independent within one year with ALL its territory. 139 nations voted for Belize. By independence in September 1981 our memberships in the United Nations was supported by the votes of 144 na-
tions. Only Guatemala voted against. Belize became the 156th member of the U.N. And let this other piece of history be remembered: “The Premier of Belize, Mr. George Price, said in London last night that at one point in the secret negotiations with Guatemala, the Americans, apparently with British support, were seriously proposing a partition plan for the colony which would cede merely one quarter of it to the military dictatorship of President Laugerud. It would have exceeded 2,000 square miles” U.K newspaper of 26 January 1978. “….the thinking in Whitehall (British) and Washington is that there will be no solution which does not involve Belize ceding some taken amount of land to assuage the tempers of the Guatemalan military dictatorship.” Financial Times of 25 January 1978 The UDP NEVER supported the PUP in fighting for independence from Britain with all our territory intact. The present leadership of the UDP wanted Belize to remain under Britain for at least another ten more years. Had George Price waited any longer, the British may have succeeded in forcing us to give up territory and by now the greedy Oligarchs would have been demanding more. Never give in to a bully. Never give in to terrorists. Up to 1980, the O.A.S. (Organization of American States) fully supported Guatemala against Belize. How did the issue go from an Anglo-Guatemalan Dispute to a so-called Belize-Guatemala differendum? How it is the British and Guatemala signed a treaty in 1859 that had to do with Belize’s borders and the British breached the treaty by not doing their part over a road, and now in modern day Belize in 2013, we are being coerced into paying for the British violation by giving up some land and some of our sea? Let the British pay Guatemala for the breach. Not us. We signed no treaty, we breached no treaty. Britain must man up. Belize and Guatemala should go to the new Pope. So his Holiness can call on Britain to do the right thing. The new PUP leader, who will most likely be the next Prime Minister, is a student and protégé of George Price. Hon. Francis needs to come with a new paradigm. First he must cut loose from the UDP government’s ill-advised compromise and sheep like procession to I.C.J. (like Icarius it has come crashing down) He should address the nation, pointing out that the President of Guatemala has made fools of the UDP Government. They were testing the government and found them to be weak and accommodating. All too eager to put at risk Belize’s very sovereignty and its territorial integrity. Both of which the United Nations have endorsed by the world’s nations. New negotiations are now required. If the present government of Guatemala refuses we shall wait un-
til they are gone. If the government behaves hostile we shall embark on a new internationalization. No nation can claim all or half or quarter of our land. Guatemala will be exposed for the bully that he is. We will let it be known that Guatemala is welcome anytime to use the Jalacte to Punta Gorda town road. Guatemala can invest in a new port in P.G. with Belizean and Belizean/American partners. Guatemala has to grow up and start behaving like a mature and responsible nation. If she will not, the international community will put her in check. We Belizeans wish to live in peace and harmony and to work together in projects that uplift our peoples and will bring prosperity. It is over the I.C.J. Let not the British push us for a new referendum date. Let the fifty million dollars be used towards the road from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The boom in trade and movement of goods will benefit even Britain. New leadership with boldness and new vision is what our countries need. As Carolyn Trench Sandiford said, “I have been to the mountain top - the Hills of Jalacte. I have seen the other side, we will solve this issue with our neighbors”.
Continued from page 1 the budget bill. In the section captioned Approved Capital II Expenditure there is a payment of $10,000,000.00 for “Legal and Professional Advisory Services”. (See accompanying document) We note that this payment is so suspect that it was not budgeted for in the 2012/2013 budget as it is not even in the approved estimates. It appears suddenly under the column “evised estimates” and is described as an “on-going” expenditure. This is an eye-brow raiser not just because of the astronomical figure of ten million dollars but also because it does not even have a “Code & Activity” Number. The words “NEW” appear instead, as if it is a new candy bar. Suspicious too is the “NEW” Village Infrastructure Projects which sucks up another $5,000,000 of your money. Who is collecting these monies? Which UDP crony? What case or cases was this money for? PM Dean Barrow better answer these questions and answer them quickly because they fall under his Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Keep an eye on this budget and listen carefully to the Opposition as more of the UDP’s worthless acts are exposed. After all it is the people’s money not Barrow’s.
Lavender Mayor Continued from page 9 Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin as displayed in the accompanying document. Now if you did not quite catch it, we will explain. The Mayor of the Belize City Council, Darrel Bradley is hiring himself as attorney for the Belize City Council. Get it now? This is a naked conflict of interest. It is no wonder that the UDP want to do away with the General Legal Council, and the Bar Association. It is because they want to carry on their “lavender” business. We remember the old saying that “the attorney who has himself as a client is a fool.” We will not call him any names. In this case, Darrel must be thinking that an attorney who is Mayor, who can potentially authorize payments to himself for legal fees from public taxes is a rich man. Sadly, the joke is on us. They are taking city residents and our taxes for a ride. Is he paying himself and if so, how much? Who limits it and monitors it? Who approved the contract? Is it not a conflict of interest? When was the public tendering to be CitCo’s attorney? We note that another pure blooded UDP was also called up in Court for conflict of interest. We are reliably informed that the Chief Justice had to raise the issue of conflict of interest against Naima Badillo, who is the niece of Dean Barrow. Our information is that in a case involving the Belize Broadcasting Authority, lawyer Badillo slipped and vouched for an activity because she “was a board member”. Our reports are that the Chief Justice then scolded the Barrow child. But the grand daddy of them is during the recent contempt proceedings against the City Council. In this matter between the Citco and Belize Waste Control, Darrel Bradley of Lavender Chambers showed up as Mayor. Alifa Elrington of Lavender Chambers and Councilor of the same City Council showed up as the attorney for the Mayor. On the final adjournment, attorney for BEL, Michael Young had to appear to beg for Bradley not to be jailed. This is a big joke. They are playing pass the money around. Belize Electricity Limited is owned by the UDP. (Not the people of Belize or there would be some benefit to all.) Then City Council is run by the UDP. What sort of thing is going on that they have to pay themselves to go to court against each other? This is wrong on so many lavender levels. Will the Mayor please just follow the law, be a full time Mayor and stop his funny business.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Brazen Daylight Shooting! friends around 11:00 on Tuesday morning when a lone gunman rode up on a bicycle from the direction of the Yabra Community Police headquarters and fired about eight shots. When the shooting stopped, the crowd had scattered but Belgrave lay fatally injured on the street. The victim’s father is shocked that his son was murdered. “I said I noh believe it because it noh supposed to happen,” said a grieving Wallace Belgrave. The father said his son was not
Belize City, March 19, 2013 The broad daylight, open view and close proximity to a Police headquarters along Caesar Ridge Road were no deterrents to the shooting of 27 year old Ardon Belgrave, Belize’s most recent murder victim. Belgrave, an employee of the Belize City Council and resident of the same Port Loyola area, was reportedly standing on the road side near Reggae Street with some
supposed to have been at that location at the time because he was waiting on transportation to pick him up. The identity of the shooter is not known. But the reports that it was a high school-aged young male who did the shooting, about 15 and 16 years old, are frightening. The father said he doesn’t believe his son was the target. This is supported by reports that the gunman was chasing down another individual who escaped. The gunman then turned to the crowd of men near Reggae Street.
TUNE IN TO OAPN PAKI
Special Guest: Attorney-at-Law Anthony Sylvestre Jr.
ON BBN THIS SUNDAY AT 10AM
THE BELIZE TIMES