Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
SUNDAY November 25, 2012
Issue No. 4823
Editorial: Crimes Of Neglect
The insistence by the Government of tooting window dressing programs such as CYDP, Youth for the Future, Restore Belize and others has displayed a band-aid approach to a situation requiring a root canal and surgery.
No Oil Refinery!
US President Barack Obama
But alas! Nine months later, Barrow has delivered! Not the promise he made but another example of the great politician he is.
Reid Between the Lines:
IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno
…disses Barack & IDB President
Faber vs. Gapi’s: Rat Race 2013
Hon. Patrick Faber
Hon. Gaspar Vega
The title for UDP leader goes up for grabs in early 2013. Of these two contenders who is the least of two evils?
The Maya shouldn’t trust Barrow
Maya Leaders Alliance champion Cristina Coc
After disrespecting the Maya of Toledo Prime Minister Barrow wants their trust.
The Prime Minister and his ministers have all stated that they are anxious to see this committee work. Why then do they continue their attempt to frustrate the process?
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THE BELIZE TIMES
Maya leaders not lured by PM’s baiting November 14, 2012 Hon. Dean Barrow Prime Minister of Belize Office of the Prime Minister Belmopan City, Belize Dear Honorable Prime Minister Barrow, The Toledo Alcalde Association (TAA), comprised of the customary leaders of the Maya villages in Toledo, was in the midst of a meeting when you responded to my question regarding our
letter to you on LOVE FM this morning. In your response, as I understood you said, (1) 2% of the working interest will be set aside in a trust to be managed by a committee of both government and community representatives; (2) that you have asked Senator Alamilla to be the lead Minister to engage with the Maya leaders; (3) if we go to court all bets are off the table. Because we did not have the opportunity to respond to you on the radio,
Run McAfee Run Dear Editor, The story of former anti-virus software pioneer, John McAfee, who is wanted in San Pedro for questioning by Police, is fast becoming a movie of murder and suspicion on the tropical island where McAfee is hiding from Police but posting on the internet and calling journalists to make statements on how he is being victimized by the Barrow Administration. To a great extent the drama, which has unfolded on the island last week is a kind of advertising for Belize as the McAfee incident is attracting all sorts of media, including Wired Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, Reuters and Fox News. The question is whether the image of Belize being sent off is a bad or good one? It has been interesting to see how Belize’s officials have handled the matter.
In interviews, the Prime Minister of Belize on November 14th referred to McAfee as having gone “bonkers” and urged him to give himself up. McAfee has said he won’t, for if he does “they will kill me”, as the online BELIZE TIMES headline blared on its front page last week. For now, I think McAfee has the edge. He has called out this government as corrupt and dangerous, calling the UDP rogue police unit, the GSU, as being brutal and who else can make those statements but McAfee who has had a first-hand experience of their chanciness. I read a comment on Facebook that McAfee is making a fool of Belize, since he claims to be hiding from Police right under their noses. Other comments were that he should be
we wish to do so here through this letter. We are copying this to the media so that the public is aware of our response, since they heard what you said. First, just to be factual, Minister Lisel Alamilla is not from Toledo, and my Alcaldes today affirmed that a great many of them do not know her. She has absolutely no history with our alcaldes’ cultural institution. We know she worked in an environmental NGO in Toledo before becoming a Minister. Recently, she has contacted me to meet and I have asked her for an agenda, and also said I would make the TAA executive available to meet her. She seemed to wish to dictate whom she would meet with, and did not want to meet with the executive. Nevertheless, I have maintained contact with the Minister’s office and Wiezsman Pat, the administrative officer in her office, on October 29, responded via email: “I will send the agenda once vetted.” Furthermore, Minister Alamilla received a copy of the same letter dated October 18, 2012, that we sent to you, the Honorable Prime Minister, and the Attorney General. Like you, she has not responded to our letter. If she has been designated to speak to our people about the oil, she has not done so and neither has anyone
deported immediately. But most, and I agree with this notion, say that McAfee has put the Barrow Administration “on blast” as we would say on the streets. Barrow’s dirty linen is being exposed to the world. Now they know how Barrow really treats investors, that our citizens are being held hostage by draconian laws and heavy-handed Police measures, that Belize has a crime problem, that social and economic pressures are forcing our youth especially our young women to do awful things, and that Barrow is bad for Belize. I don’t know how long this will last, but I think some of it can actually be good for Belize, but bad for Barrow and the incompetent UDP. In that case, run McAfee, run… don’t let them catch you. Signed Former Police Sergeant
Mis-information on the Public Accounts Committee November 16, 2012 The People’s United Party (PUP) would like to acknowledge with utter disdain, the continuous attempts being made by members of the government to mislead the general public in relation to an issue of national importance, namely the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee chaired by the Honorable Julius Espat. In an attempt to make out a case that the Committee should not entertain the views of the general public, the Ministry of National Security quoted section 79 (9) of the Standing Orders which states,
“Subject to any order of the House or resolution of the Committee, the sitting of a Select Committee shall be held in private”. The PUP would like to point out that a Select Committee is demonstrably different from a Standing Committee and the two Committees are not interchangeably used in the Standing Orders. The core issue is whether the sitting of the Public Accounts Committee, which is a Standing Committee and therefore governed by section 72 (3) of the Standing Orders, is open to the public. In Belize the practice
has been that sittings of Standing Committees have been public except otherwise resolved by the committees to meet in private. The PUP views this latest release by the Minister of National Security as just another deliberate attempt by the Government of Belize to deny the general public the opportunity to express their views on the recent Auditor General’s Report which cites blatant and gross instances of corruption, nepotism and financial mismanagement by the UDP Government. (PRESS RELEASE)
Sunday, November 25, 2012 from your government. Second, the Maya people, through our various leaders, had proposed to the government the creation of a trust fund years ago. However, no one from the government has approached us traditional leaders for discussion about any compensation as the owners and occupiers of our community lands on which the oil concession of Block 19 was granted. This “2% of the working interest” you speak of is new to us; this morning is the first time we are hearing of this offer. We would like more details and clarity on this, especially an interpretation of what exactly the “working interest” means. Third, the only reason we are considering going to court is because we have learned and are experiencing it again here that this is the only way to protect our rights both as citizens of this country and as an indigenous people. Our government gives us no choice. We only got to hear from you, Honorable Prime Minister, on this issue because you were on the radio and when you replied to my question, I was not given a chance to respond, which is what we would require in a meaningful dialogue. As traditional leaders of our communities, we have been taught to think not only about our individual interests, but that of each and every member of our communities; not only on our current needs and reality, but with the future of our children’s children in mind. As leaders, we are representing our people and their interests. Finally, we have said publicly and repeat again that we are prepared to meet with representatives of government urgently to discuss a way forward. We have met with representatives of the company and their position is that our plight is the responsibility of our government, and not of the company. Very truly yours, Alfonso Cal President of Toledo Alcalde Association
THE BELIZE TIMES serving Belize since 1957 as the longest continous newspaper. Founder: Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, People’s United Party Leader Emeritus
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Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
Belize City, November 21, 2012 Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s superbond renegotiation is in super trouble. The grace period which gave Belize additional time to pay-up the missed coupon payment expired effectively on November 20th, with no sign of success. The Government and its team leader have remained mum, in defiance of the Belizean people’s right to know. A day later, on Tuesday November 21st, Prime Minister Barrow essentially let out an S.O.S. (or save your selves?) signal, when he announced that the Inter-American Bank, on whom the Government anchored all its hopes on for assistance, had backpedalling on a critical promise made to him. Barrow had hinged the Government’s ability to pay bondholders on a partial guarantee from the IDB, but that won’t be possible. The IDB has denied the Government’s request for assistance in that area. Our country, which was already facing serious economic strain, is slowly inching towards life-support. And Barrow couldn’t help but make things worse. In his usual arrogant style, Barrow launched a disrespectful, personal
tirade against the President of the Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno. The Bank, under Moreno’s leadership, has assisted Belize tremendously with financial support. Just this year, in February, Moreno was in Belize shaking hands with Government officials and dotting lines on agreements. But Barrow is now claiming that Moreno has turned on Belize. Barrow said that Moreno’s decision to pull the plug on the needed partial guarantee for the superbond was pressured by the United States Treasury. We note that a number of bondholders are United States citizens. Moreno’s decision, Barrow said, was a “crass act of cowardice”. “I said that Belize is not disappointed with the decision, it is disgusted and that the responsibility was his and his alone. I am not saying anything behind his back; I have said this to him directly on the phone. He made the ultimate decision and he must bear the ultimate brunt of Belize’s ire,” fumed Barrow. Having our Prime Minister make such reckless and disrespectful re-
marks, as if to arbitrarily invoke some kind of war between Belize and Moreno is bad for Belize. It is bound to have serious consequences. But the Prime Minister was not finished. It seems the stress of his administration’s incompetence has touched the nerve. The PM next turned on the recently re-elected United States president, Barrack Obama, who he said “hasn’t done anything for Belize”. What does Barrow expect Obama to do for Belize, grow the economy? Create jobs? Is Barrow becoming delusional? Barrow said he was disappointed on the Obama administration since it is the U.S. Treasury which blocked the Government’s request to the IDB. Last week, Barrow accused McAfee of perhaps “going bonkers” after the American investor made scandalous accusations against the UDP. Well, it appears the Prime Minister must have contracted the virus because his offensive remarks on Tuesday couldn’t have come from a state official willing to improve Belize’s relations with financial institutions and the world’s super power.
Belize City man killed in shooting ambush November 20, 2012 On Saturday November 17th Police visited the KHMH where they saw 32 year old Kevin Alvin Gentle of #8887 Curl Thompson Street Belize City lying motionless with apparent multiple gunshot wounds to t he body. He had gunshot wounds to the left side of temple, one to the ride side of neck, right shoulder, one to the back of the head. Initial investigations revealed that gentle was socializing with Arden Alex Robinson at Robinson’s yard when an unknown male person arrived and fired several shots at both persons causing the fatal injuries to Gentle and injuring Robinson. Both men were transported to the KHMH where Kevin Gentle was pronounced dead at 7:15 pm and Robinson admitted in a stable condition. Police have retrieved one slug and a grey warm cap from the scene and are looking for a Belize City man for questioning.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Faber vs. Gapi’s: Rat Race 2013 Belize City, November 21, 2012 Sources inside the Patrick Faber camp are convinced that Faber’s good friend and mentor P.M. Dean Barrow will use the full weight and resources of his office to secure a victory for Faber over Gapi Vega. The business of running the country is pushed off the table and there is a not-too-subtle all-out war going on between two factions of the UDP party along ethnic lines and partially along geographical delineation. There is no dispute that Gapi Vega has earned his leadership over the UDPs in Orange Walk and Corozal and over their electoral committees and supporters. Further, Gapi Vega’s influence extends to the West, Toledo, Stann Creek and San Pedro where he has hustled those UDP’s respect and full attention using his Ministries for the past four years. On the other hand Faber has done no work in those areas but has been “tee-tie-toeing” behind Barrow and is banking on a previous promise from Barrow that the next leader of the UDP will come from Belize City. Barrow, through machinations and manipulations, for which he is duly despised throughout many UDP constituencies, has been laying his own plans. Amongst his many sins, there have been many UDPs who have been promised positions, perks and benefits only to find out that others have already been given those things promised to them. Our sources remind us that in August of 2010, behind the dejected hopeful John Saldivar’s back, Patrick Faber was given assurances by Barrow that he would use his office and make Faber the Chairman of the UDP Party. Sure enough, in the UDP version of Machiavellian treachery, it came to pass. However, Faber’s performance as Chairman has been a spectacular failure. Not only is he cocky and elfishly arrogant, but he is unable to produce results. The best example is the undeniable fact that all districts in the country, except a tiny portion of Southside Belize City, went against the UDP. The flat out failure of Faber as Chairman was, to be fair to him, more attributable to the organizational skills and stern leadership of the Hon. Francis Fonseca and his team. However, everyone accepts that Faber is equally and proportionately to be blamed. The country agrees that had it not been for a blindsided betrayal here and for a sixteen votes there, Patrick Faber would have delivered a huge UDP defeat. Barrow is grossly underestimating his Deputy Party Leader Gasper Vega. Vega is an extremely successful businessman. Barrow looks down on businessmen. Barrow himself has never successfully run any business,
much worse the business of the country. There is also an element of racism, otherwise properly described as ethnic prejudice, in the UDP by which the Mestizo, Garifuna and Mayan population of Belize are deliberately discriminated against. The UDP believe Mestizos can be deputy leaders and second in command but not hold the top positions in Government. Hon. Gasper Vega and his minions will give Patrick Faber quite a lesson come Convention Day, February 2013. Let the rat race begin.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Innocent woman shot during scuffle for gun Dangriga, November 20, 2012 A woman, who was an innocent by-stander socialising in a park in Dangriga was shot when two men got into a scuffle for a loaded gun. 45 year old Rosalie Simon was at the BTL Park when she felt a burning sensation on her back. She was shot in the upper center of the back, and was rushed to the hospital. Simon was shot when a gun was reportedly fired by 23 year old Derrick Gorosica. Gorosica, Police say, was aiming at 29 year old Eugene Thompson, but missed and caught the innocent woman. Upon missing, Thompson charged at Gorosica and both were in a heated fight for the weapon. The Police arrived during the scuffle and say they had to shoot Gorosica in the upper leg near the hip which forced him to stop. Police say they retrieved two .45 caliber expended shells, one black Norinco brand .45 caliber pistol, a magazine and five live .45 caliber rounds. Gorosica was detained and transported to KHMH for treatment, pending charges.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
Crimes of Neglect
rime is beyond crisis status in Belize. It is particularly pronounced in Belize City but it has spread to contaminate the Districts. Of particular concern is the taking of life, the brazen almost daily robberies and shootings on the streets of previously unheard neighborhoods. Belize’s murder and overall crime statistics are inexcusably high. The claustrophobic negative effects of crime on business, social life and culture to be expected by every citizen is just unacceptable. The UDP government has been woefully lacking in implementing solutions to the country’s crime problem. They have relied on a raft of hastily formulated legislation that has done nothing to resolve the situation. Indeed, in the face of draconian laws the problems remain intractable. The insistence by the Government of tooting window dressing programs such as CYDP, Youth for the Future, Restore Belize and others has displayed a band-aid approach to a situation requiring a root canal and surgery. Indeed, a quick review of the age group of the young men shooting, looting and beefing shows that they were minors when the UDP government came to office in early 2008. Had the CYDP program been effective these minors at that time would today be productive young citizens rather than the murderers and anti-social beings the Barrow Administration has allowed them to become. There have been no genuine attempts to deal with the root causes of crime. Crime is primarily the child of poverty. It is a socio-economic problem first and foremost. The fact that the Southside of Belize City is the area from which most of the reported serious crimes originate must add credence to this fact. The government’s latest response to an avalanche of outcries by alarmed citizens has been to fall back on a section of the 1994 legislation. This legislation was never implemented, as it was never considered a proper solution. It called for designating certain areas as crime ridden and to give the police “seemingly” unbridled power. The government unable to formulate solutions has gone backwards in time. That 1994 legislation established the Crime Control Council. Its membership consists of a wide cross section of the society, including a representative of the constitutional Opposition, a member of the Bar Association, Ministry of Human Resources, a Judge of the Supreme Court and Council of Churches. Like the Public Accounts Committee, Integrity Commission and several other important institutions, the government has cynically ignored the law and called no meeting of the Crime Control Council for three (3) years. In truth the government announced and implemented the so-called crime ridden areas law without obeying the law. They failed to obtain the concurrence of the Council and had failed to gazette the matter as the law mandates the government to do. They have belatedly rectified this. The Hon. Francis Fonseca and the PUP have given a conditional nod to the government’s latest “initiative”. It is to be clearly understood that any breaches of the law and any violations of the legal rights of the citizens of Belize by over zealous or misguided elements of the security forces cannot be supported. The report of the disgusting and indecent assault of a 13-year-old female minor is the worst, albeit not the only unacceptable treatment of citizens. We join our voices to those who are rightly outraged by this type of behaviour. Belize has a crime problem. In our fight against crime and our search for effective solutions let us be ever mindful that we are still a nation governed by laws and that the government is to be held fully responsible for the actions of its agents.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, November 25, 2012
The Maya shouldn’t trust Barrow November 21, 2012 It comes as no surprise that Prime Minister Dean Barrow failed to show up in the culture capital, Dangriga Town, for Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations. This is something we have been accustomed to expect, but will never accept for a man who has held important positions in our country. Barrow has never been to a Garifuna Settlement day celebration in Dangriga. Isn’t this disrespectful? Barrow, whether as Leader of Government, Leader of the Opposition UDP, or his former self – Minister of Everything under Esquivel – Barrow has a track record for mistreating the vulnerable cultures in Belize such as the Maya and Garifuna of Southern Belize.
For example, Barrow has protested the existence of the Maya of Toledo as being Belize’s indigenous peoples. Barrow has condemned their tradition of holding customary rights to land and has done everything but change the constitution (not yet) to prevent them from having communal rights to land. Even when the Courts said the Maya people are to be respected, Barrow has done otherwise. Most recently, Barrow has sided with the rich oil companies over the Maya people for oil exploration and drilling in their lands. It is crystal clear that Barrow is not on the poor people’s side. Last week, in an attempt to clear the way for the oil companies, Barrow attempted to intimidate the Maya people by offering a meagre two percent working interest in oil profits, but threatening that if the Maya continued to pursue the legal challenge against the
oil company, U.S. Capital, then “all bets are off the table”. On the surface, what the Barrow Administration is proposing to the Maya people may look good and sound good, but the people ain’t no fools. In fact, they would be the first to tell you that they have been disrespected by the Barrow Administration one too many times to fall easily for this lure. In the broader Belize, the Belizean man and woman remain sceptical about oil exploration in Belize, primarily because they have not felt it in their pockets. They see the BNE tankers, they hear about the huge profits, but yet they can’t get help with school bills, or the cost of medical services, or even to pay for fuel at the pumps. But we can bet you that the oil investors are laughing all the way to the bank with Belize’s black gold making them rich-
er every year. It is in their best interest for the Maya people to reach out to their Belizean brethren for support. In this case, it would be prudent for the Maya and Garifuna Belizeans of Toledo to work together. It is not only the Maya of Sundaywood and San Marcos who will be affected by the aftermath of oil exploration, but also the Garifuna people living in southern communities like Barranco. We forewarn the Maya to thread carefully with a politician the likes of Barrow. We really don’t need to say it, but we must. How can you negotiate with a man who opposes your proud history and disregards an important characteristic of your people? Thread carefully Maya and Garifuna brethrens.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
in UDP Politics! The following matters were discussed in Cabinet: To reconsider postponement of Christmas until February since the UDP won’t have money this time of the year. Mark King said he spent all of it on the gangs. Boots said he had an extraordinary request for more pool tables. Longsworth said he hasn’t built any fences lately. Santi said he’s down to his bottom dolla and Vega said he’s saving it for the leadership convention. With that Castro said he could share sweet peppers and tilapia from last year’s Christmas. The proposal will be reviewed by the Grinch Committee headed by Saldivar. …………………….. To consider a proposal by the Police Commissioner to offer a reward for the capture of McAfee and to open an investigation on how he can’t be found on the island when CNN, MSNBC and Fox News can reach him. …………………….. A motion was presented that since the Government is broke, the reward for McAfee’s capture will be one of the Minister’s new vehicles. Castro said he needed his to get home far away in the rural areas. Contreras said his is unavailable because it’s being fixed in Melchor. Longsworth said it’s his first luxury ride and he should be allowed to ride in it for a bit longer. King said it’s the safest way to hide from his constituents. The CabSec interrupted just before Sedi was about to speak and said Sedi can use another Foreign Affairs vehicle. Sedi angrily said “why don’t you let me speak?” The CabSec replied, “because any-
thing you say is artificial”. …………………….. The CabSec suggested that either John Saldivar or Erwin Contreras would be ideal to play Santa should Cabinet decided to hold a Christmas part. Contreras contended that Saldivar’s belly is too big and Saldivar contended that Contreras may not show up in Belmopan but in Melchor. In other UDP Cabinet related news: Cabinet was asked to consider a tax proposal from the Mayor of Belize City to tax all water tanks in Belize City and a tax for BTL and BEL to pay for each electricity pole to a total of $20 million. Cabinet burst out in laughter and one Minister was heard saying, “The Mayor must be crazy or he inhale too much cement”. …………………….. When asked on one of the radio stations what his greatest achievement as Prime Minister was, Barrow responded that was the 9th Amendment which incidentally never passed. …………………….. In Dangriga, residents were asking why the Prime Minister has never been to one of the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations. One resident replied, “of course the PM mi deh ya”. When asked how come no one saw him, he replied, “he dah mi my drum…and I mi di beat ah”. Everyone burst in laughter. …………………….. The fight for Leader of the UDP has been heating up. When Gapi’s agents called Faber’s driver to find out if it’s true he was up north, the driver said it’s true and that Faber was raiding the Vega warehouse. When the driver asked if it’s true Gapi was down south, the agents said, “yes, di plane di land”.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
DON’T ROLL THE DICE Belize City, November 20, 2012 People of Belize, no matter your political affiliation, you are forewarned. Do not gamble and roll the dice on Belize’s territorial integrity. There is even more reason to be skeptical. The recommendation for a referendum to send Guatemala’s claim (Belize has nothing to do with this), was made by the Organization of American States (OAS) to the Barrow administration after it was elected in 2007, more specifically in November 2008. We must say NO! The United Nations, thirty one years ago recognized the independence and territorial integrity of Belize. Our national territory is defined in the Constitution of Belize. Guatemala subsequently dropped its claim to Belize. The Guatemalan border problem with Belize is based on an anachronist with Britain. Not with an independent Belize. It has become Guatemala’s pet peeve like that of a hypochondriac seeking perpetual attention. We have hashed and re-hashed this that is really Guatemala’s domestic political problem, through numerous legal avenues. We have discussed and protested, even with sticks and stones against the thirteen Webster Proposals and the Heads of Agreement. Now that the shoes are on Mr. Barrow’s feet he has cleverly conceded to some of the proposals in the “Heads”. He would, of course, deny this. His ego would be bruised to admit this. But from his utterances and that of his Foreign Minister, it is clear that Guatemala IS influencing our foreign policy and even how we should protect our borders from them-with rubber bullets. Our diplomats, like certain attorneys and a certain historian and author, appear to have elevated themselves to an altitude in the stratosphere that is way above the clouds, where they breathe that rarified air. It appears that at that level, intellectualism, diplomacy and commonsense always seem to collide and to distort reason. This uncalled-for referendum on the why and why-not to ask the ICJ to RE determine Belize’s territorial integrity, is one of those issues and a case in point. Last week, Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala appeared to be forgetting his script. He appeared along with his sidekick on the local television talk shows. Unfortunately together they managed to fog their arguments in favour of going to the ICJ. For a while the Ambassador appeared to have deviated from his script and had to be redeemed by his historian sidekick. The Father of the Nation, George Price, led this country into independence in 1981. He had the support of 110 nations, and subsequently more. These included Panama with
the support of his friend Omar Torrijos, the late President of Panama and Jimmy Carter, a former President of the United States of America as well as other world leaders and “friends of Belize”, Canada included. From the grassroots, where the air tends to be contaminated with a continuing struggle and within the realms of reality, we are saying that it is no longer acceptable for the Government of Belize to have to deal with Guatemala and its persistent hostilities, through a special agreement for a referendum on whether or not we should take this border issue to the ICJ. The credibility of the OAS has been tarnished by its obvious bias in favour of Guatemala on recent border issues and its persistent negligence in managing the so-called “Adjacency Zone” on the Western border. COLA, the Citizens Organization for Liberty through Action was right on this issue. We have become very skeptical about the OAS’s agenda. For any local attorney or historian to favour going to the ICJ, thirty years after our independence, appears to be pandering to the Guatemalan political elites and smacks of intellectual snobbishness. This would have been totally unacceptable to George Price and inconsistent with his principles. To this late National Hero, such a referendum would be an affront as it is suggesting that we doubt our own national integrity and that we need a Court of fifteen Judges to determine that for us. It is also an affront to the many Belizeans who were and who continue to be a part of the daily struggle to build this nation and to preserve our national identity without ceding one square centimeter to Guatemala. Another late national hero, Philip Goldson, who for many years was the only Opposition in the Legislature, would be shouting No! No! again, to any deal with Guatemala, even on a referendum. But history has noted that his own party later betrayed him with the Maritime Areas Act, although this has not appeased Guatemala. It appears that we will never be able to do so. Goldson, who was a lifetime nemesis of George Price, was even opposed to the independence of Belize because of his pro-British stance, but more because of his mistrust of Guatemala. He would be shouting no to a referendum vote about going to the ICJ. The favourite chorus for the then NIP and the UDP was from Goldson’s lyrics: “The time to save our country is now!” It appears now that they have become mute and deaf. The time to save our country is now. Are your hearing? Are you so red that you can only hear and see bull----t. Don’t roll the dice! Even as our Foreign Minister, Sedi Elrington, was signing this com-
promi (special agreement) for the referendum, the Government was having, and still is having, problems meeting its debt obligations, with no money to pay for the preparations required for the referendum poll in October of next year. But we must be skeptical about this exercise as it may turn out to be futile. The Prime Minister has already indicated that he has no difficulty with the notion of submitting the dispute to the ICJ. The leader of the People’s United Party has said that the people must decide. There are serious divisions in both political camps on this issue. The government is now trying to scrape up $6 million, with the help of “Friends of Belize” like Britain and Canada, for a Public Education programme to tell us how and why we should vote in this referendum. The Prime Minister has already said that he will be wasting some of this money on a “Referendum Commission”, whoever and whatever that is. Will it be bi-partisan? Is the Belize Election machinery not competent enough? Worse, the two officials who have been assigned by the government to implement this national education campaign, is known not to have ever had a passion for work. What’s the point anyway when we are already hearing from the stratosphere why we should vote yes to go the ICJ? The grassroots is saying NO! Guatemala will be spending $50 million on a similar exercise although the majority of the Guatemalan electorate is simply not interested. The only people in that country who are pushing for this, if they really are, are members of the political class. In any case, as a result of many years of military oppression, the majority of the people in that country still cannot vote. Really, it is doubtful that either of the two electorates will vote the affirmative 60 percent required to go to the ICJ. The Guatemalan politicians would perhaps even not want an ICJ ruling (they are doing their usual charade), unless it is in their favour. They would prefer to continue to have this issue on the front burner to use for political jingoism. There are some serious implications for Belize if we decide to go to the ICJ, even if international lawyers have advised that we have an air (not water) tight case. What if the ICJ rules in favour of Guatemala? It’s an irreversible judgment, is it not? What then Mr. Prime Minister? We suppose that you will say, as you have said about our national debt issues, that by then you will no longer be a part of the political landscape, so it will not be your problem. By then you will be too busy reconciling your account of amassed wealth. There are some very relevant questions to be asked about the ICJ.
Some of these are as relevant to the questions investors have been asking about our own judiciary in the current political environment: Who will be the Plaintiff and who the defendant? Who will meet the Cost of Court? Who are the Judges? We may be in for many surprises to these questions when we glean the ICJ statistics on how Judges vote. Their decision, we must remind you again, will be IRREVERSIBLE. The legal elites in Belize feel confident that if the people of Belize and Guatemala decide to go to the ICJ for a settlement of Guatemala’s claim to Belize, the Court will rule in Belize’s favour. They are simply echoing the opinions of experts in international law. The ICJ has often proven these experts wrong. An examination of the track record of the ICJ raises some serious red flags and the dynamics that could influence the decisions of judges. Belize is immediately at a disadvantage as a poor country in this setting, unless the powers that be could bring their influence to bear. Most of the Judges on the 15 member Court have their biases based on their personal politics, the influence of wealth, geography and culture. It has also been shown that more often than not, in cases involving the cession of land the Court tends to rule along the lines to cede land. On the other hand, if the ICJ orders Guatemala to remove its claim, it will not. For politicians in Guatemala it makes good politics to be intransigent. Don’t roll the dice. If you must vote, vote NO! Then what? Then what?
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THE BELIZE TIMES
Belize faces EU blacklisting for illegal fishing Oceana calls on GOB to improve its performance
November 21th, 2012 Belize is amongst eight countries listed by the European Commission as having a poor track record in dealing with Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. Oceana calls on the Government of Belize to take swift and decisive action to protect the name and reputation of Belize abroad and to ensure Belize falls in line with its international duties and obligations. Unfortunately, Belize, which allows the use of the Belize flag by vessels in no way belonging or connected to the country, keeps suffering from a serious bruised face for a few dollars. This venture which was privatized and no longer being managed by the government of Belize is in the hands of IMMARBE (International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize) thus removing major decision-making and oversight roles from the Fisheries Department which is the government department previously responsible for such activity. The bulk of the fees collected by IMMARBE goes into private hands and a small portion is paid into the Belizean treasury, thus not even the substantial portion of the economic benefit goes to Belize. The Commission explained that it adopted this decision because after their analysis of each country and their subsequent report “there are strong indications that these countries are not fulfilling their duties as flag, coastal, port or market States – duties that are laid down in international law, such as the provisions of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations”. The release continues by indicating that Belize is not yet black-listed but is being given an opportunity to “formally respond, refute and take measures to rectify the situation”. If this warning sent by the issuing this
“yellow card” is not heeded to, then the next step is to black list Belize. This would thus mean that Belize would be barred from trading fisheries products with the European Union, from engaging in joint fishing operations or chartering agreements with EU vessels, and from other trade-related activities. The EU hopes to form further international alliance against this matter with other major countries to fight against illegal fishing, which reportedly accounts for 19% of the worldwide fish catch. “We oppose IUU, we want all countries of the world to do better on managing IUU, and Belize needs to step up and play its part as a responsible country in the international community. It should not serve as a partner to disreputable fishing companies that want to do IUU and to use the Belizean flag as a cover for their activities. It is embarrassing that the Belizean flag is cited by the EU as standing for IUU,” stated Oceana in Belize VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd. One of the immediate recommendations is for the Government to amend the Registration of Merchant Ships Act Chapter 236 of the Laws of Belize by once again nationalizing IMMARBE and thus returning it to the ownership of the Belizean people and not in the private hands that presently owns it. Next would be to realistically look at the areas of grave concern being pointed out by the European Commission, in whose area of the world Belize’s name and flag has become so disreputable. Monies that will be collected directly by the government by nationalizing IMMARBE should then be earmarked for the Fisheries Department to equip them to carry out the proper oversight and thus guard Belize’s reputation internationally. (Oceana Press Release)
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Garifuna Settlement Day celebrated in Libertad Village Belize City, November 20, 2012 Annually, November 19 is recognised as the national celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day. While events are focused in the culture capital, Dangriga Town, in reality Garinagu who live in other communities such as Punta Gorda Town, Barranco, Belize City, even as far north as Libertad Village in the Corozal District, also celebrate their proud history on that day. And from the photos we’ve seen of the celebration in the northern com-
munity of Libertad, we can tell that the Garinagu had a festive time. Libertad may soon become the culture capital up north for the Garinagu. Residents came out to hold a cultural day, displaying traditional Garifuna clothing and wears, music and language. With the support of their area representative, Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, the residents had a culturally-inspiring day, which further underscored the importance of their culture and the great need to preserve it for future generations.
Renowned Islamic Scholar visits Belize Dr Abdullah Hakim Quick is a historian, social activist and religious leader of African and Native American descent. He has travelled to over 58 countries doing research and delivering lectures to various communities. His qualification in Islamic Studies comes from a BA from the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia and his history background is shaped by an MA and PhD from the History Department of the University of Toronto, Canada. For over ten years, Dr Quick was Director of the Islamic Social Services and Resources Association, one of Canada’s first recognized Islamic social service agencies. There he counseled hundreds people from all walks of life and various religions and developed one of Canada’s first Muslim food banks. He has often spoken out against “gay bashing” and vigilantism He has participated in interviews as an expert on African History and Islamic issues with major Canadian, Caribbean and South African media organizations, such as CBC TV, City TV, CFRB, Channel 47 (Canada) and the SABC, 702 Cape Talk, Voice of the Cape, Radio 786, Channel Islam, Radio Ansar (Durban, South Africa). He has a number of scholarly presentations and publications but his recent focus has been on documentary films such as Timbuktu, the Empire of Knowledge, Untold Ethiopia and Reflections from the Western Sunrise (Quick Answers) that all aired on na-
Dr Abdullah Hakim Quick will visit Belize from November 28th to December3rd.
tional television in South Africa. Previously, Dr Abdullah was the Director of the Discover Islam Centre of Cape Town , South Africa and a special advisor to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Presently, Shaykh Abdullah is residing in Toronto, Canada and is the Head of the History Department of Al Maghrib Institute and the Director of Outreach for the Canadian Council of Imams. While in Belize Dr. Quick will be conducting nightly lectures at the Islamic Center on Central American Blvd. on a number of topics relevant to religious unity and community development. The general public is invited to attend these informative sessions free of charge.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Why the PM would really want McAfee to go bonkers! Belize City, November 21, 2012 Is John McAfee bonkers? He sure seems to be way, way past the kind of eccentricity that most Belizeans are used to seeing in tourists. He appears as wild as Ace Ventura and as intense as Bruce Willis in one of those Die Hard sequels. McAfee is living his own movie, and while there seems to be no script, the main actors are clearly himself and Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The Prime Minister didn’t even know he had auditioned for the role… but he is smack in the middle of it. This must make him very uncomfortable and explains his soft ‘shooting down’ McAfee at the very first instance last week when he insinuated that McAfee seems “extremely paranoid” and perhaps even “bonkers”. That became the news and McAfee has been trying to prove his sanity while still in hiding and disguises. But is McAfee bonkers or the PM would really want him to go bonkers? McAfee has made very serious allegations against the Prime Minister, his Government Administration and the ruling United Democratic Party. Allegations that if not true, could have him facing multiple libel suits in Court. In fact, McAfee, who is now spending his 10th day in hiding from Police authorities in Belize because “they would kill me if they find me”, bravely claimed in one of his recently online-published journals that it all started in 2009 “with my refusal to assist the Prime Minister’s son, Shyne, gain an early release from an American prison, or my refusal to donate to the P.M.’s political party last year”. The Prime Minister refused to directly respond to the allegations about McAfee’s involvement in close personal and political matters. Instead he threw a curved response, denying ever meeting McAfee or even knowing “what he looks like”. McAfee never said they met. The Shyne-deal could have easily happened without the PM’s direct involvement, but with his knowledge. Shyne’s release and eventual deportation turned brief return to Belize was handled mostly by his uncle UDP Minister Michael Finnegan. Finnegan’s sister and PM Barrow are Shyne’s parents. Barrow and Shyne have had a tense relationship, if any at all. With Barrow winning the 2008 election and becoming Prime Minister, it was imperative that he patched things up. So when Shyne was forced unto Belize, his Prime Minister dad designated him as the official Music Ambassador. The background would explain why the Prime Minister would be upset if McAfee, a powerful American businessman with connections, refused to help to patch things up with his son. McAfee has made repeated allegations that a UDP politician in Orange Walk harassed him for election campaign donations. But he fell short of revealing who that politician is. The Prime Minister responded that his Party Chairman has also not met McAfee, and that “I know of no individual in the
THE BELIZE TIMES
UDP who ever spoke to Mr. McAfee about contributions”. Well, the Party Chairman is not from Orange Walk and under the circumstances, who would admit attempting to extort a wealthy businessman for campaign money? But McAfee is adamant that it did happen, and says that his refusal to give in to political pressure led to a raid of his property located in the Orange Walk District. In that incident, his huge property alongside the highway in Tower Hill was ambushed at five in the morning by 42 armed security officials. “My hands were handcuffed behind my back and for 14 hours I sat in the sun without food or water while I watched my property being destroyed and taken away,” writes McAfee. He was then taken to the Police Station located 52 miles away in Belize City and only after contacting the US Embassy was he released without charges. Shortly after the raid, in an exclusive interview with the BELIZE TIMES, McAfee called out the Prime Minister who had justified the raid claiming that McAfee refused to allow health inspectors on the property. McAfee called him “a liar” and someone who “should be ashamed of himself”. This is where things changed drastically for him. McAfee writes on his website (www.whoismcafee.com) that after the raid he “knew that the Government was recruiting friends, neighbors and acquaintances for information about me and for help with “dealing with me” in some fashion”. He went as far as planting tiny sound and video recorders “every-
where I could”, including his dogs, cars, boats, and trees and bushes. “I have many, many recordings – some 6,000 hours in total. They are devastating. They are safely in the States, and copies are in the vaults of Lombard Odie & Cie in Switzerland, and Banco Pinchincha C.A. in Ecuador,” he writes. One of those devices, McAfee
claims, recorded former UDP Carmelita Village Chairman Anthony Rhaburn “trying to convince one of my employees to help the government kill me”. The audio is available on the website. It is a conversation between two or three persons. While it doesn’t mention McAfee’s or Rhaburn’s name, the men on the recording talk about detonating a grenade and “we wah deal wid di white man, and wi wah plant di ting deh, and wih wah call di high man deh when wi plant di ting”. McAfee says he also has a recording of PM Barrow responding “Who does he think he is?” [in creole], after he emailed him requesting an apology for the Orange Walk raid, and also the Police Commissioner telling one of McAfee’s lawyers that “If Mr. McAfee doesn’t like the system here he can f*^king leave”[edited]. The Prime Minister is very uncomfortable, even though he doesn’t show it. McAfee is not the regular American Joe that comes to Belize. He is an American success story, a multi-millionaire scientist. The Prime Minister is used to outsmarting and bullying everyone, but this time he might have met his match. The raid on McAfee’s property barely caught the attention of the international media, but this current fiasco has. McAfee has cast a net and pulled in the world to watch. With the economy in shambles, poverty expanding, draconian Police measures being imposed which infringe on human rights, and the murder rate surpassing every other year, this is the worst time to have so many eyes on Belize. No one knows how long McAfee will be on the run or how long this will last. He doesn’t same to care how long it lasts. Maybe this is what it will take to show everyone that the emperor is naked.
How this began Posted on www.whoismcafee.com November 17, 2012 by John McAfee In the pre-dawn hours of April 30th of this year I woke to the sound of a bullhorn yelling un-intelligible orders. I ran naked outside and saw a military formation whose uniforms identified them as GSU, creeping slowly down my driveway. I laid down the pistol that I keep for protection and, contrary to Josh Davis’ assertion that I said “Motherf*^$ers”, said nothing and went back inside. I woke Amy, the 17 year old with whom I was living, and calmly told her to get dressed – that the GSU was invading the property.
Amy is a tough young woman. She said nothing, got up, got dressed and sat calmly on the edge of the bed. I put on a pair of shorts and went outside. I was immediately grabbed and shoved up against the wall of the house. A sheet of paper was produced stating that the GSU was looking for an illegal meth lab. I did not have my glasses and could not read it so the officer explained it to me. The remainder of that day was a nightmare of the highest order. My hands were handcuffed behind my back and for 14 hours I sat in the sun without food or water while I watched my property being destroyed and taken away. At around two in the afternoon I asked a nearby officer for water and food. “Do I look like a chef to you?” was his
reply. I was finally taken to Belize City and thrown in Jail. Eight hours later I was released with no charges being filed. A few days later I emailed the Prime Minister and asked for a public apology. “Who does he think he is?” was his reply to a close associate. I think I am an innocent person who was violated by the Belizean Government. In polite society, apologies are in order. This was the beginning of my antagonism with the Prime Minister and a few of his powerful associates. I have been a vocal opponent of the PM ever since and I will not stop until I receive my apology.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Jessel Lauriano vies for 2012 Miss Earth
Belize City, November 20, 2012 24 year old Jessel Lauriano will vie for the title of Miss Earth 2012 on Saturday, November 24, in the city of Pangasinan, Philippines. Jessel has been making great strides over the last two weeks of the competition. She has won several challenges including the Green Bag environmental challenge and has proven to be much more than just beauty when she was awarded Best Communicator on Sunday, November 18. Her efforts have placed Belize among the top countries in the competition’s “challenge score sheets”. Jessel was one of twelve candidates, among a total of 91, who were selected to model glamorous gowns designed by three local designers in a fashion show on Sunday. Jessel wore a dress designed by Larry Ybasate. The BELIZE TIMES contacted Jessel for a quick update on her preparations for Saturday’s main event. Although busy with rehearsals and planning, Jessel found time to share with her fans and supporters in Belize what her experience has been life so far. Q. How would you describe the experience so far? Miss Belize Jessel Lauriano at a Miss Earth 2012 preliminary competition at Golden Sunset.
Jessel: The experience here in the Philippines is amazing. The people are kind, the food is delicious and I am having fun promoting my advocacy and Belize. Q. What are some of the activities you have participated in? Jessel: I have been participating in many activities, including a tree planting event, a visit to a home for children with cancer. I have also participated in official challenges, such as the Green Bag challenge in which I won a gold medal. Also there were the press conference, and swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Q. How does it feel to be so far away from your friends and home?
Miss Belize Jessel Lauriano & Miss Nepal Nagma Shrestha planting a tree
Jessel: I miss my friends and family but we communicate a lot thanks to Facebook and I have my cell phone so we talk. The hospitality here is nice; it’s like being home away from home. Miss Belgium and I are very good friends, I am roommate with Miss Bahamas. Q. How do you feel as the final competition nears? Jessel: I am really excited about the final night. I feel like I have accomplished a lot winning those awards for the green bag challenge and also for best communicator and now many people know about my beautiful country. I know that any girl chosen as Miss Earth will be well deserving of it, for we are all doing our part to the help spread the message of mother Earth’s preservation. Q. What message do you have for your Belizean fans that are following the competition and rooting for you? Jessel: I want to say a big thank you to everyone who have supported. Thanks for all the comments and messages on Facebook.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
BELIZETIMES SUNDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2012 13
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TOP MODEL Scenes from
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14 SPORTS 14
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THE BELIZE TIMES
Philip Ciego vs Christian Perez
2525, NOV Sunday, November 2012
Bandits blow away Sea Dogs 4-0 …lead Premier League Northern Zone
Belize City, November 18, 2012 The Belmopan Bandits is leading the Premier League of Belize northern zone with 27 points and 9 wins. The Bandits added to their wins on Sunday afternoon when they blew out the San Pedro Sea Dogs 4-0 at the Ambergris Stadium. Bandits’ goalie Woodrow West left the web to score the first goal when he converted a penalty in the 18th minute of play. Jacinto Bermudez made it 4-0 when he scored a hat trick with strikes in the 31st, 75th and 81st minute, much to goalie Alden Augustine’s embarrassment. Trailing the Bandits is Verdes of Benque Viejo. They are leading their zone with 26 points, as they enjoyed their 8th win against the Raymond Gentle City Boys 3-0 at the Marshalleck Stadium on Saturday night. Julian MaldoBDF’s Erwin Flores on nado struck the the offense first winning goal
Wesley upsets defending champs Sadie Vernon 78-77 Belize City, November 17, 2012 The undefeated Wesley College boys enjoyed their 2nd win in a big 78-77 upset of the defending Central American high schools champions, the Sadie Vernon Technical High School boys, when the secondary school basketball competition continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Tuesday, November 20. Wesley’s big center Brian “Bribo” White led Wesley with 23 points and 30 rebounds before he fouled out of the game in the 4th quarter. Welton Franklin added 22 points, including the winning free throw in the last 12 seconds.
Sadie Vernon led 2120 in the 1st quarter before Wesley took over the lead 40-33 at the half. The game was heated and in the 3rd quarter, Sadie Vernon took over the lead 66-63. Wesley’s Jaron Palacio added 8 points in the 4th quarter, Godwin Neal hit a trey and Anthony Middleton and Deon Flores each scored bucket for the 78-77 win. We’ll keep a close watch on these two contenders who are bound to clash for round two in the competition schedule.
Jaron Palcio scored 8 points
Jay Palacio scored 12 points
in the 25th minute and Emmanuel Martinez made it 2-0 in the 44th minute to lead at the end of the first half. Maldonado struck again in the 73rd minute for the 3-0 win. The Police United FC is the southern zone leaders with 24 points. They arrested the Freedom Fighters 3-2 at the Toledo Union field in Punta Gorda Town on Saturday night. Goals were scored by Danny Jimenez, Lennox “Criminal” Castillo and Evan Mariano for the Police, while Alex Peters and Wilmer Garcia put the Freedom Fighters on the scoreboard, but to no avail. Other matches: FC Belize vs. Belize Defence Force – 0-0 Placencia Assassins vs. San Ignacio United – 0-0 San Felipe Barcelona vs. Juventus – 4-1 Goals by Josue Acevedo, Michael Whittaker, Gabriel Perez, Clifton West, Juventus autogoal Upcoming matches: Verdes vs. Placencia Assasins, Saturday, November 24 San Ignacio United vs. Paradise Freedom Fighters Raymond Gentle City Boys vs. Police United Bandits vs. San Felipe Barcelona, Sunday, November 25 FC Belize vs. Juventus, MCC garden San Pedro Sea Dogs vs. BDF, Ambergris Stadium
25 NOVNovember 25, 2012 Sunday,
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15 SPORTS 15
Sadie Vernon dumps E.P. Yorke 103-43 Belize City, November 17, 2012 The Sadie Vernon boys mauled the Edward P. Yorke High school boys 103-43 when the tournament began on Monday, November 12. Lincy Lopez led with 31 points to lead 24-12 in the 1st quarter. Augustine added 19 points and Kadeem Olivera scored 15 points. Sadie Vernon led 46-21 at the half and 74-33 by the end of the third quarter. With 12 points from Jay Palacio and 10 points from Clency Lopez, Sadie Vernon secured the win. Another team looking in the rear view mirror as their opponent limped along was
the SJC boys who left tire marks all over the Maud Williams High School boys in a 70-36 romp last Thursday. Rondre Lewis led SJC with 20 points, while Zachary Usher added 18 points. SJC lead started with 11-9 in the 1st quarter, then grew to 27-17 at the half and blew up to 55-27 by the end of the 3rd quarter. The rest is part of history. Other games: SJC vs. Excelsior – 58-44 Wesley vs. ACC – 56-64 Gwen Liz High vs. Excelsior 49-34 Maud Williams vs. Nazarene High – 28-66
Wesley & SCA girls on 2-game winning streak Wesley girls
SJC’s Kurtlan Young scored 6 points
Airport scrapes past Atlantic Bank in basketball
Myron Flowers goes for a lau-up
Belize City, November 20, 2012 Defending national basketball champs St Catherine’s Academy girls and the Wesley college girls are on a 2-game winning streak in the Secondary School basketball competition, which began on November 12. On Saturday the SCA girls defeated Pallotti 34-17. Indie Dixon led the team with 14 points. SCA’s first win was last Wednesday against the Gwen Lizarraga High School girls, 37-16. Gilda Estrada led
SCA with 21 points. Gwen Liz had better luck against Pallotti High School on Monday, November 12. Gwen Liz won 41-14. Ann Chen Ma led Gwen Liz with 12 points. The Wesley girls outlasted the Gwen Liz girls 17-15 in their second victory. Shanice Humes scored 9 points for Wesley. Wesley College also defeated the Pallotti girls 34-21 on Monday, November 12. Genae Samuels scored 16 points for the Wesley girls.
Belize City, November 17, 2012 Ports Belize Ltd and Airport have advanced to the Belize City firms’ basketball semi-finals as both teams posted big wins at Bird’s Isle last Saturday night, November 17. Airport squeaked by Atlantic Bank 48-47. Paul Swasey led Airport with a double-double 18 points and 17 boards. Airport led 15-10 at the end of the 1st quarter. Charles Armstrong followed with 12 points and 14 boards and Vince “Postman” Lamb, who totalled 10 points for the night, they held on to the lead 29-24 at the half time. The 3rd quarter was the same as the Airport kept ahead 37-35. At the final buzzer,
Airport was up 48-47. Atlantic Bank played catch-up the whole game. Other game Port Belize Ltd vs. Belize Bank – 61-44 Top scorers: Kent Franklin, 10pts; Maxwell Nicholson, Leroy Forbes, 9pts; Jason Wade, 7pts; Lennox Bowman, 7pts Under 23 Competition Tuff E’Nuff vs. Tigersharks – 73-64 Top scorers: Jamal Kelly, 29pts; Vince Garbutt, Raul Roches; Winston “Air Jun” Pratt, 30 pts Upcoming games (Bird’s Isle, Friday, November 23) BWS vs. Bowen & Bowen Central Bank vs. Belize Telemedia
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, November 25, 2012
concludes Reef Ride 2012 …next stop: 2016 Para Olympics
November 20th, 2012 By Oceana in Belize “I thank Oceana for making this possible. Oceana’s sponsorship, along with the support of my family and so many others, allowed Shaphan and me to today complete the ride across Belize here in Punta Gorda, to coincide with a special day for our Garifuna brothers,” said inspirational paraplegic Jerome Flores shortly before midday yesterday after Reef Ride 2012 culminated at the Central Park in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District. Added fellow paraplegic Shaphan “Bala” Domingo, “I am so glad I was able to meet this challenge of riding a trike from Dangriga to Punta Gorda. Next stop: Rio, Brazil in 2016 at the Para Olympics!” Reef Ride 2012, a 2-day event, left Dangriga on the morning of November 18th and that first leg of the ride ended in Independence, where the team rested
for the final leg the following day. Joining Jerome and Shaphan were 12 cyclists from the Belize Zoo, including its Director Sharon Matola. On day two, Jerome and Shaphan were accompanied all the way from Independence to Punta Gorda by Cyclist John Olivera. There were intermittent cyclists who joined the Ride along the way into Punta Gorda. Reef Ride 2012 was very much a family affair. Jerome’s dad, Samuel Flores, celebrated his 54th birthday by riding alongside his son almost the entire route. Jerome’s twin brother Jeremy, and his partner Gina, also rode. Damion Jones and Mitchell Bainton accompanied Shaphan. Other members of the Flores Family, including Jerome’s Mom Francine Flores, his partner Alexie Silva, Sister Monique, Nephew Caleb, and cousin Esmeralda along with Oceana in Belize staff comprised the service team, which followed the riders to ensure their Continued on page 20
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
celebrates Garifuna Settlement Day PUP Leader Francis Fonseca greeting Garifuna elder
Mass at Sacred Heart Church
PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca joined Dangriga residents to celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day in grand style
Hon. Ivan Ramos gives speech at Official Ceremony
Queens at official ceremony at Official ceremonies at the Alejo Beni Park
Unveiling of Pen Cayetano’s Mural “Hayawadina Wayunagu,” November 18, 2012
His Worship Mayor Gilbert Swaso at the Unveiling ceremony
The Mural National Garifuna Council President, Mrs. Phylis Cayetano
Artist Pen Cayrtano
PUP Leader delivering address at Unveiling of Mural ceremony
Dr. Palacio at Unveiling of Mural ceremony
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Of this and that… Slum Landlord The government still owns slum housing. Mark King proudly said so on the news. This is crazy. Belize found out because a slum barracks burnt down. Why in 2012 is this still so? Shocking. This should have been ancient history. They should have been gone along with pit latrines. Gone at the same time as public stand pipes. Gone along with the days of public toilets over the kennel. Shame. Slum Government It gets worst. That one on Flamboyant Street is not the only one. There are more. The UDP owns five more. These are not housing projects. Not for 2012. Not when Belize has 3,387 square miles of land on top of land. Not after we have Los Lagos, Mahogany Heights, 8 miles, Lords Bank and Western Pines. Children of poor people live in these barracks. They are rammed in these concrete cages. Robert Nestor said it. In the abundance of water the foolish UDP government has the people thirsty. Why does the government jam up Belizean families in structures like slave camps. Thirty people squinge up in a chunchu space. This is heart breaking. Connect the dots There is one on George Street. There are two in Lake I. One on Amara Avenue. One by Yabra. Some stiff necked Belizeans do not care. They build high fences. Why should they care about where the poor sleep? Mistake. These slum projects are nests. Smack in the middle of gang and crime areas. All controlled by UDPs. Watch this. The George Street Government barracks is under the GSG killers. The Lake I ones are controlled by PIV Bloods and Gungulung gangsters. Amara Street project is within the reach of Kraal Road. Southside gang (SSG) rule the Yabra barracks. All of these are on the south side of Belize. Nuff said. Building homelessness Belize has a Ministry of Housing. It gets millions of dollars each year. For a full year Finnegan has not built a single house. Not one. Not an outhouse. None. This is a waste of resources. The Ministry of housing belongs in history books. It came from a time when British Honduras had few building contractors. Mr. Price conceived the Ministry after Hurricane Hattie. It was designed to inject quick houses for the population. Government does not build houses any more. There is no justification to pay politician salaries. It is a misuse of resources. Waste of public servant personnel. It is just a department for some politician to hustle. Bun out that waste. Erase the Ministry of Housing. Put it under the Ministry of Human Development. Hire 5 house inspectors. Thing done.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Police Department Abuses Child John Saldivar is to blame. A pickney was in her Dora night gown. She was sleeping in her bed. She is only 11 years old. Police barge into her granny’s house. No warrant. They take off all the pickney clothes. She is still half asleep, half wake. They shove their hands up where they shouldn’t. The male police stand and watch. The police only ask her where is her mother and father. They made sure they were not around. They left. Belize, unu wah-wah. This is rape. If the same three people had gone into that pickney room without uniform, it would be rape. A police uniform, a badge and a reckless UDP politician does not turn a crime into a lawful act. There is a part of body called the hymen. It is what makes a girl a virgin. The police broke that child’s hymen. She is no longer a virgin. She has been molested. No one does anything. No heads roll. No handcuffs. No one cares. If this was America, what would have happened by now? Two Strikes John, John, John, what are you doing? John Saldivar went on national television. He dared to interfere with democracy and justice. He told magistrates that they should convict people and not give them bail. He did not discriminate between innocent Belizeans before the court and those not innocent. He is violating. He is breaking a democratic principle. It is a principle of government. It is called separation of powers. That means that the politicians cannot tell judges what to do. He crossed the line. The Chief Justice said nothing to assure the public the politicians cannot dictate and control his department. The Chief Magistrate said nothing about her courts being free from political interference. The Attorney General is too busy saying things to piss off Cayo people. He is silent on this illegal request by the UDP Minister of Police. We waited a long time before we commented. We heard what he said. Politicians cannot tell judges and DPPs what to do. The Constitution says so. They are supposed to be independent. We di watch unu. Three Strikes John….aye yah yie… What are you doing, bra? The Crime Control Council did not meet for more than two full years. We had the worst crime wave ever. Then the police illegally started the “Special Areas” abuses. They molested an 11 year old girl. Yet the Crime Control Council finally met. You held that meeting. That meeting was held at a time when you knew key people would be absent. The Judge of the Supreme Court was not there. He would have told you that the actions of the police are flat out illegal. There was
no one there from Human Services to speak out for that baby girl. Both these two persons have to go to meetings by law. Yet the John Saldivar and Michael Young called this important meeting without them. Why? Unu wrong. Dean Barrow: anti- republican?? Dean Barrow is a cartoon. Barrow said he is happy Barack Obama won. Even though he has done zilch for Belize. But Barrow went far. He said he is a Democrat. He said he agreed with Obama’s policies and vision more than Romney’s. If he were in the US of A, the man would have voted Democrat. Wow. Barrow is such a bandwagonist. In 2008 Barrow was a staunch republican. Three weeks after becoming PM he ran up to President’s Bush frock tail. Tek picture and all. Now he is a supporter of the policies of Democrats in America. Cho. He ain’t serious. Francis Fonseca is not a Republican Barrow says he is an out of closet Democrat. He can do it because the elections are over. He likes Obama’s policies. A big campaign pillar and policy for Obama was same sex marriage. Barrow then supports this policy? Barrow then agrees with UNIBAM winning its case? Hmmm…finally we get the truth. Freudian slip, Barrow. If this is so, then stop wasting tax payers’ money. Stop pretending to oppose the UNIBAM case in the Court. Be honest. Democrats support same sex marriage. You agree with the principles of the Democrats. Therefore, you agree with UNIBAM. Now go and tell the Church that. But what other policies does he agree with? Barrow “the Democrat” agrees with Guantanamo Bay. He agrees with rendition. Keeping prisoners locked up for five and six years without lawyers or trials. Are those the policies of Obama he agrees with? Is this why we have preventative detention? How about the fact that in Honduras there was a military coupe of a democratically elected government and Uncle Sam said nothing. Did nothing. Just like Barrow cannot condemn the treatment of our brothers in Haiti and Cuba. Not a
word. He can use a pile of latin words. But he cannot say down to earth words like Haiti and Cuba. He likes Democrat ideals. There are 23 million poor in America. 15 million on the brink. Sounds like Belize nuh? 50% of us dirt poor. How about the fact that the Democrats told the Palestinians there would be peace. They told them that there would be security. Bombs have been raining down. Lots of bombs on Palestine. Like rice at a wedding. Is it the “breaking of promise” policies he agrees with? Remember Dean Barrow’s focus is not Belize. The man had a green card. Wait, does he still have it? He can talk about being Democrat. He can yap about American politics and rhetoric. That is where he gets married. That is where he hitches up under US politicians. We, in Belize, get abused by his failed policies. We live the reality. We live in the crime ridden areas he created. We cannot afford to be Democrats. Cruffy cannot afford to be Republicans. Francis Fonseca is not a Republican. He also ain’t no Democrat. He is a nationalist. He is a Belizean. He has one allegiance. That is to Belize. Out run yourself At some time Belize will realize that Barrow no deh with we. Latest news is that Barrow has moved out the city. He has left his castle by the sea. He now lives on his estate plantation far away from the slaves. He now lives in Boom. Tell us it ain’t so Barrow. You running and running away…but you can’t run away from yourself… GCT Tax Darrel Bradley will star in the remake of that play, “Christopher Come bus us”. It will be called “Darrell come tax us”. We have GST and CST. GST we do not like but we understand. CST (Cement Street Tax) we do not understand. The CST is a lie. Let us get this straight. We are paying a garbage tax. That garbage tax is not for garbage collection. It is for the paving of streets. We nuh di follow this yah one. The Gospel of Price Mr. Price would say to the Government: “get up and work”. Solomon would say: “Honesty will keep you safe, but everyone who is crooked will suddenly fall. Work hard, and you will have a lot of food; waste time and you will have a lot of trouble” - Proverbs 28:18-19
NOTICE Marcasia Ltd. (“the Company”) Pursuant to Section 102(4) of the International Business Companies Act, Chapter 270 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000, notice is hereby given that Traders & Logistics Inc.: I. is in dissolution II. commenced dissolution on the 13th day of November, 2012; and III. Cititrust International Inc. whose address is situated at 35 Barrack Road, Third Floor, Belize City, Belize, Central America is the Liquidator of the Company CITITRUST INTERNATIONAL LIMITED Registered Agent
THE BELIZE TIMES
Recipe of the week Ingredients:
2 lbs white fish (snapper, grouper, jewfish, snook etc.) 4 green plantains 3 cups coconut milk 3 cups water 2 tbsps. Grace cooking oil 1 med. onion 1 habanero pepper 3 cloves garlic 2 ozs. fat from pork Salt to taste Method: 1. Brown fish slightly in Grace cooking oil. 2. Dice fat from pork and fry on low heat; add onion and brown slightly. 3. In a separate container grate plantains, mix with a little coconut cream and salt and form into small dumplings. 4. In a large pot, bring coconut milk and water to boil, add oil from fired diced pork fat, onion, pepper and garlic. Add fish and then drop in plantain dumplings one at a time. Cook for 15 minutes longer. 5. Serve hot with white rice. Recipe taken from Belize Hospital Auxiliary Cook Book 4th Edition
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Jerome Flores concludes Reef Ride 2012
Continued on page 16
safety and that their other needs to complete the ride were attended to. Escort was provided by the Transport Departments of both Dangriga Town and Punta Gorda Town. Jerome & Bala undertook Reef Ride 2012 to complete the last leg of a challenge Jerome started back in 2009 to ride a hand-powered trike across Belize. His primary aim, then as now: to bring awareness to the plight of people living with diverse abilities. Through its sponsorship this year and last, Oceana in Belize sought to lend its full support to Jerome’s mission even as its involvement bring attention of Oceana’s own campaign for a ban on offshore oil drilling due to its threat to Belize’s marine resource. Additionally, as the Reef Ride coincided with Garifuna Settlement Day, it served as a means for Oceana to salute our Garinagu compatriots as they celebrate their 1802 ar-
rival to Belizean shores. Last year Shaphan followed Jerome in the Oceana bus and committed to ride alongside Jerome this year if he got a trike. He did as Jerome was able to pass on to Shaphan the do-it-yourself trike he had used between 2009 and 2011. This year Jerome rode an Invacare professional trike donated to him through US-based Challenged Athletes Foundation. Orange Walk Town based Mr. Adrian Camara, who had accompanied Jerome on earlier segments to the Ride, was again unable to participate this year due to health issues. Beyond the Reef Ride, Jerome, Shaphan and their team hope to represent Belize at the 2016 Para-Olympics in Rio de Janero, Brazil, following the Summer Olympics. They also hope to be able of organize a series for fund-raising events in coming years where athletes in wheelchairs go up against others not so challenged.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
Reid Don’t shove PAC under the rug By G. Mike Reid The hullabaloo surrounding the Public Accounts Committee has died down some but it is in the interest of all Belizeans to revive this and keep it going. While many have, as is the case with just about every subject in Belize, pigeonholed this issue as just another red and blue rift, it is far from being that and is a matter that should be in everyone’s interest to pursue further. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is one of six House Committees but the only one that is chaired by a member of the opposition. There is, without doubt, a very good reason why the framers of our Constitution decided to implement this safeguard as it is designed to hold our elected officials accountable. For the most part, everything else gives the majority members in the House a free run of things and it is utterly ridiculous to run a government without some sort of checks and balances in place. What the people of Belize should realize, is that what Julius Espat is trying to do, will not just work to hold this current government in check, but any subsequent government that comes into office. Once the PAC becomes active and functional, it will not be easy to
break the fetters that we so desperately need to bind these politicians to the order of good governance. A main function of the PAC is to examine the report of the Auditor General. Unfortunately, the Public Accounts Committee has been practically dormant for many, many years. As a result, it matters not what type of damning evidence is produced in the Auditor General’s Report or even if there is any report at all. Without a functional Public Accounts Committee, the government of the day can do whatever it wants to with taxpayer’s money and has no one to answer to. Honorable Julius Espat should be considered heroic for what he is trying to do. It will not be popular in Belmopan and already the smear campaign is in full effect. Last week, the UDP’s El Guardian dedicated its entire front page to the disparaging of Espat and the UDP radio station has been constantly ridiculing and deriding this honorable member of the House. The fact is that never has a head of this committee, neither blue nor red, stood so resolute to demand performance by the committee. In an interview on Love FM, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, among other things, discussed the controversy surrounding the PAC. Unfortunately, instead of looking into the matter with a fair mind and with an end toward finding the truth about what was happening, the Prime Minister immediately took up the defense of his Ministers. It is obvious that the Prime Minister and his ministers, who sit on the committee, met and got their stories together. They all seemed to be singing from the same song sheet. Mr. Barrow had just returned from one of his many and extended trips abroad and would obviously have had no firsthand knowledge of what was going on. Yet, he professed to know
The Chamber of Commerce, the Opposition and indeed the people of Belize need to continue to demand that this Public Accounts Committee get busy and get on with the work that it was established to do.”
word for word what had transpired in the meeting and who said what and when and even what the agenda was supposed to have and not have. When asked about a very current situation however, that being the McAfee affair, the Prime Minister denied knowing the man or anything about the man. “If you show me his picture”, said the Prime Minister, “I would not be able to recognize him”. This after McAfee’s picture had been plastered all over the news for several days and after the same McAfee had donated on several occasions to the Police Department. The Prime Minister also seemed to know very little about anything else that had been happening in the country. It seems that all Mr. Barrow’s attention had been focused entirely on matters connected to or coincidental with the Public Affairs Committee. The truth of the matter is that had not the President of the Chamber of Commerce taken the time to write a letter to both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition demanding action, there probably would not have been a quorum for that meeting; which has been the case for just about every meeting of this committee since Independence. The Chamber of Commerce, the Opposition and indeed the people of Belize need to continue to demand that this Public Accounts Committee get busy and get on with the work that it was established to do. The Prime Minister and his ministers have all stated that they are anxious to see this committee work. Why then do they continue their attempt to frustrate the process? Instead of attacking Julius Espat and using the standing orders as an obstacle, the members of the committee should get on with the task of dissecting the Auditor General’s Reporting and questioning the Auditor General herself. This is not about Julius Espat, it is about the good governance which was the very platform upon which this party ran and which was prominently promised in the manisfesto of the United Democratic Party. The Prime Minister also stated that once the committee gets active, he does not want the committee to review anything current. He wants the committee to start back as early as 1999, which was the beginning of the first term of the last administration. This is an entirely arrogant and ridiculous suggestion. Let the committee start current and then work its way back as it finds the time. If that’s the case, we can work back as far as Independence but to ignore what is happening now and concentrate instead on what has happened then is ludicrous. That was the job for committees back then which were in fact, chaired of members of this government which was then in opposition. Obviously, none of them had the will or integrity of a Julius Espat. Let us all stand behind Julius and insist that the Public Accounts Committee perform its function and hold this runaway government in check. Big respect to Julius Espat for his bold intiative!
Liquor License NOTICES Notice is hereby given that Nilda Valasquez is applying for a Night Club License to be operated at “Lion King Club”, #37 King Street, Belize City under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that Chong Wu Tan is applying for a Publican Special Liquor License to be operated at “Bian Wen Diner”, #34 East Collet Canal, Belize City under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that Jian Huan Jiang is applying for a Malt and Cider License to be operated at “Holiday Food House”, #13 Orange Street, Belize City under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that Huiqun Chen is applying for a Shop Liquor License to be operated at “Ketty’s Shop”, #1221 Blue Marlin Avenue, Belize City under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that Li Zhong Ming is applying for a Shop Liquor License to be operated at “Li Zhong Ming Shop”, #13 Fabers Road, Belize City under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that Mario Ayuso is applying for a Malt and Cider License to be operated at “Aisha’s”, #4 Corner 1st and St. Peter’s, Belize City under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Ordinance Revised Edition 1980.
THE BELIZE TIMES
In my perspective… Why Be Rich and Famous?
by Rayford Young Have you ever wondered why rich and famous people are so different than you and me? It seems like the more money you have the more exotic you become. You see things so much differently than the regular person. When I lived in Los Angeles many years ago one of the more memorable experiences I enjoyed was visiting Hollywood and driving by some of the huge mansions that movie stars lived in. Many of them had small families – husband, wife and a couple kids. Yet they lived in a mansion that had 15 rooms. Many had more. I could not fathom why you would build or purchase a home with 15 rooms and there are only four people living in the house. Strange don’t you think? These same people also love art. They would buy a piece of art that looks like someone took a paint brush and just threw different colors of paint on the canvas and called it art and these rich people would pay unbelievable sums of money. Somehow when you become rich your eyesight changes and you see so many things differently. Something else the rich enjoys are guns. Why on earth would I buy a collection of guns just to keep them locked up so others wouldn’t get injured? I cannot see what joy I would receive just standing in front of a locked case looking at guns. Maybe that’s why I’m not rich. I just don’t have the skills to enjoy the better things in life. Another item the rich love is expensive vehicles. Oh boy they love their cars and they usually buy more than one. They usually have like five. In the recent Presidential campaign in the United States the candidate for the Republican ticket was one of the richest men in the USA. Mr. Mitt Romney said one day on the campaign trail that his wife drives a couple Cadillacs and at another campaign rally he said he was building a house in California that will have an elevator in his garage that lifts his vehicle up into the house so he wouldn’t have to walk to the garage. None of these remarks went over well with the middle class. They could not relate to the kind of thinking these wealthy people have. And of course he went on to lose the elec-
tion to President Obama. Rich people just think differently. Then I think of the late Michael Jackson - one of the world’s best entertainers. He had so much money that he decided to bleach his face so he would be lighter. Then he had a face job which went terribly wrong. His nose was tilted up and looked funny. But when you have this kind of money you try a lot of things, some work, some don’t. He allegedly also had a drug habit that he could not control and eventually took him out. The late Whitney Houston was another wonderful performer some say had the best singing voice in the world. In a television interview, responding to a reporter’s question about her drug habit, I heard her say that in no uncertain terms she had enough money to buy the best drugs on the market and only used the best drugs available. She too left us way too soon as a result
of drugs. Do you see a pattern here? Seems like the more money you have this is the course you’ll follow. A big house with more rooms than you’ll ever need, you’ll love art that you couldn’t buy before you became rich, have a gun collection you stare at not knowing why you’re looking at these guns, expensive cars, or possibly become addicted to drugs and die way too soon. So why do so many of us wish we were like these people? I just don’t get it. One of the richest men in America moved to Belize and he followed this same pattern to the tee. “John McAfee, the fugitive millionaire who has been on the run from the police in Belize, has tried to alter his appearance days after his neighbor was found murdered on the Caribbean island on which they both live. McAfee, 67, has been identified as a ‘person of interest’ in the killing of 52-year-old Gregory Viant Faull, whose body was found Sunday. The inventor of antivirus software of the same name, told Wired
I cannot see what joy I would receive just standing in front of a locked case looking at guns. Maybe that’s why I’m not rich. I just don’t have the skills to enjoy the better things in life.”
Sunday, November 25, 2012
magazine Monday that he had nothing to do with the death, but feared police would kill him if they found him.”(AP) You see Mr. McAfee made a huge mistake when he came to Belize. A poor country like Belize could use the wisdom and the riches men have like Mr. McAfee. Instead they indulge in self-destructive behaviors and selfishness. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Mr.McAfee did something meaningful for our school kids in Belize, built a few schools, opened a food kitchen for the poor or built a home for the mentally-challenged men I see sleeping downtown Belize on the cement sidewalks. Instead he comes here and enjoys our beautiful beaches and the warm loving people of Belize and all he does is go wild. What a waste. But when you have so much means you tend to think only of yourself and your wants. You think you are above the law and you can pay off the local people and do whatever. I don’t know if Mr. McAfee killed anyone but I would hope if he gets out of this mess he would do something more meaningful with his wealth than collecting guns and looking at silly art. Believe me you will be a lot richer from helping those in need. Hopefully this will be a lesson to many rich people who come to our shores for the good life; that they would be much happier if they do something worthwhile for the local people not as fortunate, than just live a lifestyle of the rich and famous. Rayford Young is a Belizean-American, who currently lives in Michigan, U.S.A. Send comments to email@example.com
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
Home Economics Running from bandwagon to bandwagon - we need an Industrial Revolution!! By Richard Harrison Belize is a place where free is better.....if we don’t have to work for it....that is the preferred route. So....we run around looking for free money....and there is no shortage of it to go around. International agencies and regional development institutions are flush with cash...and they spend it....believe me. However.....those monies are like sunken ships....you never see their happy sailors arrive at Port. Belize needs to change a basic frame of thought......it needs to DECIDE.... from top to bottom...to work for what it wants.....to dream big...and to work every day towards those dreams....and stop looking under every pillow.....into every nook and cranny....to seek out free-money. When development comes from the sweat of thy brow....from your own tears and blood.....it is more highly appreciated and valued. People take more ownership of the things that they have worked for.... strive to conserve and use them wisely... and to build upon them.
The donor agencies and countries.... have learned how to give and take back.... they “give” money especially to who buy THEIR consultancy services....THEIR political and economic agenda....THEIR way of thinking....and of course...THEIR products!! In the end....there is NO FREE MONEY!!! It all comes at a cost....and a pricey one at that. Because the opportunity cost is our own organic development agenda!!! Because of this FREE MONEY..... many very intelligent and educated Belizeans....are chasing rat bats and jaguars in the jungle.....chasing the birds in the air.... the insects....the creatures of the sea.... or locked up in air-conditioned offices pushing paper...reporting to their bosses in Geneva, New York, Brussels and even Havana and Caracas.....while our inner cities starve and each day moves closer to hopelessness and anarchy. If our Zamorano graduates were offered incentives to spend their lives and investments in agricultural production.... instead of working with big salaries and perks for consultancy groups and international agencies....Belize’s agri-business
production would be much further advanced....with much more employment for our people. If our conservationists/environmentalists would have adopted our original Belizean conservation for development agenda....instead of the purist conservation agenda of foreign people....we would protect more of our diversity....and devel-
23 op them for the benefit of our people and the world....instead of blocking any and every development project proposed. Our small scientific community in Belize....are all pent up inside air-conditioned offices pushing paper....instead of investing their lives in increasing our production and wealth....creating the much required jobs for those that were not as fortunate in education and training. The age old saying....easy comes, easy goes....that is the way of Belize currently. We need to change this. We need an INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION!!! Richard Harrison is a local businessman and investor in the manufacturing and service industries. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BELIZE TIMES
Four Days in Bangladesh November 21, 2012
“Supporting papers”, demanded Mainul, a tall, beefy, dark-skinned police immigration officer, obviously not Godfrey Smith satisfied with the reason given for my presence in Dhaka. I showed him my dossier which, to him, might just as well have been the Cecil Textbook of Medicine. He thumbed through my passport muttering “Belize” quizzically under his breath, scrutinized my visa, stood up and exited his cubicle, leaving me to watched his starched, uniformed back disappear into the swelling crowd in the arrival hall. Flying into the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Bangladesh with Rickshaws Capital of the World its deltaic swamps, mangroves and lazy serpentine rivers is reminiscent of the approach into Belize City; the lush vegetation dotted with scruffy, pitted terrain; a terrestrial hostage lying prostrate to the ravages of climate change. Mainul returns with Farazul, his bespectacled, fiftyish supervisor who saunters over and enters Mainul’s cubicle; he officiously inspects the arrival hall. Through a crackling, scratchy radio - and in between barking orders to subordinates - the master of all he surveys made inquires in his native Bangla. I recognize the words “Belize” and “Washington”. The passport and “supporting papers” are handed over to Abubakar who, after more questions and a few calls, finally releases me into the maelstrom of Dhaka, the most densely populated city in the world. Soon I am engulfed in the vortex of the city’s turbulent, headache-inducing traffic. The press of people; the crush of colorfully decorated rickshaws; the lurching of crumpled, beaten up buses seemingly soldered together from recycled metal and scraped down in readiness for a long-awaited paint job. Vehicles, motorbikes, mini auto-rickshaws and bicycles converge from all directions in a ceaseless cacophony of the bells, tooting and blaring of horns redolent of an election night victory procession of vehicles, except that here it is daily, looping four-part disharmony of chaos. Shankharia’s bazaar is lined with some ageless houses with intricate carvings and tiny workshops. I wander desultorily through, savoring the smells and longing but not daring to sate my proclivity for street food. But I muster the courage to climb into a rickshaw. My lungi-clad, slipper-footed wala takes off, skinny legs pumping, cigarette pinched between index and middle finger while the third and pinkie fingers clutches hand brakes. He deftly kicks back the pedals to the six o’clock position to keep pressure going up the incline of bridges. Down Green Road we go, fearlessly negotiating the traffic, passing Muslim men whose once white beards look oxidized, the henna creating a sharp, rusty-coloured contrast to their flowing white Punjabis; against a wall a mural reads “they shall beat their swords into guitars”. Night sets in by the time we enter bhuter-goli (ghost alley); I cling on desperately as we careen around blind curves in the dark, inches away from rickshaws hurtling at us from the other direction. Close shaves are the heart-racing rhythm of the city. On the greasy, muddy shores of the Saderghat port, I gingerly board a tiny wooden sampan, the “gonodolas of Dhaka”- except this is no Venice. The grim, gaunt oarsman silently yanks his single long yuloh and slowly ferries me down the Buriganga, like Charon transporting souls of the newly dead across the river Styx. On this branch of the mighty Ganges, the sampans glide and weave fluidly among steamers and sands boats as they take passengers from bank to bank across the flow of traffic moving up and down the river. This is the raw and earthy essence of life on the main artery of the city; shirtless men suspended on wooden scaffolding bang, scrape and wash down the steel hull of a ship. Trapped in the traffic that moves at a glacial pace, I stare out at the panorama of life from my air-conditioned cocoon, quickly averting my eyes from the emaciated, one-eyed woman with tiny blackened teeth, naked baby boy straddled on “Gonodolas of Dhaka” her hip, rapping piteously on the window of the car. This is a genuine encounter with the “masses”, that universal collective whose name, as a socialist, I once so freely invoked and on whose behalf (unknown to and unsolicited by them) I had inveighed against the evils of capitalism. I am reminded of that Stalinist saw that a single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. Here there is only the daily struggle to survive; there is only life and death; silently I offer a prayer to my Darwinian god for revealing to me the mystery of life. A ten-year-old girl intercepts me at the memorial to the martyrs of the Bangla language and tries to sell me a pink lei. I try to avoid directly looking at her but, too late, our eyes meet. Within a second of looking into her eyes, her plaintive, innocent face and (practiced) wistful smile, I am caught, like a weak-minded spectator under the spell of a hypnotist, and drop a 50 Taka note into her bucket. She stares at the money, looks at me, smiles and hurries off across the plaza. At the magnificent fifteenth century Lalbagh Fort, men, burqa-clad women and children stare at my uncovered legs, still outré in Bangladesh - only children are expected to wear short pants. It dawns on me that for the duration of my visit I have not seen a single tourist, not even at the sites recommended by Lonely Planet. Bangladesh is still the road not taken; the untrodden path. That is why, even with trousers, Bangladeshis stop in the crowded streets to stare with curiosity; but they are among the kindest and most welcoming people to be encountered. The interminable traffic delays frustrates my plans to see more of the country’s interior, the tea gardens at Srimangal and the tiger infested Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. I would gladly go back; yet, to quote Frost, knowing how way leads on to way, I doubt I shall ever return. This article was reproduced from www.flashpointbelize.com
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Ministry of Health gives green light to “TLEMOL” Belmopan, November 20th, 2012 Earlier this year, reports were made to the Ministry of Health concerning the sale of a pharmaceutical product being marketed as “TLEMOL.” The Ministry sent the product for testing shortly after. This week we received a Certificate of Analysis from the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory in Kingston, Jamaica concluding that the pharmaceutical product marketed as ‘Tlemol’ has met the United States Pharmaceutical requirements for Acetaminophen tablets. The Ministry of Health assures the public that the active ingredient in this product “TLEMOL” is acetaminophen 500mg, which is the same ingredient in the similar product, TYLENOL. As stated in our initial release, preliminary investigations revealed that Tlemol is marketed in the United States of America under this name and it was legally imported in Belize by the company, Generic Club Ltd and duly registered by the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO.) (Press Release)
By Rashim Pitts
ARA MACAW MAKES VERY LOUD NOISES SUFFERS HABITAT DESRUCTION LOCAL EXTINCTION
MACAW SUB TROPICAL THEY EAT FRUITS, NUTS AND SEEDS NATIONAL BIRD OF HONDURAS POPULATION DECLINE
MACAW COLORFUL BIRDS LAYS 2 OR 3 WHITE EGGS SEXUALLY MATURE AT AGE 5 FRAGMENTED HABITAT
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
PROTECTING OUR MOTHERS, SISTERS AND OTHER WOMEN…
STOP THE HURTING OUR WOMEN!
Do you think it is okay for women to get beaten or hit?
Can you find and circle the words below?
It is not okay, right? Many other people feel that way too, so November 25th is celebrated as the International Day for the Elimination (do away with) of Violence Against Women. Why do you think we have a day reminding us to keep women safe from being hurt? Well, it is because so many women, our mothers, sisters, aunties, cousins, teachers, church sisters are being hurt everyday. This day reminds them to get help because they should be treated better. They have the right to be safe from harm. Help get the message out this week. Share this week’s Mariposa’s Kids’ Corner with someone who is being hurt.
COUSINS ELIMINATION HARM MOTHERS PROTECT
RIGHTS SAFE SISTERS SUPPORT VIOLENCE WOMEN
The women on the left are celebrating ending violence against women. They want to celebrate with the women on the left who are reading about women’s rights. Can you help them through the maze?
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Garifuna Culture: Peace or War? Garifuna Settlement Day is a beautiful celebration rich with culture, artistry, and music which we all look forward to. As I study the traditions and strong value system of the Garifuna I am amazed at how closely it parallels the Kingdom of God. According to the book “A History Of Belize”, the Garinagu are a mixture of Arawaks and Caribs. Some manuscripts also include West Africa to complete the triangle. It is said that the Arawaks were peaceful people while the Caribs were people of war. They merged on the island of St Vincent but fled after being attacked by the British Colonizers who were, for a long time, trying to overcome them. They were overpowered in 1796 where they took refuge in various countries including southern Belize. The Garifuna are a very important part of our Belizean culture and there is a lot to be learnt from them. But for today the main thing I would like to emphasize from this solid culture, is the issue of identity. We face many struggles today because as a people we are running around suffering from a lack of identity, and this problem causes mankind to malfunction. If you do not know who you are and what you are, you won’t know why you’re here! If you don’t know why you are here you begin to wander around aimlessly, giving opportunity to evil and destructive hands! If a man doesn’t understand that he is a father, for example, he will avoid caring for his wife and his children and stand idly by as the world eats them away! If a man doesn’t understand his identity as a protector and the instruction to love his wife, he will beat and abuse her, rather than use his strength to provide for her. Absence of identity means we as humans question our gender and it no longer becomes enough for our genitals to dictate if we are male of female! Not having a strong sense of identity hampers us from becoming what we were created to become and therefore we cannot contribute to the world what we were put here to contribute. The lack of awareness of our identity so often propels us to take our own life as we find nothing to live for or feel that life is no longer necessary. You may have lost your lover, or a most precious member of our family or even our job but that does not change the precious and valuable person you are and the pricelessness you carry inside! Only when we cannot see the fruit inside of us that is waiting to come out, we give up! If we cannot see the value in things around us, we will not fight against that which negatively affect us, we will let everyone else ‘think’ for us and we will genuinely feel that they are better than us, we will accept any lies told to us about ourselves and our ability! Have you ever seen an orange tree worry or become depressed because it doesn’t know it’s an orange tree? All it needs is the right environment, some water and sunlight, and it will push out the seeds and fruits that have been placed inside it by the Manufacturer. Well similar to an orange tree not questioning that it is an orange tree, you do not have to question that you are a human, made in the image of the Manufacturer, so much more important than an orange tree, and for sure having much, much more to live for than any other creation on the planet! We have a lot to learn from our Garifuna brothers, Belize, but the first and most important thing to pick up from them would be the power house principle of discovering our IDENTITY! Know who you are Belize; learn how to mix the attitude of peace and war together as many times there cannot be peace without war. We do not have to sit and take everything that comes to us, but as the Garifuna resisted the attempts to be colonized by the British or anyone else, so we must know who we are that we can propel ourselves into the purpose that God has predestined! Let’s fight against the forces that want to destroy us eternally, and against those who desire to destroy the land and resources that the Manufacturer has given to us physically! Until next week God Bless!
“Christmas breeze” is in the air as we would say but there is also something else in the air- two new strains of influenza. The 2012 -2013 flu season, which runs from roughly October to April, may be a nasty one as a new strain from the H3N2 group which tends to be worse than other flu strains has been circulating around the globe. The Center for Disease Control in the U.S.A. urged Americans to get vaccinated this year. The influenza family of viruses have a high mutation rate and are always evolving which makes vaccination preparation somewhat of a challenging task. This year’s flu vaccine consists of one H1N1 strain (this caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009) from last year’s vaccine, plus two new strains, which includes the new H3N2 strain. Almost everyone should get vaccinated. Women have five times the risk of severe illness if they catch the flu when they’re pregnant, and they can require hospitalization and suffer preterm labor as a result. Vaccination not only protects them, but recent research shows it also provides some protection to their newborns as well. Elderly persons and younger children may also severely suffer from contracting the flu. In the U.S., 34 pediatric deaths were reported last year. The only persons who shouldn’t get vaccinated are babies younger than 6 months and people with severe allergies to eggs, which are used to make the vaccine. Make it a priority to visit your doctor or a clinic to get vaccinated this flu season. Besides vaccination, everyday actions like hand washing, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze count! In Belize, UNICEF has been consistently promoting “Wash”. Hand washing must not be taken granted in the fight against viruses. So lather up and scrub well before rinsing!
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
BELIZE TIMES WEEKLY
SCIENCE & TECH R
Selected By Chris Williams
Implant lets the blind read Braille with their eyes Blind people could soon be able to read street signs using an implant that translates the alphabet into Braille and beams an image of the Braille directly to visual neurons at the back of the eye. 22 November 2012 by Douglas Heaven The implant is a modified version of a class of devices called retinal prostheses, which are used to restore partial sight to people with retinitis pigmentosa. A degenerative eye disease that kills the photoreceptor cells in the retina, RP tends to affect people in early adulthood and can lead to blindness, but leaves intact the neurons that carry visual signals to the brain. Prostheses such as the Argus II, manufactured by Second Sight in Sylmar, California, convert video from a camera mounted on a pair of glasses into electronic signals “displayed” on a 10-by-6 grid of electrodes implanted over a person’s retina. This gives users a pixellated view of the world, allowing them to distinguish light and dark regions and even detect features such as doorways. But deciphering letters and words with the prosthesis is slow because of its low resolution. To make this more practical, Thomas Lauritzen of Second Sight and colleagues have come up with a modified version of the Argus II that presents the user with Braille. Since Braille represents letters and numbers as dots in a 3-by-2 grid, it can be displayed using the elec-
Lack of Braille signage could soon be less of a hindrance (Image: Elizabeth Ellen/plainpicture)
trode array of existing Argus implants. The modified implant was tried out on a Braille-reading volunteer who already uses the Argus II. Tested on single letters and words of up to four letters, transmitted in Braille to the retinal implant, he correctly identified the letters 89 per cent of the time and words 60 to 80 per cent of the time. Longer words should actually
be easier to read, Lauritzen predicts, because getting an individual letter wrong creates less confusion than when the word is short. The user was able to read at a rate of at least one letter per second. By contrast, the pixellated letters of the conventional version of Argus can take wearers tens of seconds to decipher, so whole words can
take minutes. No Braille substitute The modified system is not intended to replace standard Braille texts: a typical Braille user can read 800 letters per minute by touch. Where the system comes into its own is in situations when no Braille version of a text is available. It could be most useful for reading text in public plac-
Climate change may supersize sweet potatoes 22 November 2012 RISING levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may have a silver lining: doubling the size of the sweet potato, the fifth most important food crop in the developing world. Most studies of the effects of higher atmospheric CO2 on crops have shown rising yields of rice, wheat and soy. The hardy sweet potato is increasingly becoming a staple in Africa and Asia, producing “more edible energy per hectare per day than wheat, rice or cassava”, accord-
ing to research group the International Potato Center. Hope Jahren at the University of Hawaii at Manao and colleagues grew the plants at four CO2 concentrations: the current level of 390 parts per million, as well as 760, 1140 and 1520 ppm. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that atmospheric CO2 levels will be between 500 and 1000 ppm by the year 2100. For the least extreme scenario at 760 ppm, the team found the tubers grew up to 96 per cent larger. The team is now testing their nutri-
ent content. “Are these sweet potatoes any more nutritious,” asks team member Ben Czeck, “or do you have to eat twice as many to get the nutrients needed?” Crucially, previous studies revealed the protein content in wheat, rice, barley and potatoes dropped by 15 per cent when grown under CO2 levels double those of today. Czeck will present the work in December at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
es, for example, notices and street signs. There are approximately 65,000 people in the US and Europe with severe enough RP to benefit from the prosthesis, says Brian Mech, Second Sight’s vice-president of business development. Once the system has been properly tested, the team intends to provide the Braille functionality as a separate mode in the Argus II. In Braille mode, the device would bypass the video processing unit and instead use text-recognition software to identify signs and convert them on the fly into images of Braille. Although it wasn’t used in the recent study, software exists that can find and read about 90 per cent of signs, Lauritzen says. “It’s already good enough, and it will undoubtedly improve with time.” “Second Sight have done amazing work for years,” says Patrick Degenaar at Newcastle University in the UK. But the test of any prosthesis is whether it restores abilities to the user. The problem with today’s visual prostheses is their low resolution, he says. Sound feedback? Packing more electrodes into the same space is not currently possible because electrolytic effects make them degrade if they are too close together. “Over time the electrodes will fall apart,” says Degenaar. Making the most of the low resolution and using the grid to display Braille is a good idea, he says, but other options should also be explored. If text-recognition software is already so good, then “why not use that to provide auditory feedback rather than Braille?”, he asks. “Anything that potentially leads to new ways to realise vision is very welcome,” says Pete Osborne, chief Braille officer at the Royal National Institute of Blind People in London. Visual prosthetics in general are not trying to replicate sight, he says, and the challenge is to find the best alternative. Besides, Braille was developed as a means of reading by touch. “Will it translate to a visual medium? The proof will be in the pudding.”
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, November 25, 2012
By Katie Usher Fifty is not always over the hill. In fact, in the new millennia where thirty is the new twenty, fifty has the ‘cougar-ish’ appeal of forty. Last Friday night, the Image Factory Art Gallery hosted Art Beyond 50, New Art from Cayo which in this case spoke of miles rather than years. Eight painters all residing fifty or more miles outside Belize City limits exhibited their work. These artists Ernest Garcia, Jose Gabb, German Figueroa, Carolyn Carr, Marlon Thompson, Lincoln Gordon, Jeanne Seawell and Orlando Nah ignited the walls of the gallery with fresh images from fifty or more miles away. Luckily I got the chance to interview four of the artists at the launch on their style and artistic aspirations. Orlando Nah, originally from Roaring Creek village, who is now residing in Camalote village said that he was inspired to paint by a Psalm in the Bible and that spirituality is a very important part of his work. Nah elaborated “for example Psalm 121, which says ‘I look up to the hills’ when you look at nature, you are inspired. When I read that I was very young, about seven years old, and it inspired me”. Orlando nah hopes that when we see his work we would “understand that we need love in our lives and that the reason there is so much violence and crime is because we do not have love”. Jeanne, who signs her work with her first name only, is a painter who is self-taught and resides in Belmopan. She, like a painter from the Romantic era, is greatly inspired by nature and other artists’ work. This, in the art world of Belize, is something that may scare artists out of sharing their pieces to avoid ‘copy cat-ism’. But if we are to call ourselves contemporary artists, we’d realized that we knowingly and unknowingly take inspiration from everywhere
and everyone. Jeanne shares this viewpoint and says “I’m inspired (by them), but I do my own variation of it. I do my own thing, and I love doing it.” She hopes that we see her work and are inspired to be creative. Lincoln Gordon is a hyper-realist painter from Roaring Creek who studied Fine Art in the United States and later taught art at the Belmopan Comprehensive School. His style choice is interesting as it is not widely used here in Belize. When asked why he chose hyper-realism he said that it was the genre that chose him and not the other way around. “I never pretend, whenever I meet someone I show them who I am, I am always real. I think this is reflected in the work that I do. I am real to myself so I am real to my project. So that is the reason I chose hyper-realism”. Gordon hopes that when we see his work, his theme being urban landscape, we pay closer attention to all that surrounds us and thereby not take for granted the simple things and appreciate the beauty in them. Marlon Thompson said he recalls finding coal from the fire hearth and scratching all over his grandma’s walls. Thompson also lives in Roaring Creek and said “he has been creat-
ing since birth, that this is something that has been in him, since the beginning.” He hopes that we would see his work and share his vision and the same feelings he had.
The artists have since returned to Cayo, but their works can still be seen in the Image Factory Art Gallery on #91 North Front Street. The exhibit will run until the end of November.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
Colombia considers abandoning ICJ State will fight ruling over Nicaragua sea territory
Xinhua, November 22, 2012 BOGOTA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said on Wednesday that his country will fight a recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which expanded Nicaragua’s sea territory in Caribbean waters at the expense of Colombia. Speaking at Congress, Holguin “deplored” the ICJ verdict, saying the government was studying ways to fight it.
“We are not going to be resigned to what has happened,” she said, adding Colombia may ask UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to address the matter or seek correction somewhere else. Colombia is “seriously” studying the possibility of withdrawing from the 1948 Pact of Bogota or American Treaty on Pacific Settlement, which recognizes The Hague-based ICJ as the ultimate arbiter of such disputes in the American continent, said Holguin. The ICJ ruled on Monday that a cluster of disputed islands in the western Caribbean belonged to Colombia, while giving Nicaragua sovereignty over a large range of sea territory. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega hailed the ruling as a recognition of his country’s fishing rights and underwater oil and gas deposits. But Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos rejected the ruling, saying the ICJ had “committed serious mistakes.” Meanwhile, Santos instructed Colombian Navy Commander Admiral Roberto Garcia to continue deploying ships in Caribbean waters now on Nicaragua’s side of the maritime border. Garcia said the order called for maintaining Colombia’s sovereignty and drug-trafficking surveillance, as well as protecting Colombian fishermen in the area. He said the ships would stay put until the scope of the verdict, still being analyzed by the Colombian government, is defined.
Israel-Gaza ceasefire holding as skies fall silent A truce between Gaza and Israel was being observed by both sides, after a week of aerial warfare that ended with more than 160 people dead and both sides claiming victory. 22 Nov 2012 A number of rockets were fired from Gaza in the first few hours of the truce, but Israel did not respond. However, Israeli schools close to the Gaza Strip were kept closed on Thursday as a precaution. An Israeli soldier injured in a mortar attack on Wednesday died of his wounds, bringing the Israeli death toll to six - two soldiers and four civilians. The UN’s provisional figures were that 158 people were killed in Gaza. Streets in Gaza city, empty and quiet during relentless Israeli air strikes, were once again flooded with cars and people as life returned to something like normal. The contrast between the deserted roads of the previous eight days and the scenes of joyful chaos on Gaza City’s thoroughfares was marked, and followed a night of celebrations that began as the truce came into effect at 1900 GMT on Wednesday. Mohammed Kamel Amr, the foreign minister of Egypt, which sponsored the marathon talks which resulted in the ceasefire, announced the cessation of hostilities at a joint news conference in
Cairo with Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State. The UN Security Council urged Israel and Hamas to respect the ceasefire while joining with US President Barack Obama in praising Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi for mediating an end to the bloodshed. As calm returned to the skies, jubilant Gazans flooded into the streets to celebrate. Gunfire and fireworks streaked into the dark night sky, where Israeli drones could still be heard buzzing overhead, as mosques broadcast the chants: “God is greatest” and “The resistance is victorious.” Some residents waved the green flags of Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement and others the Egyptian flag, in tribute to the role Cairo played in the negotiations. As the truce came into effect, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal said that Israel had “failed in all its goals”. “After eight days, God stayed their hand from the people of Gaza, and they were compelled to submit to the conditions of the resistance,” Meshaal said. “Israel has failed in all its goals,”
he told reporters at a Cairo hotel, while warning Israel against violating the agreement. “If you commit, we will commit. If you do not commit, the rifles are in our hands,” he said, vowing: “We will continue to arm ourselves.” Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, issued a similar warning. The ceasefire “could last nine days or nine weeks or more but if it doesn’t hold, we know what to do and of course, we will consider the possibility of resuming our activity if there is any firing or provocations,” Barak told Israeli public radio. “Such an operation could have created a situation in which we would have had to stay in Gaza for years,” he said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Jewish state had
been as good as its word in carrying out Operation Pillar of Defence. “I said we’d extract high price from terror organisations. The terror organisations thought we’d refrain from strong action. They were wrong,” he said, saying the campaign had taken out militant commanders, destroyed thousands of rockets and had wrecked Hamas command centres. The army says that during the eightday operation it hit more than 1,500 targets and destroyed thousands of rockets, while Gaza militants fired more than 1,500 rockets back at Israel, whose vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted more than 420 of them. In total, 155 Palestinians died in Israel’s bombing campaign, and five Israelis, including a soldier, were killed by rocket fire. The violence in and around Gaza ended at 1900 GMT on Wednesday when an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement came into force.
Hamas police officers embrace after their return to their destroyed AlSaraya headquarters in Gaza City
THE BELIZE TIMES
Speaking of illegal…the Belize City Council has slapped on a tax on Belizeans of ten dollars monthly to collect garbage. What chanciness. Garbage collection tax is included in the property tax charged on every household in Belize City. Another illegal move is that the City Council has gotten a central government department – Water Services- to collect the tax. What if some citizens don’t pay? Will Belize Water Services be facey enough to cut off water until the “pound of flesh” Council tax is paid?
Anti-black sentiments in the U.S.A. have increased since Barack Obama was elected President. Among white people in the U.S.A., anti-black feelings have risen from 49 percent of the population to 56 percent since 2008. 79 percent of persons who are Republicans say that they have anti-black people feelings, 36 percent of Democrats say they have anti-black people feelings. Research has also uncovered a strong anti-Hispanic feeling among white Americans. Hispanics or Latinos living in the U.S.A. are 12 percent of that country’s population of just over three hundred million Americans there are 52 million Latinos. There are 44 million Black Americans and 18 million Asians. The vast majority of Black Americans, Latinos and Asians voted for Obama causing him to win a second time. Half of the 2.3 million people in the U.S. prisons are Black Americans. Millions of white Americans are very unhappy with Obama’s win. PAWN SHOPS Some Pawn Shops are chancing their customers. We will follow good advice and not call any names- for now. These unscrupulous Pawn Shops are charging up to 30 percent on monies they lend to desperate borrowers. Although the Central Bank by law is to regulate these money lenders no such regulation is taking place.
Let us give praise where it is due. This week it is to the hard working prosecutors in the Supreme Court. Their official titles are Crown Counsels. With apologies if we leave out anyone: Cecil Ramsey, Senior Crown Counsel soon to be Deputy D.P.P.; Trienia Young, Stevanni Duncan, Christophe Rodriguez, Kaysha Grant, Thalia Megan Francis, Priscilla Banner, Shenieza Smith et. al. GUATEMALA
Guatemala recently created two new military bases. They claim it is to help combat crime. THE LAW The Law of Belize is that a person found guilty of serious types of murder must be hanged. That is the law. The Law of Belize is that persons found with marijuana must pay a fine and or go to jail if that amount is above 60 grams. Only the law against marijuana is enforced. The law against gruesome murders is NOT enforced.
JUST LIKE THAT
Bill Lindo built a dredge. It worked fabulously. Worked so well the PUP government gave Mr. Lindo a contract by which he filled a large section of Belama
Busy Signal is back. Back in Jamaica that is. He spent two months in the U.S. jail for skipping his bail. Busy Signal is the Don who gave us such songs as: - “Unknown Number”, “Hey Girl” and “Nah Go Jail Again”. SENIOR BOOK
This is a must read for those who love information and knowledge and ideas. This new book is written by Seumas Milne. It is published by Verso…Forty years of radical publishing. It costs £16 i.e. 16 pounds in British money which is about fifty dollars. It’s worth it. The name of this awesome book is “The Revenge of History: The Battle for the 21st Century”.
Our Palestinian brothers and sisters are celebrating tonight, Wednesday 21st November, in the Middle East. They say they have won a great victory over the Israelis. They say after living as second class citizens and refugees in their own country they have nothing more to lose. “Extremists” in their midst fired over 300 rockets at Israel – killing 3 civilian Israelis. The mighty Israeli war machine responded with scores of fighter jets and hundreds of targeted bombings. The death toll for Palestinians has climbed to over 300 and the destruction of buildings and infrastructure is in the tens of millions. Israel even targeted the homes and offices of elected government officials. Even with hundreds of war tanks and over one hundred thousand soldiers lined up on the border ready to attack Gaza, the Palestinians did not back down. The mighty Goliath of Israel faced the tiny David of Gaza. In the 1967 war, Israel invaded Palestine and since then has occupied the West Bank and Gaza, refusing to leave despite dozens of United Nations Resolutions. Hey! This column calls them our brothers and sisters because those who are oppressed and brutalized are our brothers and sisters. And before anyone gets jumpy we respect the right of Israel to exist and live in peace. In the words of the Jamaican dub poet – Mutabaruka – “you in a wi land you quite illegal”.
One of the CIB’s top detectives has made an important arrest. For fishermen and boat owners, the constant stealing of their boats in order to remove and sell their engines has been a great plague in Belize. Several of the fishermen swear they will shoot the boat thieves and take the consequence. Detective Jemmott has been tracking some suspected boat thieves for some time. His quick response has recovered several engines for the grateful fishermen. We understand Detective Jemmott may have finally caught up to the big thief himself.
There is a huge scandal at the Orange Walk Hospital involving expectant mothers. We all saw the news and heard the voices of these mothers who must live the rest of their lives with the nightmarish experience of what happened to them and their newborn babies. Does this government have any shame left? People are crying out for justice.
ROLANDO RIGHTS A POEM
Rowland Parks, who in another life was Lamine Lasana aka SWAPO from Wagner’s home has written. Rowland in his more productive years published two poetry books – “Belize, The Voices of Your Children” and “Poems of Passion, Protests and Patriotism”. For years of living in Babylon, attending Baruch University in New York and falling in and out of love, Roewland returned to Belize having perfected his photography and journalism skills. Rowland has now written a poem. He showed it to artist Yasser Musa. Yasser says it’s a great comeback poem. Impressive. Rowland’s heroes were Doctor Teager and the X. After 12 years of exile, look what inspiration can do.
GAZA vs. ISRAEL
Energy drinks are most popular among Belizean men. One of the main reasons is that it provides sexual energy for these alpha males. Some users use them to get through the night shift. Red Bull, Dragon, Exctasy and 5 Hour Energy are sold out products. They are taken with stout and other “stimulants”. Users swear by these products. It is therefore of some help if Belizeans are informed by our health authorities that several of these products are being investigated for a few untimely deaths in the U.S.A. A little warning could save lives. If you must put in “senior work” and need a little help with energy – moderation is the word.
Then there is another ILLEGAL move by the City Council. Belize City residents who go to renew their driver’s license are told it will not be renewed until the person pays all of his or her property tax. The City Council CANNOT deprive a citizen of their legitimate right to renew their driver’s license. Property tax has nothing to do with that. Will Kevin Arthurs, Antoinette Moore, Anthony Sylvestre, Arthur Saldivar, Hubert Elrington, Lisa Shoman, Magali Marin Young, Kareem Musa, Bryan Neal and the other attorneys please take this matter to the Supreme Court for a declaration and an injunction?
for house lots just a few years ago. Bill Lindo is a PUP and a UDP. Since the UDP became the government they have allowed Mr. Lindo’s dredge to stay idle and start to rust.
Remember how the government sits back and allows some butane gas sellers to chance us? Same thing going on with money lenders and insurance companies. And let us add…lending rates at commercial banks are outrageous. Outrageously high.
THINK ABOUT IT
Sunday, November 25, 2012
“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” Titus 3:9 (KJV)
NOTICE Marcasia Ltd. (“the Company”) Pursuant to Section 102(4) of the International Business Companies Act, Chapter 270 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000, notice is hereby given that Marcasia Ltd.: I. is in dissolution II. commenced dissolution on the 18th day of October, 2012; and III. Mrs. Tatyana Cilia, director of Sun Limited whose address is situated at 35 Barrack Road, Third Floor, Belize City, Belize, Central America is the Liquidator of the Company CITITRUST INTERNATIONAL LIMITED Registered Agent
Sunday, November 25, 2012
THE BELIZE TIMES
Oil Refinery “ain’t gonna happen”, says PM Belize City, November 21, 2012 “The United Democratic Party will, within the shortest possible time - just so long as it takes to actually construct this thing - build a local oil refinery. We will turn Belizean crude into gasoline, diesel and kerosene, and sell the locally refined fuels to the Belizean people for lower, cheaper, and stable prices.” - Dean Barrow, UDP General Election Manifesto, February 22, 2012 Dean Barrow is bound to go down as the Prime Minister who had promised almost everything, but delivered close to nothing. The list of promises is mighty long – free education, 15,000 free land, fo-
rensics, VOIP, mortgage assistance, cheaper fuel, less crime, lower cost of living…and much, much more. When you look at the conditions of Belize, you wonder whether you were dreaming when Barrow made the promises, but the cold reality is it wasn’t a dream. One of those pipedream promises was that once elected to office, the UDP would make fuel prices fall to the ground by building a refinery “within the shortest time possible”. Well, Belizeans have been waiting and that “shortest time possible” turned to the mighty longest time possible with fuel prices going up, to almost $13 a gallon. But alas! Nine months later, Barrow
Butane prices increase by $10; Fuel drops by .49 cents
Belize City, November 21, 2012 The price of butane gas imported from Mexico increased this week, just in time for the Government to collect more revenue from Belizeans who were set on cooking up a Turkey Dinner storm. The price of a 100-pound cylinder of butane from Mexico increased by $10. The cost of butane imported from Central America did not increase. With the increase, the price ranges from $118 in in Belize City and Corozal to $123 in Punta Gorda. Meanwhile fuel prices dropped.
But no, it’s not a $10 drop, not even a full dollar. To everyone’s disappointment, it was only by a miniscule fraction, a 0.49 cents drop. Premium continues to be skyhigh at $11.18, while Regular is $10.78. Diesel is $10.80. But those are the Belize City prices. In farther places like Punta Gorda, the reduction seems much smaller, as the prices are much, much higher. If Belizeans remember clearly, Barrow had promised in 2008 that he would properly regulate fuel prices so it doesn’t go beyond $8.00.
has delivered! Not the promise he made but another example of the great politician he is. When asked about the oil refinery, Barrow simply said “it ain’t gonna happen” and brushed it off like if it was no big deal. “It’s not feasible in the current circumstances at all,” he explained in a 7News interview, adding that a study that was partially funded by Belize Natural Energy, who are apprehensive about nationalising any part of the oil energy sector, showed that it is not a viable project. So, so much for less cost of living, forensics, VOIP, less crime, and now cheaper and stable fuel prices.
25 year old fatally stabbed in Dangriga November 21, 2012 25 year old Karim Peters was the victim of a fatal stabbing in Dangriga Town. The stabbing occurred on Sunday, November 18. Investigations reveal that around 8:25 that night, Peters and another man, identified as Juan Rubio, got into a confrontation. Rubio reportedly pulled a knife and stabbed Peters on the upper left side of his chest. Peters was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment. Rubio, a 34 year old employed as a heavy duty operator in Dangriga, has been detained.
Placencia Police nursing “black eye” Thursday, November 22, 2012 Smack on the heels of boasting a low crime rate, the Placencia police formation is reeling from a pronounced “black eye” over at least two serious criminal incidents that occurred in that village over the past month with no police action. Almost one month ago, Roy Wade, a 63 year-old resident of Placencia, was targeted and beaten to death by a group of delinquent youth. The incident went as if it never happened and allegations of pay-offs started to circulate when no arrests were made. The youths who allegedly committed the act are still going about their business. Then shortly after midnight last week Thursday, Lizette “Flaca” Cocom, a waitress at a bar in Placencia was walking home after work when her ex-boyfriend whom she had left on grounds of domestic abuse, allegedly trailed her and attacked her with a knife at the foot of her stairs. Cocom suffered multiple stab wounds in the attack, over a dozen reports say, and had to be hospitalized. The incident reportedly happened in the presence of at least two of Cocom’s friends who have also come forth and spoken about the incident. Even though Cocom made an official statement with the Placencia Police last Friday, the police in that community have still not detained the suspect. These two grave incidents have prompted the Placencia community to come public with their concerns about what they term as a “deadbeat” police station. Both incidents occurred in the absence of the Officer Commanding the formation, Inspector Mark Flowers, who returned from holiday leave just this past Tuesday. The residents are upset that the officer left in charge of the budding Placencia community, seemed either uninterested in addressing crime in the village or was intentionally turning a blind eye to it for reasons still unknown. Whatever the case, the lack of quick police action following the incidents has put Placencia in the spotlight and the residents are now calling on the OC to arrest the persons responsible for the elderly man’s murder and the vicious beating of the young waitress.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Sunday, November 25, 2012