Page 1

Sunday, October 28, 2012




SUNDAY October 28, 2012

www.facebook/Belize Times

Issue No. 4819

Who killed

Editorial: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul!

Alfred Schakron? Belize City, October 24th, 2012 The execution-style killing of business mogul, Alfred Schakron, which occurred in broad daylight on Coney Drive in Belize City this morning, is an indication that criminal activity has reached a very dangerous level in our country. Schakron, a very successful Belizean businessman, had exited Body 2000 Gym, where he attends regular workouts, and was about to cross the street to get to his parked vehicle when he was approached by an incoming car, identified as a black Ford Escape, with several men inside. Witnesses say that Schakron got into a verbal exchange in Schakron’s native Lebanese language with the occupants of the car. Suddenly, there was an attempt to force Schakron into the car, at which point he called out for help. The occupants responded by shooting Schakron at close range and then speeding off, leaving his body on the road side. Reports are that another car arrived shortly and the occupants got out and looked over Schakron, before re-entering the vehicle and speeding off. The first person to come to Schakron’s aid Continued on page 4

UB students oppose closure of History programme City of Belmopan, October 23, 2012 Amidst controversy over financial irregularities revealed by a recent audit, the University of Belize is facing additional pressure over reports that it plans to close its History Bachelor’s degree programme. The current students along with past alumni have written the President of the University, Dr. Cary Fraser, requesting a clarification of the reports. A let-

Page 3

These moves by the Barrow Administration to take money from one government entity to another in order to satisfy their greed and recklessness are an irresponsible attempt by a desperate Government.

Page 5

Reid Between the Lines: In March of 1995, in their second term in office, two sitting UDP ministers were arrested for storming into a voice of the West radio station in Cayo and destroying equipment and beating up the staff.

Page 13

Be careful with whom you sleep A licentious relationship has been developing between Belize and Israel and hardly anybody seems to be taking notice.

GOB disarms BDF border patrols

Page 3

BDF will use rubber bullets to defend themselves against armed Guatemalan trespassers

FOLLOW US! UB President, Dr. Cary Fraser

Students enrolled in the History program have written UB for urgent clarification

Belize City, October 23, 2012 Belize Defence Force soldiers patrolling Belize’s borders will no longer carry M16 rifles or other high-powered weapons to defend them-

Page 4

on the social media



Sunday, October 28, 2012

OAS Secretary General Pays Courtesy Visit to PUP Leader

Will UB close its History Ba program? October 17, 2012

Ave OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza & PUP Leader Hon Francis Fonseca at Independence Hall

Dr. Cary Fraser President Office of the President University of Belize Central Campus, Hummingbird

Belize Dear President: It has come to the attention of students and alumni of the History and Anthropology Program that there is the possibility of closing the Bachelor’s Degree in History pro-

PUP OW Town Councils explains decision to reduce staff Senator Lisa M. Shoman, Paul Spencer, OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, PUP Leader Hon Francis Fonseca, Former Prime Minister Rt. Hon Said Musa and PUP SecGen Myrtle Palacio having discussion

US$50m budgeted for ICJ Referendum Belize City, October 24, 2012 US$50 million dollars is being budgeted for the process of preparing and carrying out the scheduled referendum in Belize and Guatemala as part of a possible solution to the age-old territorial differendum. Guatemala has reported that its education campaign will require US$14 million, and as much as US$32 million will be needed on the day of referendum. Belize has budgeted US$2 million for voter mobilization and registration, US$0.5 million for legal fees and research, and US$4.5 million for public education. Guatemala said that while it can afford the US$32 for referendum day, it will reach out to supporting international donors for the financing needed for its public education campaign. The Belize Government said it will fund a part of its budget, but will depend on international donors for a majority of it. A simultaneous referendum for Belize and Guatemala citizens to decide whether or not they agree that the territorial dispute should be settled before the International Court of Justice will be held on October 6, 2013.

October 22, 2012 On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, the Orange Walk Town Council held a management meeting to address certain critical matters affecting the delivery of service to residents of the town. The agenda included discussion of proposals on how to enhance the sustainability of the Council while undergoing a planned schedule of infrastructure/beautification projects in the months ahead. At the end of the meeting, the regrettable decision to immediately streamline staff was taken, resulting in the Council laying off 11 employees on Friday, October 19. 2012. The laying off of staff, especially in these difficult economic times, is never an easy decision. But it is precisely the economic realities we face today which made it absolutely necessary. The responsibility of the Council is to provide a valuable service to the residents of Orange Walk Town at ALL times. We are firmly committed to providing the services to which residents are entitled, even when it necessitates making decisions which are not easy. We are confident that residents will understand the difficulties we face, and the steps we are forced to take to overcome those difficulties. Our obligation is to the residents of the town, and we can only fulfill that obligation by ensuring the sustainability of the Town Council. (Press Release)

gram at the University of Belize. We hereby request that we be informed of the University’s position on this issue and on the status of the program. The bachelor degree in history, as it was rightly envisioned, is a program with enormous potential to contribute to the development of Belize. Despite the challenges confronted by both students and faculty, the program has succeeded in producing promising graduates. With adequate support, the history program will prove to be invaluable to the growth of our nation. We expect that you, more than any other person in administration, are well -acquainted with the benefits of a history program and will be in solidarity to promote and expand the program. We will expect a response by Friday, October 19, 2012. A failure to reply will suggest that we must seek other avenues to bring attention to the subject at handy. Sincerely, Students and Alumni of the History and Anthropology Program

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



Chris Williams Published By The Belize Times Press Ltd. Tel: 671-8385 #3 Queen Street P.O. BOX 506 Belize City, Belize Email:

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Be careful with whom you sleep October 23, 2012 A licentious relationship has been developing between Belize and Israel and hardly anybody seems to be taking notice. It appears that Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who has no love lost between him and his Foreign Affairs Minister and former nemesis, “Sedi” Elrington, is either pimping for him or setting him up, again, for national embarrassment. On the other hand,”Sedi”,who like Barrow, cannot be cured of his residual colonial mentality, is gloating in the attention he is getting from our Guatemalan friends and their Israeli allies. Myopic, or perhaps (less kindly) stupid, as he is appearing to be, he should take time out to review the recent history of the Israeli/Palestinian dynamics and the economic power base that Israeli Jews have in Guatemala. With a delusion of royalty, Elrington has been travelling to the Israeli State, and in and out of bed, as a part of this tryst. Last week he hopped on a plane to Gua-

UB students oppose....

Continued from page 1 ter written on October 17, 2012 [reprinted on page 2] states, “We hereby request that we be informed of the University’s position on this issue and on the status of the program. The bachelor degree in history, as it was rightly envisioned, is a program with enormous potential to contribute to the development of Belize”. The BELIZE TIMES understands that the letter and concerns have gone unanswered. The report surfaced after a reported meeting between the President and members of the Student Government, in which the closing of the program was mentioned. The rationale presented, we understand, is that the University does not consider the program as cost effective. The students are not alone. Members of the History and Anthropology Department are disappointed that they are unaware of the situation and they have been unable to provide answers to concerned student. No one from the UB Board has consulted them. In fact, it was the students who informed members of the Department of the reports. In their letter to Fraser the students wrote, “Despite the challenges confronted by both students and faculty, the program has succeeded in producing promising graduates. With adequate support, the history program will prove to be invaluable to the growth of our nation. A failure to reply will suggest that we must seek other avenues to bring attention to the subject at handy”. As to the allegations of financial wrongdoing, a recent audit revealed that there were questionable salary increases for members of the Human Resource Department. This has not been received well by the UB Faculty and Staff Association (UBFSA), who is calling for the Human Resource Director Herta Gentle to be suspended and that the Board of Trustees Chairperson Imani Fairweather Morrison explains the situation of the salary increases.

tle Guatemala’s border dispute with us, not us with them. Our borders are clearly defined and recognized by the United Nations. There is no need for a referendum, nor an education on one. There is no need to go the ICJ. But score one for Guatemala for upmanship, one for Israel and zero for “Sedi”, the GovForeign Affairs Minister Sedi Elrington travelled ernment of Belize and unanounced to Israel and met with Israel Prime the people-the minority Minister Shimon Peres in May 2010 that still supports them. temala City, at the invitation of his Guate- “Sedi”and his cohorts in the Cabinet malan counterpart, to be wined and dined room, packed to over-flowing with egos, on a sort of paid vacation, days before a are mistaking “sex” (well let’s be a little meeting with his Guatemalan counter- more diplomatic) and say that Guatemala’s part, to work out the machinations for next infatuation with Belize (not with him) is not year’s referendum, in Belize and Guate- about love. What a fool! mala on whether or not we should go to Belize attained its Independence in the International Court of Justice to set- 1981 with the vast support of the interna-

3 tional community. Israel opposed this and it continues to support the Guatemalan claim to Belize. The Belize Constitution defines the territory of Belize unequivocally. We do not need the International Court of Justice to determine that. Nor should we now trust the Organization of American States, the Guatemalans, nor the Israelis who continue to vacillate over the Palestinian homeland. We must be reminded that for years, the OAS supported Guatemala’s claim to Belize. It was not until the late President of Panama, Omar Torrijos, threw a monkey wrench in that bloc support, before the rest of the Central American countries changed their stance. We are watching. In the recent past and even now, Israel’s relationship with Belize has been precarious. Could it be that a little Visa Waiver Agreement, which could well be designed to be more advantageous to them, along with a few token exhibitions and the donation by the Israelis of a hi-tech vehicle to monitor our telephone calls (Mossad style) were intended to assuage our trust for them? We should not think so.



Who killed

Alfred Schakron? Continued from page 1 was his trainer, who had heard the gunshots while inside Body 2000. He said he checked Schakron’s pulse and realised he was still alive. He picked up Schakron and placed him inside his vehicle and rushed him to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but it was too late. “When I took him to the hospital and we tried to take him out of the vehicle he was basically lifeless, you know, nothing moving, no responses when I di ker him, no talking. I called out ih name a couple times, nothing,” the trainer said. Schakron had been shot in the neck, chest and left side of the body. Outside the hospital, his family which included son Daniel, daughter Renee, exwife Yolanda Rodriguez (known to many still as Yolanda Schakron), and his employees of JEC Pawnshop, Mega Bingo and Gadgets Store had gathered upon hearing the news. Loud cries could be heard coming from the group when they learnt that Schakron did not survive the hail of bullets. At the scene, Police scenes of crime unit had cordoned the area and were combing thoroughly to find any pieces of evidence. They found 4 expended shells from two kinds of guns: two 9millimeter rounds and two .22 millimeter rounds. This indicates that there could have been two gunmen in the vehicle. Police have no suspects and no leads. A Police release on this latest homicide focused more on attempting to calm residents by saying that the incident appears to be an “organised hit” which does “not necessarily reflect the overall mood in the streets of the city with respect to gang gun-related violence”. But this seems to be far more complex than the gang violence which Police already struggle to confront on an almost daily basis. Schakron’s murder follows the killing of another Lebanese-native, Abdul Azziz Mohammed Dib, which occurred less than 24 hours before, in an almost similar fashion, execution style. No one has been detained for that killing either. Police say there could be a possible connection between the two murders. Both men had recently returned from trips to the United States. So who would want Alfred Schakron dead? Several reports indicate that it could have been over a business deal gone bad similar to what is suspected to have been the reason for Dib’s killing. But Schakron’s family say it just doesn’t add up, because Schakron was not the type to get into trouble. Through his years in Belize, Schakron went from an immigrant to wealthy businessman. He started off with a small pawn shop, which blossomed into the large JEC pawn shop on Youth For the Future Drive. He also co-founded the MegaBingo Gaming Company, and opened smaller businesses like Gadgets Store on Central American Boulevard. He is survived by his wife, whom he recently married, and two children in Belize.

Lebanese car dealer executed inside busy restaurant Belize City, 23, 2012 41 year old Abdul Azziz Mohammed Dib only wanted lunch when he stepped inside the King Kebab restaurant in the Farmer’s Market area of Belize City, but he walked into a death trap as a gunman was apparently trailing his every move. Dib, a Lebanese-American car dealer who visits Belize regularly, was shot six times. Dib had just joined his Lebanese friends around a table, when a masked gunman walked in with a 9mm loaded gun, and directed his aim at him. Witnesses inside the restaurant said the vicious assault happened very fast. “While we were sitting down at the table, it was me and some other people, four of us, we were chatting and talking, drinking coffee. In that same moment I

Abdul Azziz Mohammed Dib

moved in and the other guy, who is the owner, he moved to some customers who were also in the place. The guy jumped in, slim complexion, dark skinned person, he came and emptied the gun. I don’t know how much shots, about five or six shots

Sunday, October 28, 2012

into the person and he ran back. He had a mask. Even some other people saw him towards the direction of Atlantic Bank,” related one eye-witness to Channel 5 News. The patrons fell to the ground for cover and by the time they got up to run away, Dib was lying on the ground in a pool of blood. The gunman had already left the scene. Police do not have any suspects in relation to this murder. They found seven 9mm expended shells, and two live rounds. Inside the restaurant, the Police found a copy of a United States federal warrant for the arrest of a man named Khaled Jamil El Turk for allegedly conspiring to import pseudoephedrine to the United States. It is not known what the court document was doing inside the restaurant, or if El Turk is someone who could be in Belize. Outside of the restaurant, Dib’s recently-imported 2004 Chrysler Pacifica was left parked, but Police have not said if they have found anything material to the investigation.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Robbing Peter to Pay Paul!


he Barrow Administration is playing the game of robbing Peter to pay Paul. They have already run the Belizean economy to the reef and now they are desperately trying to get their hands on money so they can continue their waste and mismanagement. They Government’s real reason behind the takeovers of the Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited is that under Government control the companies would become cash cows, whether to finance Government initiatives or political gimmicks. This was very obvious when the Barrow-selected BTL Board suddenly called an Annual General Meeting three months ahead of time, with the single purpose of paying dividends to the Government of Belize, who is the majority shareholder. But that move was blocked by the Caribbean Court of Justice who ruled that BTL should wait until December. With BTL’s money unavailable for the time being, the Barrow Administration turned to what they saw as a loophole using another Government-controlled utility, BEL. Now the Government, through BEL, has convinced the Social Security Board to take $15 million of hard earned workers’ payments to buy shares in BEL. So, how does Government get money from this? There has been no public audit to show that BEL is in need of any cash much less $15m. Is this just a ploy for Government to deposit the money into BEL’s account but extract from it at their pleasure, as has become the practice with BTL funds? The SSB has defended the “investment” as the best deal since cornbread was discovered, but does it warrant the abuse of workers’ funds? Didn’t the UDP administration swear to protect the workers’ money? So why for a second time are worker’s monies being taken out without any kind of consultation with workers? These moves by the Barrow Administration to take money from one government entity to another in order to satisfy their greed and recklessness is an irresponsible attempt by a desperate Government. These acts must not be condoned by the Unions, and they must stop playing marbles with the Government. Doesn’t anyone see conflict in the Union’s representative in SSB being the same BEL Board member? Do the Unions not see a need to protect and defend the people’s money now? In the meantime, the economy remains slow and sluggish with no fixing in sight. Crime and violence levels, which is a direct measurement of the performance of a country’s economic development, is at an all-time high. Belizeans have tried Imagining the Possibilities twice now, but this time four or five years is too long a wait. There is no more time left to imagine. The people want solutions, hope, change and better leadership.




Sunday, October 28, 2012

Favouring Guatemalans over Belizeans

one too. The Prime Minister’s only reply has been to deny that the Police were responsible for Atanascio Guttierez’s shooting death, even though eye witnesses and news video footage showed Police officials shooting at the cane farmers. He also said that his Government would consider providing assistance, but that consideration seemed to have expired as the letter left this office. Ms Ewens has not even received a sympathy card from the Barrow Administration. Now, fast forward to the present when the BarMiss Benita Ewens and her children Atanacio Guttierez row Administration is bowing to pressure to give financial compensation to the family an illegal trespasser who was killed in defense of our laws. Is this not the greatest act of hypocrisy and betrayal? Doesn’t the family of Belizean cane farmer Atanascio Guttierez deserve assistance? How is there compassion for a PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca has visited and assisted Miss Ewens and her family Guatemalan trespasser, but none sation to the family of Guatemalan sion. She has begged his adminis- for a Belizean cane farmer who was Francisco Quin Cab, who was fatal- tration to provide some assistance wrongfully killed? In the streets, to cower down ly shot when he attacked Belizean to her struggling family – after all, military forces in the Chiquibul area the life of the family’s sole provider in the face of unwarranted aggrestwo weeks ago, is a fresh reminder was ended at the hands of security sion is known as being “soft”. Guaof the Government’s anti-Belizean officials who acted on direct com- temala IS Belize’s biggest national security threat and the Barrow Adpolicies. Over and over again, we mand of the Prime Minister. But compassion doesn’t seem ministration is being “soft” when have seen examples of this disturbing position where the Belizean man to be in the Prime Minister’s heart, Belizeans need them the most to doesn’t even take the backseat, be- at least not for Belizeans. Of the five be big. Come on Mr. Prime Minisletters the grieving widow has writ- ter, treat our Belizeans as priority or cause he’s kicked off the bus. Point in case is 44 year old Ata- ten to the Prime Minister, only one you may soon find yourself on the nascio Guttierez who was killed by has earned a response – a very cold wrong side of the border. Belize’s security forces on February 7, 2008. Mr. Guttierez wasn’t a machete-wielding Guatemalan trespasser pilfering our natural resources inside a protected area. No, Mr. Dariana Invest Ltd. Guttierez was an unarmed Belizean (“the Company”) who stood in solidarity with cane farmers against unfair practices at Notice is hereby given that Dariana Invest Ltd., incorporated under the Belize Sugar Industries Tower the Belize IBC Act (Chapter 270), commenced on dissolution on Hill factory and ended up paying October 10, 2012. the ultimate price for it. At the order of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, security forces armed with deadAnd ly firearms descended upon the cane farmers, aiming and firing live Mr. Renan Castillo of 9 Barrack Road, Belize City, Belize is the rounds. To Prime Minister Barrow, liquidator of the companies, and any claims against the companies the killing of Atanascio Guttierez should be forwarded to the liquidator by 30 days from commencewas probably just collateral damage. ment. But Mr. Guttierez left behind a common-law wife and six children. Summit Corporate Services Limited Since the dreadful incident, the Registered Agent widow, Benita Ewens, has sought Prime Minister Barrow’s compas-

Family of slain cane farmer get no compassion Orange Walk Town, October 19, 2012 The Barrow Administration’s capitulation to diplomatic pressure from Guatemala which forced them to agree to pay $20,000 as compen-

GOB disarms BDF border patrols Continued from page 1 selves in case they are ambushed or attacked. According to reports published in Guatemala’s Prensa Libre newspaper, the Government of Belize will change the BDF’s artillery to rubber bullets and taser guns. The new policy for BDF soldiers was introduced not by Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, but by Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Harold Caballeros during a conference in Guatemala. Fielding questions from the Guatemalan press about the measures taken to prevent the killing of Guatemalan nationals found illegally in Belizean territory, Caballeros was adamant that Belize “will create mechanisms so the incidents do not repeat”. Caballeros further expanded, “There are various decisions that the Government of Belize is taking. One of them is that the security forces can only use rubber bullets, another is that they utilise taser guns, and, apart from that, using better judgment to avoid a violent situation” [translation]. This unofficial change in defence policy is the latest sign that the Barrow Administration easily submits to Guatemala’s bullying. It is the worst yet, as it puts the lives of our security forces in danger. Most, if not all, of the cases in which Guatemalan trespassers have been shot by the Belize Defence Force soldiers in Belizean territory have been instances of self-defense. Several of the cases involved an exchange of gun fire, where the Guatemalan trespassers were also armed with deadly weapons. What this change of policy does is disarm our BDF soldiers. It will have them almost defenceless in the line of fire. Rubber bullets and taser guns are no match for real bullets in handguns and carbines that are going to be in the wrong hands. There have been no announcements from the Ministry of Defence, but like most things involving Guatemala, the Barrow Administration may have just decided this change in secret.


Sunday, October 28, 2012



in UDP Politics! The following matters were discussed in this week’s Cabinet: To send Sedi to Guatemala to pay the compensation money for the Guatemalan who was shot in the Chiquibul. First Cabinet asked that Sedi reports to Cabinet about the meetings in Guatemala on the hour. When asked why they want him to report so much, one Minister said “on top of his artificial border comments, he made a fool of himself in Cayo, who knows what he could do in Guatemala”. The CabSec agreed and blurted, “Dah true, he could give away the whole country”. .……………………. Cabinet was asked to consider new names for the members of the Committee to Decriminalise Marijuana for branding purposes. One proposal said the following: we recommend Dougie Fresh, Irie King, Licking Boots and Tilapia Dread. .……………………. A petition was passed around for members of the Cabinet to sign but the CabSec chose to skip Sedi. Sedi got nervous and asked what the paper was about. The CabSec looked at him and told him to calm down. He said the paper was to petition the PM to find more money in BTL to giveaway ham and turkey to constituents. “Oh”, Sedi said, “I don’t need ham and turkey. I will give away calendars with my picture on it”. .……………………. Cabinet members were startled when Erwin Contreras walked into the meeting with a Guatemalan flag. When he was asked if he was crazy, Contreras replied that he was in solidarity with his a majority of his voters. Elvin Penner then said “maybe I should get


one like that too”. .……………………. In other related matters: The Mayor of Belize City was frantically calling his street maintenance supervisor on Sunday to check if the cement streets were holding up. “Ummm, they are doing good boss,” was the reply. The Mayor seemed unconvinced and said, “No man, tell me the truth”. The employee replied, “… they are good, but it’s kinda hard to tell because we can’t see them since they are all under water”. .……………………. A Belize City resident asked Philloughby why he was holding fire drills during the hurricane season. Philloughby replied, “Mammy, I couldn’t stand the Mayor grabbing all the attention. Plus fire or hurricane, dah the same thing, we still wah tell them ‘save unuself’”. .……………………. Castro was seen chasing after a bus in his government vehicle. When he caught up with one, he went after another, then another. One observer commented that he couldn’t figure out if Castro was chasing after the buses to fix them or get a tip from the conductor. .……………………. Gapi Vega and Patrick Faber are at it again. Gapi wants to be Party Leader and so does Patrick. So the following text message leaked by the telephone company wasn’t that surprising. Patrick to Gapi: The emperor has no clothes. Gapi responds: Yea, but he has a lot of money to buy if he needs to. Patrick response: Privileged Belizean. From insurance man to millionaire Gapi responds: I definitely work harder than you. .……………………. Under Barrow you got to be a Guatemalan to be compensated. How low have we sunk? First it was paying gangs, nor it is paying Guatemalans!



Sunday, October 28, 2012 INet Caribbean Cycling Championships


Shalini Zabaneh wins Gold in Antigua & Barbuda Antigua & Bermuda, October 21, 2012 Defending Caribbean women’s cycling champion Shalini Zabaneh won a gold medal in the individual time trial of the INet Caribbean Cycling Championships held in Antigua & Bermuda over the weekend. Shalini Zabaneh clocked 31 minutes 12.967 seconds over the 12 mile course for the gold on Saturday, while Nicole Mitchell of Bermuda clocked 31:15.550 to win the silver and Tamiko Butler of Antigua clocked 31:27.682 to claim the bronze. Unfortunately Shalini finished 4th in the road race on Sunday in which Tamiko Butler took the gold in 2:08:40.379, while Marisol Tellado of Puerto Rico took the silver in 2:08:40.547, and Nicole Mitchell clocked 2:09:08.825 for the bronze. Belize’s team also featured Kaya Cattouse and Patricia Chavarria, who did not finish among the top 10. Team Belize also included 4 male cyclists: Roger Troyer, Greg Lovell, Byron Pope and Jairo Campos, whose luggage did not arrive on time, so they had to borrow bicycles to compete. None finished the race; Troyer abandoned the race after the third lap, Lovell after the second, and Pope and Campos had problems with their borrowed bike in the first lap.

Brothers Habet team table tennis competition

Rivero’s Welders & Ping Pang lead table tennis tourney Belize City, October 20, 2012 Team Rivero’s Welders is leading the 1st Division of the Brothers Habet team table tennis competition with 5 points, while undefeated Ping Pang is leading the 2nd Division with 10 points the tournament held under the auspices of the Belize Table Tennis Association at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Saturday, October 20. Team Welders cruised past Team Cuz: 5-1 with Ian Mcfield swatting Hol-

lis Parham and Nick Martin 3-0 each. Ernesto Rivero spanked Jorge Espat and Hollis Parham each by a 3-1 score and Petie Usher-Matus edged past Jorge Espat 3-2. Nick Martin won one for Team Cuz: 3-2 against Petie Matus. In 2nd division play, Team Ping Pang blew out the winless SJC Strikers 5-0. Yasser Musa spanked Johann Ketz and Kody August: 3-0 each, Mark Musa spanked Ashley Weller and Johann Ketz 3-0 also and Mishek Musa won 3-0 over Kody August. Ping Pang also mauled

Team Garage 5-1. Other matches: Team Tallawah defeated SJC Lightspeed – 5-0 Team Bismark vs. BDF Spin Kings – 5-4 Team Garage vs. SJC Snipers – 5-1 SJC Young Warriors vs. the Turds – 5-4 The Turds vs. SJC Strikers – 5-3

Belize City primary school football competition

BES girls defeat Queen Square Anglican 3-0 Belize City, October 24, 2012 The Belize Elementary School girls posted their 2nd win to lead the primary school football competition last week at the MCC grounds. Chelsea Williams scored a hat trick, including a penalty conversion for the Belize Elementary School girls. The BES boys didn’t share the same success. This time Queen Square Anglican had the advantage as Rayne Gentle and Kyle Samuels scored goals to lead 2-0.

Ping Pang’s Yasser Musa


Sunday, October 28, 2012



Belize men win Taiwan National Day 10/10 basketball tournament Belize City, October 21, 2012 The Belize-Taiwanese community held their 1st annual Taiwan Double-10 National Day basketball tournament at Belize Elementary School auditorium in Belize City on Sunday, October 21, which the Belize men won, receiving the first prize and medals from Taiwan’s Ambassa-

dor to Belize, H.E. David C. Wu, who also presented the 2nd prize to Team Chinese. Team Belize advanced to the finals by eliminating the Taiwan Belize Seniors 35-33. Keron Reyes led Team Belize with 14pts, but Rei Lee top-scored for the Taiwan Seniors with 12 points as Taiwan.

In the championship game, Team Belize won 45-35 over Team Chinese. Devon Defour top-scored for Team Belize with 12 points, and Clive Reyes and Keron Reyes added 6 points. Sponsors for the event included the Overseas Compatriot

Smart Mundialito football

Brown Bombers still in the lead

Belize City, October 20, 2012 The Brown Bombers are still leading the Smart Mundialito under-15 football competition. Their latest win came at the expense of the Unity Rangers who were defeated 2-0. Shamar Thompson scored the first goal in the first half and Sherwin Requeña added a 2nd

goal, his 4th so far in the tournament, after the break. The Bombers are leading with 10 points, while the Rangers are ranked next to last at 9thplace with 2 points from 2 draws and 2 losses. Other weekend games: Hattieville United Youth

Belize City firms’ basketball competition

Ports Belize sinks Bowen & Bowen – 72-42 Belize City, October 20, 2012 The Port of Belize enjoyed their fifth victory, 72-42, over Bowen & Bowen when the Belize City firms’ basketball competition continued at Bird’s Isle over the weekend. Cecil Price led Port 16-14 in the first quarter and 35-20 by the half. Price had 19 points and a rebound, while Jason Bradley and Ian “AC” Augustine scored 12 points each, AC also grabbing

10 boards. Angus Cherrington hit two 3-pointers to added 10pts and 11 boards as the Port’s lead ballooned to 50-33 by the end of the third quarter. Kent Franklin and Rafael O’Brien scored six points each to secure the 72-42 win. Other games: Atlantic Bank vs. Smart – 64-42 Top scorers: Ervin Orosco 23pts, 7 boards; Kurt Budd 16pts, 5 boards; Alain Lovell 12pts, 5

Sports Club vs. Ladyville Jaguars – 3-0 Goal scorers: Kenyon Young, Cameron Thomas and Darrel Flowers Third World vs. Ladyville “Japan” – 1-0 City Boys vs. St. John Vianney – 0-0

boards, Sean Duncan 8 points, 3 rebounds Belize Bank vs. Belize Electricity Limited – 57-46 Top scorers: Troy Gabb 19 pts, 8 boards; Eugene Courtenay 15pts, 7 boards; Lloyd Leslie 28pts, 11 boards Truckers vs. Heats – 74-53 Top scorers: Winston Reynolds 15pts, 3 boards; Stannis Thomas 14pts, 14 boards; Heats’ Kriston August 16pts, 6 boards Belize Bank vs. Tigersharks – 55-46 Top scorers: Brian “Brybo” White 16pts, 13 boards; Lincy Lopez 13pts; Daniel Norberto, 19 pts; Winston Pratt, 12pts

Affairs Commission and Chon Saan Palace, Golden Tree, Milkyway Restaurant, Global Village hotel, Diane’s Dress Design, Eye Candy, Netking, Jose Romero and several Corozal Free Zone businesses including Belmex, Feliz, Joey’s Restaurant, B&C Co. Ltd., and the Sol Fashion Group.

Salvation Army boys crush Holy Redeemer 9-0 Belize City, October 24, 2012 The Salvation Army School boys took the Holy Redeemer School team as target practice when they met on the football field on Wednesday. Marvin Martinez scored 4 goals and Keron Patnett scored 5 goals in their 9-0 victory. A week ago, the Salvation Army School boys had won 2-1 against the Muslim Community School boys as Marvin Martinez and Keron Patnett each scored a goal, while only Tyrique Ciego scored a consolation goal for the Muslim Community. Other games: Muslim Community School vs. St. Mary’s Anglican School – 2-0 Goal scorers: Tyrique Ciego and Worthy Flores each score a goal in the St. John Vianney boys vs. Wesley Upper boys – 3-0 Goal scorers: Akeem Sutherland, Orlando Velasquez (2) St. John Vianney boys vs. St. Luke Methodist boys – 3-0 Goal scorers: Kenroy Linares (2), Orlando Velasquez Calvary Temple boys vs. Buttonwood Bay – 3-0 Goal scorers: Tariq Lamb, Miguel Jax, Kelly Connor Holy Redeemer RC School girls vs. Queen Square Anglican - 2-0 Goal scorers: Diana Banks, Jennifer Estrada Queen Square Anglican boys vs. Holy Redeemer boys – 7-1 Goal scorers: Kadeem Longsworth (6), Rayne Gentle, Anthony Cervantes St. Ignatius girls vs. Buttonwood Bay Nazarene – 1-0 Goal scorer: Christy Francisco St. Ignatius boys vs. Buttonwood Bay boys – 1-0 Goal scorer: Michael Sarmiento St. Martin De Porres School vs. St. Mary’s Anglican School – 0-0



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tertiary Level Student Leaders seek national voice City of Belmopan, October 19, 2012 The University of Belize Student Government Nation President Hope Amadi hosted a meeting with thirty-five Tertiary Level Student Leaders at the University’s Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan City today to garner support for the Eternal Flame of Peace Declaration unveiled last week Thursday, October 11, 2012. Attending the meeting were Student Government leaders of St. John’s College Junior College, Wesley Junior College, Ecumenical Junior College, Independence Junior College, Galen University, Sacred Heart Junior College and every University of Belize Campus. Following a brief discussion of national

President of Independence Junior College Student Government supports Eternal Flame of Peace Declaration

UB Student Government President Hope Amadi addressing tertiary student leaders

issues and a presentation by the Nation Builders national youth movement titled “Education is not a commodity”, the student leaders discussed the Eternal Flame of Peace Declaration and declared their support for the demands contained within. The Declaration contains recommendations to the Government of Belize to more effectively step up the fight against crime. The student leaders also agreed to work towards reviving the National Association of Tertiary Schools (NATS) in order to address issues confronting students with a national voice. Nation Builders intends to support the process. While there are tertiary institutions who did not attend today’s meeting, their representatives have indicated their support and every effort will be made to include them as the student leaders seek to unite have a national voice.

President of SJCJC Student Government Micah Goodin ensorses Eternal Flame of Peace Declaration

President of Wesley Junior College Student Government is in solidarity

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Party Leader

Francis Fonseca

tours Stann Creek & Toledo

PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca chats with children during tour of Southern Belize

PUP Leader Hon. Francis was accompanies by Hon. Mike Espat, Hon. Rodwell Ferguson & Hon. Oscar Reque単a




Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Reid Dangerous Signs By G. Mike Reid On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Plus tv featured an interesting exposé about the citrus industry of Belize. Citrus is one of Belize’s major money earners, right up there with sugar, fisheries and tourism. The problem is that as is the case with tourism and sugar, the citrus company is in danger of falling under foreign ownership and control. The show hosts, Louis Wade and Patrick Andrews, gave some revealing statistics and damning evidence of certain questionable goings-on within the citrus industry. During the Monday broadcast, Mr. Wade read a text whereas someone informed him that a window in his car had been smashed. Of course, there are several scenarios that could explain what happened. A mischievous child might have thrown a rock, someone wanted to burglarize the car or there was someone upset with the family about a totally unrelated matter. There is however, the distinct possibility that this was an attempt to send a message to Mr. Wade. “Back off or face the consequences.” In a television

interview later that evening, Wade’s wife informed that she did not plan to even file a police report and was not paying the incident much mind. Not a wise decision. Interestingly enough, on that very day another journalist came close to being involved in an intentional accident that could have caused him serious injury. Vaughan Gill is a no-holds barred type reporter whose constant prying and digging has exposed some very questionable transactions on the part of the current government. Gill is also co-host of another popular call-in show, this one run by the opposition People’s United Party. Gill’s latest exposition was the uncovering of a secret investment of Social Security’s money into BEL. The government was forced to go public with the socalled investment but as usual, pulled out a couple of pseudo experts and pushed through the deal anyway. Gill, who commutes daily to Belize City from Belmopan, was at about the halfway point on his drive when he began hearing some mysterious noises on his car. Upon examining the vehicle, it became obvious that someone had tampered with one of the wheels and had loosened all the nuts that held the wheel secure. Had that wheel run off with Gill going even at a moderate speed, one can only imagine what could have happened. Journalists in Belize have to this point been relatively safe in covering stories and expressing their opinions. It might also be because very few journalists ever do thorough and indepth investigative reporting and refuse to touch certain topics. You might say that journalists like Vaughan Gill and Louis Wade

It might also be because very few journalists ever do thorough and in-depth investigative reporting and refuse to touch certain topics. You might say that journalists like Vaughan Gill and Louis Wade have been pushing the envelope a bit.”

have been pushing the envelope a bit. A few years ago, there was a guy around Belize by the name of Melvin Flores. Flores did a few interesting stories but then one day, he just disappeared. He eventually wrote back to say that he had been threatened and therefore had to flee the country. No one can say for sure whether Melvin Flores was just paranoid or if indeed his life had been threatened. We in Belize can only hope that we will never get to the point where a few of our neighbors are. Journalist in Honduras, Salvador, Guatemala and especially Mexico, operate in a climate of fear and have a much different story to tell. Mexico is regarded as the most dangerous place to be a journalist and recently, a New York based organization called Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), revealed that at least 37 media workers have been killed or gone missing since 2006. Things are so bad in Mexico that after one of its photographers got killed recently, a Juarez newspaper ran a front page editorial asking criminals and drug gangs for guidelines as to what to publish. The editorial read, “Gentlemen…please explain to us…what you would like us to publish or stop publishing… because the last thing we want is for another one of our colleagues to fall victim to your gunshots.” Freelance journalist Anna-Claire Bevan described journalism in Guatemala as “a game of self-censorship: You say as much as you can about what is happening, and as little as you can about who is doing it.” If we are not careful, this is where we will end up in Belize. In El Salvador, an on-line publication is currently facing threats because of stories about alleged negotiations between the government and criminal gangs. Now doesn’t that one ring a bell! I said earlier that to this point, journalists have operated in relative safety. Of course, to this point, we have never had the type of tyrannical and despotic leadership which we now have. People who love power will take desper-

13 ate measures when they feel that power slipping from their fingers. In December of 2010, Belize got a taste of what was in store when for the first time ever in Belize, a government “suspended normal relations” with a major media house. Public Officers and Ministers were forbidden from giving interviews and information to Channel Five. Channel Five is Belize’s biggest media house and services a large share of Belize’s television audience. The CPJ and several other respected international organizations had to get involved and voice concerns in order for Barrow and team to back down and desist from its strong-arm handling of the media. This is the type of government that we are living under. In March of 1995, in their second term in office, two sitting UDP ministers were arrested for storming into a voice of the West radio station in Cayo and destroying equipment and beating up the staff. The case never made it to court leading many to believe that the action was sanctioned by the government. This administration has also shown a tendency to run loose and fancy free with taxpayers’ money. Our only hope is to have in place a vibrant and free media to keep them in check. We cannot allow our journalists to be intimidated and assaulted. If we are to depend on them to keep us informed and keep the government in check, then they must also be able to rely upon us to keep them safe and free to work and gather information. The Belize Constitution assures the freedom of speech and press but citizens must be vigilant in ensuring that such freedom is preserved. Leave our journalists alone!

Visit Us Online at:



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Guatemala denies making threats to Belize evening and he indicated the difficulty they are in because they have a constituency too.” The alarming news took Belize-Guatemala relations to a boiling point as Belizean nationalism shot up. Since then, the discussions on local morning radio shows and the conversations on social media have been full of anti-Guatemala sentiments. The reported increase in Guatemala’s pressure also triggered an alliance among several non-government organisations, which came together un-

Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Harold Caballeros & Belize’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington

Belize City, October 23, 2012 Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Harold Caballeros has denied claims made by Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington on national television that Guatemala had issued threats to close its border with Belize and kick out Belize’s Ambassador Alfredo Martinez if there wasn’t adequate explanation regarding the killing of Guatemalan national, Francisco Quinn Cab, in Belizean territory. Elrington made the announcement in a 7News interview on Thursday October 12, “The Guatemalans as you have said are very incensed about it. They have threatened to expel our Ambassador from Guatemala and to lead the diplomatic charge against us internationally. As a matter of fact they have complained to the American’s Hillary Clinton and to the Euro-

peans and to other allies in the international community asking them to bring pressure to bear on our government to cause our BDF soldiers not to respond to these trespassers in a manner which would lead to their deaths. “The last thing I would want is for the Guatemalans to send back our Ambassador and close the border with us. But they could do that… We got that information from our Ambassador from the same Saturday. As a matter of fact he was calling on Saturday and we had a very rough time from the Foreign Minister in Guatemala. The Deputy Foreign Minister in Guatemala, the British Ambassador from Guatemala calls him and he was reportedly very stern with her and I spoke with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister Saturday

Another foreign Judge Belize City, October 22, 2012 Belize’s judiciary is already stuffed with enough foreign judges to wonder if the Government has lost confidence in our local intelligencia. This week another foreign judge was sworn into a Supreme Court seat. Guyana national, Justice Courtney Ashton Abel, is now a Supreme Court Judge in Belize. Justice Abel was sworn in by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, who is also a Guyanese National. Justice Abel has been in law practice since 1980, after studying in Warwick University, United Kingdom. He is a member of the Guyana Bar Association and served as

Justice Courtney Abel

President of the Anguilla Bar Association and President of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States Bar Association.

der the banner of the Belize Coalition for Justice, to defend Belize’s sovereignty. But suddenly, Guatemala has backpedalled. According to 7News, Caballeros bypassed Minister Elrington when he called the Chief Executive Officer, Alexis Rosado, to contradict the Minister and deny that he had related the threats. Caballeros basically called Elrington a liar or poor communicator of information, which places Elrington’s credibility on the line AGAIN. Elrington has not defended his statements.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Home Economics

Was Sir Barry Right? By Richard Harrison The late Sir Barry Bowen (RIP) was the largest industrialist Belize has ever seen. At the peak of his “empire”, he was the sole producer of beer in Belize (Belikin), the sole producer of Coca Cola in Belize, the sole distributor of vehicles and auto-parts for Ford Motors in Belize, a principal shipping agent (Belize Estate Company), a principal producer/supplier of bottled water and flavored drinks in Belize (Crystal brand), a major producer/ exporter of farmed shrimp, a major producer/supplier of electricity to the national grid (Belize Aquaculture Limited), owner of one of the top tourist resorts in Belize (Chan Chich Lodge), owner of a major agri-business company based on high-end beef, coffee, timber and sauces (Gallon Jug Agri-business Company), a major land owner with many thousands of acres of land owned in northern and southern Belize…among other diverse and smaller holdings….including a private school in San Pedro, where he lived. He and his management team are estimated to have administered over $400 million in assets, employing thousands of Belizeans directly and indirectly. For a brief period, he was the owner of James Brodies & Co. Ltd., historically the largest importer in Belize. He took various public positions during his lifetime….including running for public office….and then serving as an appointed Senator. One of his last public stands, via the Supreme Court, was to seek to strengthen the constitutional protection of private property rights...specifically the interests of private land holders….especially after the discovery of oil was made in 2005, and the relatively low royalties that the Profit Sharing Agreements (PSAs) provided for. His contributions to life and lifestyles in Belize are stellar, to say the least. His positions could lead one to believe that he was a Belizean nationalist….who favored the increase of production and exportation….as opposed to importation. His cash cows, it can be deduced, were principally the Belikin beer and Coca Cola franchise. The principal business strategy for these two SBUs were to convince Governments of Belize to raise regulatory boundaries such that they would enjoy monopoly status in the domestic market….such that these large investments could generate

enough cash to pay for themselves and generate a handsome profit flow to expand and finance other investments. To this day….it is illegal to import beer from Mexico and Guatemala into Belize. Beers from other parts of the world can be imported….but they have to pay very high import duty of 100%...with a lesser degree of restriction on CARICOM origin beers, due to the CSME agreements. This is why the only imported beers sold legally in Belize proper are of CARICOM origin; Heineken (from St. Lucia), Red Strip (from Jamaica), Banks (from Barbados) and Carib (from Trinidad)….together these imported beers share about 10% of the domestic market for beer, estimated at around $60 million annually. Many USA and European brands are sold in the Corozal Free Zone, principally to Mexican and Guatemalan buyers. The Bowen group has an exclusive license to produce Coca Cola soft drinks in Belize, exclusively for the domestic market. The principal inputs of local origin value-added in these businesses are labor, sugar and water. Various attempts at marketing Belikin beer in export markets have been made, but to date have not reported any major breakthroughs to run home and tell mommy about. The treaties that Belize have signed…including the WTO and CSME agreements….seek to prohibit the discretionary non-tariff barriers to trade. The Guatemalans and Mexicans have so far not opted to pursue legal challenge of the Belize position regarding the importation of their beers….perhaps because of the very large trade-imbalances that currently exists in their favor? Sir Barry staunchly defended the regulatory positions of the Belize Governments that favored his investments over imported competition. It means that Sir Barry did not believe that his beer and soft drinks investments could survive and make acceptable profits….if they were exposed to import competition from Mexican and Guatemalan beers and soft drinks….even if they were required to pay the 100% import duty that have been imposed. This exposes two things that need to be considered by policy makers: 1. That Belize’s open borders with Mexico and Guatemala has, and continue to allow for massive avoidance and evasion of customs regulations. Beers brought in illegally from these

sources today account for as much as 10% of domestic consumption. Imagine what would happen if imports were allowed? And the legal imports could not be distinguished from the illegal ones. This happens in all products being traded that compete with local production….but not all local producers are afforded this same level of protection. 2. That Belizean consumers, no matter how high the quality of the local products, or how competitive the price…Sir Barry perhaps believed in his inner soul, that in general, the Belizean consumers’ preference is for imported goods…and that they would prefer to buy them, even if they were priced a little higher than the local products, even if the quality was the same. This can be seen with all kinds of products that compete with local products. For example, La Anita vinegar (from Mexico) sells for as much as 15% higher than local vinegar brands, however it holds on to majority market share to this day. They do absolutely no marketing, give no free samples, make no social contribution, employ no production workers, pay no banking nor insurance fees/interest, bla bla bla….yet Belizeans continue to prefer them over the local brands. Mexican (La Costena, La Anita), Guatemalan (Criolla, Regia, Grace), US (Del Monte, Hunts, Heinz) and Caribbean (Grace and Caribbean Choice) brands of tomato ketchup are all more expensive per ounce than the local brand (Verena’s), yet they command significant majority market share in Belize. This suggests a cultural pre-disposition in general, (I say in general, because there are many nationalist Belizeans who prefer to support local prod-

15 ucts, although they are a small but important minority) which would require decades of large investments in marketing and cultural maturation to change. So….was Sir Barry right? After 5 years managerial experience in import business…and 16 years’ experience in manufacturing business in Belize…..I must confess that I think he was. Belize needs to favor production over importation if it is going to develop at a pace…. that would reverse the trend of slipping rapidly behind its neighbors. To increase its production….Belize had better put policies and regulatory measures in place to defend its industries from the assault of foreign competition… by players operating at larger scales, with deeper pockets, larger domestic markets, higher technology, lower input costs, lower taxes, lower interest rates, cultural and media advantages, more competitive exchange rates, and more government capacity and capability to protect their industries using other, more sophisticated means, such as sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures. These regulatory measures are available to us and allowed within the treaties we have signed….however, they need political will and ambition to implement….and they require a stronger defense team who are better prepared in human and resource capacity and capability to defend our national political-economic interests within the bodies that manage our treaties. My salute to Sir Barry!!! His life has thought us some very valuable lessons......we will be better off if we took heed and used his lessons wisely....I am sure he would not mind...and would smile at us from Santa Rita. Richard Harrison is a local businessman and investor in the manufacturing and service industries. Send comments to



Sunday, October 28, 2012

…while Belizeans struggle & suffer This is how the UDPs roll…

Dead Men Walking A couple weeks ago I saw a spring chicken trapped inside a window. He got trapped overnight and apparently died after being beaten by the hot sun’s rays. The interesting thing was that to my mind it appeared to be alive! The amphibian looked quite normal, but I found out after some investigation, that it was already dead. It went through the usual process of decomposition and is now almost down to a skeleton. As I think of this frog I cannot help but think of humanity. In Genesis 2:17 God told Adam specifically not to eat from a certain tree as if he did he WOULD surely die. If we could play back what happened in the garden like a movie I would imagine Adam laughing out loud with his hands spread wide apart from his body thinking, “I’m still alive”! He probably felt that everything was ok because he did not tip over and stop breathing as God had warned him. In fact, everything seemed ok apart from the fact that he was more intelligent now. He knew about good and evil and even knew now that he was naked but was probably unaware that he had just died! He chose to believe the suggestion of the serpent that he would not die rather than the word from the Creator. As I think of mankind I can’t help but see the same thing that happened to the frog recurring day after day. Man does not understand that we are walking dead, that we are born dead from the time we leave our mother’s womb! We become alive spiritually when we are attached to the spirit of God. Now you may say that makes no sense but keep in mind that we are spiritual beings and this body is just a house that we live in. We think we are alive because we can move and talk and walk and think, but God has already pronounced us dead as he did Adam! Yes, everything outside looks normal but inside it’s a different story. After a while my frog began to rot from the inside as worms formed and began to consume him from the inside. The outside was still intact and a different color due to the scorching sun. Look around Belize. Look at the behavior and choice of criminals, abusive husbands, pedophiles and you will see a normal outside but rotting spirits reside on the inside. The outside may change a little due to the elements around and the ethical imbalances caused by the inner decaying but the spirits are rotting and causing abnormal human behavior. Well, there is an answer to a decaying spirit, a fix if you will. We have a chemical solution that can clean it up, heal it and bring it back to life with one application! Continuing to apply this chemical will preserve life for as long as it is being applied and the beauty is that it’s not expensive. In fact, the greatest cost is retrieving and applying it! The quick fix is the Blood of Jesus. Apply it to your life today and see the worms and maggots flee, as your body comes back to life! Until next week God bless!

Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s new Law Firm Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s 2012 Land Cruiser valued at $180,000

Ministry of Energy and Science CEO Colin Young’s 2011 Toyota Hilux – valued at $65,000

Minister of Gangs Mark King’s Ford 150 - valued at $74,500

Minister of Works Rene Montero’s 2012 Toyota Prado – valued at $96,000

Sunday, October 28, 2012










Selected By Chris Williams

The big question mark over gasoline from air 22 October 2012 by Paul Marks In a shipping container on a British industrial park, not far from where George Stephenson launched the world’s first steam railway in 1825, another transport revolution might be beginning. Every day the machinery inside produces half a litre of purified gasoline. It sounds humdrum until you realise one thing: the only raw material used is air. Last week, Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS), a company in Stockton, UK, revealed the first successful demonstration of an idea that dates back to the oil crisis of the 1970s: that carbon, hydrogen and oxygen can be plucked from carbon dioxide and water in air to be converted into methanol and then morphed into gasoline. However, amidst the headlines, some media coverage overlooked the key point: the energy efficiency of the process has yet to be demonstrated. This matters because the technique uses electricity for key stages. It should not require more energy input than is gleaned from burning the fuel it produces. The big idea is to capture atmospheric CO2 and turn it into fuel so there’s no net increase in CO2 from cars and trucks fuelled by such gasoline. As long as the process is powered by renewable electricity sources such as solar, wind or tidal, using the gasoline is carbon neutral. Snagging carbon dioxide The AFS plant comprises a CO2 capture unit in one shipping container, with a methanol reactor and miniature gasoline refining system in another. Air is blown into a sodium hydroxide mist, snagging CO2 as sodium carbonate. A condenser collects water from the same air. To make methanol – formula CH3OH – hydrogen is generated by electrolysing the water while the carbon and oxygen come from electrolysing the sodium carbonate. The methanol is then converted to gasoline. Following tests over the last three months, AFS chief executive Peter Harrison says the demonstrator reliably produces half-a-litre of gasoline a day. Peter Edwards ,an inorganic chemist at the University of Oxford whose team is working with a Saudi firm on similar ideas, is impressed: “I take my hat off to Air Fuel Synthesis. They have taken a concept that has been around for 35 years and gotten the process going.” But Harrison points out the demonstrator, funded with a £1.2 million, two-year investment from private backers, was built to make gasoline, “not to prove its net efficiency

Fill up, feel good (Image: Peter Samuels/Getty)

or energy balances”. Douglas Stephan, a chemist at the University of Toronto, Canada, also researching fuel production from CO2, describes AFS’s demonstrator as “an engineering tour-deforce”. But he too warns efficiency is the key. “Until a detailed assessment of the energy efficiency is enunciated, I would remain scep-

tical about this technology,” he says. Andrew Bocarsly, chief science advisor at Liquid Light Inc, a company in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, aiming to synthesise chemicals like methanol from CO2, points out that many researchers worldwide have so far failed to find cost-effective and efficient ways to split hydrogen from water.

Going to need a bigger plant “I do wonder about the cost efficiency of their chemical conversion processes,” he says, noting energy is required to back convert carbonate to gaseous CO2, to liberate hydrogen from water, to convert the hydrogen and CO2 to methanol and to transform methanol to gasoline. AFS says demonstrating efficiency will have to wait for a bigger plant, which will fit into three shipping containers that can be dropped anywhere fuel is needed and produce 1200 litres of gasoline a day. Harrison says motorsport venues, keen to reduce their fossil fuel dependence, and some remote islands have expressed an interest in these £5 million units. “The demonstrator has given us the confidence that this next level of gasoline plant will be efficient enough,” says AFS marketing manager Graham Truscott. Harrison says the ultimate goal is to build refinery-sized plants that could compete with oil – but he says they could cost £10 billion and need serious government aid. That in turn would need serious proof of energy efficiency. Bocarsly adds: “This issue will be the test for commercialisation.” There’s one more factor to consider, says Edwards: “The efficiency of this process would also have to be balanced against the cost of alternative measures like burying or dumping CO2 underground.”

Exercise music app listens

to your heart to rev it up

22 October 2012 Hal Hodson, technology reporter It’s a cold morning and as you head out for a run you flick desperately through your iPhone’s playlists, looking for a song that’ll get your heart pumping in a hurry. Such searches may soon be over, thanks to a system that

automates the union of music and exercise with a set of earphones that listen to your heart rate and select tunes that push your pulse into the optimum range for the kind of workout you want. A team of researchers led by Shahriar Nirjon at the University of Virginia in Char-

lottesville embedded a microphone into a set of headphones that listens to the throb of arteries in your ear. That data, as well as activity levels gathered using an accelerometer, is sent over the internet to a recommendation engine which chooses the next song based on the user’s current and desired heart rate. It’s not just for pumping people up, though - the system can also be programmed to play music that calms a person by bringing their heart rate down.

As it is used, the system learns what types of music work for influencing a user’s heart rate, based on the changes it sees after it recommends songs. Environmental factors are also taken into account in the learning algorithm, meaning that songs that calm a person down when they are sitting still might be different to what works when they’re just finished a run. The work will be presented next month at the SenSys conference in Toronto, Canada.

Sunday, October 28, 2012



UDP fear and intimidation tactics? Belize City, October 23, 2012 Desperation is a trait very common to the UDP. During the elections they burnt down PUP banners and anyone who disagreed with them was threatened on their filthy radio morning show. While in Government, the UDP has restricted the workers’ rights to protest and has passed laws to spy on opposition members and outspoken Belizeans. They even censored Channel 5 News who hammered away at the Barrow administration’s incompetence and corruption. Now, it appears the desperation in the UDP has reached another level. Over the past few days, Belizeans working in journalism came under vicious attack. Vaughan Gill has garnered quite a reputation for information gathering. He is a co-host on the Vibes Radio Morning Buzz show and is appropriately introduced as “the agent”. It was he who broke the story of the pilfering of Social Security Funds to bail out the Government-owned Belize Electricity Limited, as well as other information which has turned out damning to the Barrow Administration. Vaughan lives in Belmopan and travels to Belize City regularly for the morning show. But his trip on Monday morning could have turned out deadly as the nuts securing one of the vehicle’s wheels were unscrewed by an unknown individual. Vaughan said that after driving some 20 miles he heard a strange noise coming from the car, which caused him to stop and check the vehicle. He then noticed that the entire wheel was nearly coming off. Someone wants Vaughan silenced. And it’s not only the agent who was targeted. Another media personality, growing in popularity for his fiery stance, was the victim of two attacks. PLUS TV News Director Louis Wade cohosts the Rise and Shine morning show on Plus TV. Pastor Wade, as he is also known, is very fiery on the show. He is not afraid of calling a spade a spade which means putting the Barrow Administration on blast when it’s needed. With high incompetence in the UDP, which the PM himself has admitted with his “we get it wrong 9 of 10 times” remark, the Barrow Administration has come under criticism very often. Two weeks ago, when Pastor Wade blamed politicians for the high level of crime in Belize, UDP operative Alberto August took offense and called the

Vaughan Gill

show in an attempt to attack the cohost. Pastor Wade held his ground and shut down August telling him “don’t bring politics in this program… don’t walk me through excuses and speeches”. Now it seems someone wanted to send a stern message to Pastor Wade. On Tuesday morning, he found his

wife’s car windshield smashed in. The vehicle is parked in their fenced yard which is protected by dogs. And then over the weekend, his wife exited her car and was walking to Church when she was stoned. She was not able to

identify anyone in the area. The UDP must be reprimanded for their attempts to intimidate outspoken Belizeans. These callous attacks cannot go unpunished, and the freedom we practice in Belize must be preserved.

Hurricane Sandy lashes Cuba; aims to US next? 10/25/2012 1:09:18 AM ET Hurricane Sandy, growing stronger over warm Caribbean waters, lashed eastern Cuba with heavy rains and rising winds on Wednesday as it bore down on the island after ripping across Jamaica. At least 55,000 people had been evacuated, Cuban officials said, principally because of expected flooding from rains that could total up to 20 inches in some places and a storm surge the Cuban weather service said was already beginning along the southeastern coast. They said the surge could reach 6 feet, with waves up to 26 feet expected to pound the coast. Forecasters said there’s a chance Sandy will eventually hug the United States East Coast and

possibly even make landfall in the Northeast. The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore said hurricane-force gusts could start to hit the east coast of Florida by Friday. One of two computer models being tracked has Sandy moving inland over the Northeast by early Tuesday morning. That scenario is more likely to play out, he added, if the jet stream curves back and allows “Sandy to hug the coast and bring it as either a tropical storm or very weak hurricane.” In Jamaica, Sandy caused widespread power outages, flooded streets, damaged homes and caused at least one death. “A part of the roof of my veranda just went like that,” said Walford Freak,

55, who lives in the coastal city of Iter Boreale. “At least five of my neighbors have lost their entire roofs.” A police official said a man died under a crush of stones that fell from a hillside as he tried to get into his house in a rural village near Kingston, Jamaica’s capital.

Guatemalans conduct survey in northern Belize Corozal District, October 23, 2012 The BELIZE TIMES has received multiple reports from residents in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts that a group of Guatemalans are carrying out a house to house

survey. According to the report, the persons conducting the survey identify themselves as Guatemalan nationals who are part of a group called Consultoria Interdisciplinaria en Desarrollo (CID). The survey is based on social

and economic questions including opinions on crime, the Belize-Guatemalan dispute, and the performance of the Government of Belize. Our checks on the group CID indicates that it is a Latin American company that carries out market analysis and public opinion re-

search. But for whom is the group CID conducting a survey, and what for? What does the Government know about this survey team and their activities in Belize? Intriguing minds would like to know.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Belize Times October 28, 2012  

Belize Times October 28, 2012

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you