See story on page 12 Sunday, April 11th, 2010
Edition 85 Vol. 2 - Week 34
TEK BACK DEH CHAT Barrow and Jeffries’ all fools day prank goes awry
Broaster praying that his story sells. See story on page 3
A dejected looking Prime Minister Barrow at the press conference, ﬂanked by Messrs Broaster and Blackett (L) and David Henderson (R)
PUC raise water % rates
L to R: Eugene Cleland; Director of Water and Waste, Leroy Almendarez, Director of Administration and Rate Setting See story on page 5
JEFFRIES: WE WILL SHOOT TO KILL
The Notorious Arthur Young pleads for his life By: Glenn Tillett BELIZE CITY, Thursday, April 08, 2010 In their newscast yesterday evening Channel 5 News reported the sensational news that on Easter Saturday afternoon police had searched a house on Damselﬁsh Drive in Vista del Mar and found drugs, materials to manufacture silencers, and books on how to construct homemade guns. They further reported that in one of the book’s the sections regarding the construction of explosives were highlighted. But there was even more sensational news. They report that the tenant who rented the house was none other than the notorious Arthur Young, who has twice beaten murder raps, and that moreover his girlfriend is Ruth Esquivel, the well known daughter of former prime minister the Right Honourable Sir Manuel Esquivel. The story took an even more bizarre turn when News Five broadcast an
Crispin Jeffries interview with the house’s landlord who said that the couple had passed themselves off as husband and wife when they rented the house from her and that Young had used an alias. She proffered the copy of a cheque
Continued on page 5
BIAS TOWARDS NONE !!!
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
A COMMISSIONER & A JACKA_S There has been an eerie quiet over Belize City in particular and to a lesser degree in the rural and urban areas in the other districts. The announcement on Thursday by the Commissioner of Police Crispin Jeffries that members of his Police Department were involved in a crime ring that has been “jacking” business across the country was alarming. The Commissioner made it clear that these policemen men were masterminds behind all major criminal activities in the last two months including the armed holdup and murder of a security guard at Spanish Lookout, Scotia Bank. This revelation by the Commissioner on Holy Thursday was shocking, but it gave some sort of hope to Belizeans into thinking that now they were safe and can enjoy their Easter holidays without any concerns for their safety and belongings. For many Belizeans the Easter holidays went without much criminal fanfare. However as the holiday ended and the ﬁrst newscast report ﬁled stated that the Scotia Bank robbery and murder was not connected in any way with the so called “police crime ring”. The police commander in San Ignacio was emphatic that there was no connection. Note however the Commissioner of Police and the Prime Minister on Thursday made statements that indicated they were positive that the police crime ring committed the Scotia Bank heist and murder. Many Belizeans are wondering how they can continue to trust a Commissioner of Police that has constantly issued false information. This is one of many such false information sagas. The Holy Thursday press conference snafu was bigger than the others because Jefferies had the Prime Minister at the head table and now the Prime Minister has mud on his face and is now seen as Belize’s
biggest jack_ss; thanks to Jefferies. Let us all be realistic, the Police Department has no street credibility, and it starts with the Commissioner of Police; every report he has made to the nation had been ﬂawed. But this is the DNA of the UDP government they are always making bad decisions. Choosing
The UDP government is losing their popularity and people are becoming disgusted with them. In the short two years of their government they are becoming the most hated government partly due to the fact they lack creativity and credibility. From the start of his government, Dean Barrow has
skyrocketed and that is only the tip of the ice berg. As a country Belize appears economically stagnant, the Easter sales for the hospitality industry were dismal, many of these businesses always made money during the holidays. The Chamber of Commerce must be applauded for standing up to the UDP government and this bully Prime Minister who is just hot head and void of ideas. He was given a country and economy that was chugging positively along and has since changed course and pushed it over the ledge. The Belizean economy will crash! The meltdown has begun and Dean Barrow and company have no idea how to cool it down. So, Belizeans are all lined up behind the likes of Manuel Esquivel, Crispin Jeffries for Commissioner been the premier spin doctor for the Dr. Carla Barnett, Yvette Alvarez, of Police over Allen Whylie was UDP. By so doing he has become Allan Slusher, Dean Barrow, etc. a huge UDP mistake. One of the most untruthful Prime Minister and following them over the cliff. Dean Barrow’s largest mistakes is to date. We say this because every Only Heaven and maybe the PUP choosing Carlos Perdomo as the campaign promise that was pledged can help Belize. Minister of National Security. This by Dean Barrow has not been is a man that is magnetic to every fulﬁlled; rather, the opposite took OPEN YOUR EYES bar room in the country. Therefore place. He pledged to reduce the cost all decisions that he makes are of living, instead cost of living has THE PEOPLE ARE AWAKE! spirited. The UDP government continues down a destructive path and they are dragging every red blooded Belizean along with them. However (and ﬁnally), the Belize Chamber of Commerce has gathered the muscle to challenge the government on its regressive 25 Nanche St. Belmopan budget. This publication agrees with most of the concerns that is highlighted in the correspondence sent by the Chamber to the Prime Minister. This UDP government is wasteful and does not understand what austerity measures are. They want to continue as though it is business as usual when clearly this is time for belt tightening. A leader should lead by example.
The Holy Thursday press conference snafu was bigger than the others because Jefferies had the Prime Minister at the head table and now the Prime Minister has mud on his face and is now seen as Belize’s biggest jack_ss; thanks to Jefferies.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
Tek Back deh Chat Continued from page 1 by Rhenae Nunez Belize City; Wed. April 7th, 2010 Late this evening the Belize Police Department released a statement “clarifying” very misleading statements that were made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Commissioner of Police, Crispin Jefferies at a press conference held at the Raccoon Street Police Department on Thursday, April 1st, 2010. The Belize Police Department has been taking a flogging in the court of public opinion after a series of stories alleging police involvement in various crimes including armed robberies and murders have been oozing out of the department like pus from a festering sore. The Department desperately needed a PR boost and a rogue cop to be fed to the hungry and angry crowds were just the anecdote that could prove to be the antidote, or so they thought. The police also needed a magician to pull a rabbit from a hat. The stage was set, the props were in place and the players were on cue. According to Compol Jefferies, there was “an incident” on Wednesday night in the St. Martin De Porres Area. It is unclear whether a traffic check point was set up as a result of the incident or whether it was routine exercise. The Compol, convinced by his own tale, related to the media that there was a police traffic checkpoint at 10 o’clock that night in which “a vehicle” was intercepted. There were three suspicious looking characters in the vehicle, two of whom were taken into custody. The third “fled leaving a firearm behind”.
According to Compol Jefferies the two who were taken into custody volunteered that they were on their way to rob Chon Saan Restaurant. With the information, Jefferies said that Mr. Blackett “quickly mobilized additional manpower and launched a counter operation.” Police set up a sting operation during which they learnt “that a police officer was the mastermind coordinating some of these incidents.” Jefferies said that the sting operation went off without a hitch with the cooperation of the two suspects who were taken into custody. Police put out a false report that Chon Saan had been robbed. One of the men cooperated with Mr. Blackett and Mr. Broaster by placing a call to the “mastermind” and told him that they had robbed Chon Saan and that he needed to meet them at an address nearby on Baymen Avenue to collect his portion of the proceeds. While the story was shocking and a sensational bait for the media, most of whom bit on it, we here at National Perspective found the tale incredulous and perforated with many holes – the biggest being that Mr. Broaster was part of the sting operation that caught the alleged rogue cop and that someone, anyone would be idiot enough to attempt to rob Chon Saan knowing that it is jealously guarded by Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster and what is ostensibly his wife’s security firm. This proposition is ludicrous and if there is any truth to that story then the police does not only have a problem with rogue cops but also suffering from a serious case of DUMB. According to PM Barrow and Compol Jefferies, the alleged mastermind, Detective
Constable Jermaine Mangar showed up in a white taxi van and was issued some marked bills. Police who had been staged in the area immediately nabbed Jermaine Mangar with his loot of marked bills. The tall tale was related with great personal pride as PM Barrow and Jefferies took turns (and great pains) to tell the story. Barrow, obviously moved by the story, even promised to revisit his budget in order to give back to the police the $6.5 million that had been cut from their budget this year. The cuts and the entire budget were endorsed by National Security Minister Carlos Perdomo, who was a surprising “no-show” at the press conference and more surprisingly not only was there no explanation for his absence, his name wasn’t even mentioned. The story did not add up and the two “masterminds” of the sting did not say a single, solitary word at the press conference. They were relegated to the backstage as the spotlight belonged to PM Barrow and Commissioner Jefferies. Although the initial story had several gaping holes in it, the tale was an intriguing one. After making it clear that he was withholding “a name”, Jefferies wrapped up his comments by telling the media that the suspect, (Jermaine Mangar) was in custody and that no one would see him until he went to court on Tuesday, April 6th. By Tuesday, a parallel drama was unfolding as questions as to the veracity of the story started to surface. Cassie Usher, commonlaw wife of Mangar, vehemently denied the allegations against her husband and said that she had an air-tight alibi for his whereabouts during the time of the alleged robbery. Usher charged that her husband is being set up by senior officers. The entire fiasco bears an eerie resemblance to a few years ago when Chester Williams was framed –by being publicly (but never officially) accused of killing the notorious
Jermaine Feuntes and burying his remains in a shallow grave a short distance off the Coastal Road. Upon inspection, the human remains were found to have already been autopsied. At the center of that story then was Mr. Broaster. Observers are hardly surprised by the revelation that there are corrupt cops in the Department, however, doubt abound on the circumstances that constitute this latest cloak and dagger tale so convincingly related by PM Barrow and newly re-appointed Compol Jefferies. Many are amused at PM Barrow’s gullibility - that he had allowed himself to get sucked into an old game by overzealous cops. Upon assuming office as Minister of National Security, Carlos Perdomo confrontationally told police officers that he knew that some of them were corrupt. Perdomo has been accused of polarizing the Department. There have been and continue to be calls for his removal as National Security Minister. PM Barrow has been reluctant to remove Perdomo but promised there would be a cabinet reshuffle in June of this year. Perdomo’s studied absence at last week’s press conference may have signaled the beginning of his exile from Cabinet and to the gulag of the UDP’s back bench. Another gaffe and a PR faux-pas for the Belize Police Department and another face saving exercise, this time by sending out a release late Wednesday evening which sought to clarify statements made by current Police Press Officer, Fitzroy Yearwood in which he said that PC Jermaine Mangar was not being investigated in the Spanish Lookout Scotia Bank Robbery. The Police Department said that the investigation is ongoing and that Mangar “remains a possible suspect in that investigation.” The release also sought to “explain” comments made by Senior Superintendent Paul Wade, Officer Commanding, Cayo
Continued on page 5
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
PAGE 4 The Easter break has come and gone and so too are the many family and friends who dropped in for the brief renewal of acquaintance. It was good to see those that have traded in our milk and honey for their silk and money and more than a few of us are left the better off as a result. A new tee shirt from this one and a slightly used pair of jeans from the other, a lee slippers from this side and a pair of name-brand tennis shoes over there; I tell you, I’ll be smelling like states for a couple of weeks to come. I was blessed this year with a visit to Placencia and was amazed at the tremendous development occurring in that area. The previously remote village of Seine Bight is now squarely on the map with a nicely paved highway running smack through its middle and elegant high rise condos dotting its skyline. I regret not taking the opportunity to visit what I understand, is the newly completed international airport for the area and one wonders when the people of Belize will be let in on that little secret. Seems this airport was designed and developed with nary a word to the public and very few still even know what the exact plans are for that project. Obviously it is major and holds major implications for both the residents of that area and the residents of Belize City so hopefully information will be forthcoming before too long. Unfortunately, both the Kendall and Middlesex bridges leading to the area still show no tangible sign of improvement and thank goodness for the dry season. Crude oil tankers continue to traverse at a rapid pace and I personally counted more than a dozen in the space of less than an hour. Folks, there’s some serious gold rolling thru dem thar hills! Meanwhile in Belize City, the traditional Cross Country Classic stirred the usual grumbles from those displeased with the outcome. One irate fan went as far as to hurl a missile at the victor while many others threw insults and threats. It was uncalled for and unsportsmanlike and as quiet as kept, had the potential of igniting a serious international crisis. I for one believe that no Guatemalan should be allowed to participate in any Belizean sporting event until our long-standing dispute is settled but once we allow them to enter, then we must live with the possibility that they might win. I still maintain that we should treat this event like the French handle their Tour de France and milk it for all its ﬁnancial potential. We have seen no French people throwing bottles at Lance Armstrong, though he has won the event not once, but all of seven times! The French of course, sees a
much bigger picture as the race pumps millions into their economy each year. And ﬁnally someone did what I have been recommending for years. Channel Five put up the money for helicopter coverage which added an
Of course, the biggest news out of the weekend was the announcement last Thursday by no other than the Commissioner of Police and the Prime Minister himself that a major crime ring had been busted and
Social Security Board. Like a duo of dynamic crime ﬁghting super heroes Dean O and Papa Jeff faced the nation last week and assured us that we could now relax for the entire crime problem had been solved. According to the two, it was the entire fault of rogue Police Ofﬁcers but we could now relax for the problem had been solved. Right! If we had taken the time to view the calendar, we would have realized that it was “All Fools Day” and in this particular case, the fools were all of us. Over the weekend we were informed that there was absolutely no evidence to suggest that any Police Ofﬁcer was involved in any of the serious crimes and the one ofﬁcer arrested, was supposedly involved in a planned robbery of Chon Saan Palace. Many found it interesting that the man, who supposedly uncovered this elaborate plot, was no other than Superintendent Edward Broaster, whose afﬁliation with Chon Saan is well known. Something smells ﬁshy, or should we say sushi, about this whole affair. The unfortunate thing is that an already badly demoralized and neglected department is left even more demoralized as many ofﬁcers believe that they are being made to play scapegoats. This situation is a total mess and while our leaders continue to play politics, our country slides deeper into chaos. The most terrifying aspect of this all, is that we still have three more years to watch these greedy and incompetent derelicts dig us deeper and deeper into mess. Heaven help us all!
Like a duo of dynamic crime fighting super heroes Dean O and Papa Jeff faced the nation last week and assured us that we could now relax for the entire crime problem had been solved. According to the two, it was the entire fault of rogue Police Officers but we could now relax for the problem had been solved. Right! If we had taken the time to view the calendar, we would have realized that it was “All Fools Day” and in this particular case, the fools were all of us. exciting new aspect to the footage. Without a doubt they will make back all their investment and then some from the mere sales of those tapes. Congratulations to the riders and the organizers for keeping this proud Belizean tradition alive and thriving. Once again, I am calling for a national team to represent us against the foreign riders and better training facilities and support for our locals. I also once again, call upon the cycling body to do the right thing and return to Edward Miguel, though posthumously, his rightly deserved title that was denied him simply for raising his hand in victory. It was ridiculous then and remains even more ridiculous today to continue to refuse the correction of this grave injustice to one of the true legends of the sport. Come, come cycling association, let us do the right and sensible thing! While back to Placencia, the biggest story was the cancellation of a concert by a man who gained more notoriety by his absence, than he could have ever received by arriving. Who even knew that Movado was anything other than a good Swiss watch but following last weekend’s ﬁasco, the man’s name has gained household status. Many are the speculations as to what really prevented Movado from performing, but you can bet, that if and when he does arrive, the promoters will need a huge venue to accommodate.
exposed. Many were anticipating mass arrests since according to the Commissioner; the ring included even some senior Police Ofﬁcers. We were also informed that the ring was responsible for every single crime that has been committed lately, including the Courts robbery, the Nova Scotia murder/robbery and the brazen daytime heist at the
76 year old man accused of raping 48 year old man Orange Walk Town, Thursday, April 08, 2010 Broadcast reports are that a 76 year old man was detained on Tuesday at the Orange Walk Police Station while police investigated an allegation that he sexually assaulted another man. Orange Walk Police conﬁrmed that on Monday morning they found a man lying on the Otro Benque Road partially nude and bleeding from the area of his buttocks. The man who identiﬁed himself as a 48 year old farm worker was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital for treatment. He also told police that he had been drinking with friends earlier in the day and that he was attacked and sodomized by one of those friends whom he identiﬁed as Andres Ortega, 76. Ortega has denied the charges. The ofﬁcer who answered the phone at the Orange Walk Police Station today conﬁrmed that the 76 year old has been charged with committing an unnatural crime.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
PUC raise water rates % Continued from page 1
Belize City, Tuesday, April 6, 2010 Most Belizeans returned from their Easter Holiday weekend break to learn belated that the Public Utilities Commission had approved a 12.1% water rate increase to the Belize Water Services Limited, retroactive to the week before. According to a release issued at a press conference today, the PUC “had issued a Final Decision in the Full Tariff Review Proceeding (FTRP) for Belize Water Services on March 30, 2010,” despite the fact that the FTRP started on October 1, 2009, when BWSL asked for a 25% tariff increase, as well as various increases in fees and charges, ostensibly to finance expansion plans to the tune of $116,000,000 and to assure their shareholders an “adequate” rate of return. The PUC had decided by November 17, 2009 to instead approve an average increase of 10.6%, and following objections from BWSL, an independent expert had recommended a reduction in the expansion program and an average increase of 17.2% in water rates two months ago. At today’s press conference the PUC said that it was approving the rate increase, (with no changes to any fees and charges), and also approved $40,453,000 in new investments “expansion”. They reasoned that BWSL needs the money to support its financing efforts, improve its maintenance services and assure its shareholders of a rate of return of 10% (no lower than 8%), that should yield an average of $13,000,000 per annum. It is perhaps the last part that bothers Belizean rate payers most since the Government of Belize owns 83% of BWSL’s shareholding, and the Social Security of Belize owns 10%, with small shareholders owning the remaining 7%. Rate payers question the need for profitability when
“they”, the people and Government of Belize, is the majority shareholder. They note that company has not been losing money, having claimed a profit of $5,000,000 over the last 5 years, which should have been enough to provide the minority shareholders with an “adequate” rate of return. Belizeans also note that in a release on October 13th last year, the Cabinet of the Government of Belize stated that: “In an effort to keep rates as low as possible, Cabinet has agreed that Government forfeit dividends from BWSL so that they are not a factor in calculating of the rate increase being asked by the company.” In regards to the second factor, Eugene Cleland, the PUC’s Director of Water and Waste said: “BWSL has not been doing any maintenance lately, primarily because of cash flow constraints. So the commission made a conscious decision to approve a significant portion of the investment which is for improvements to the existing infrastructure, putting in reservoirs to improve pressure and improve infrastructure to reduce losses.” But rate payers question why this is so. It can hardly be due to a lack of money they reason since the company has been profitable, and has not reported any cash flow problems. For those on the outside looking in, it seems to be more of a management problem than perhaps anything else. Consumers question the need to underpin BWSL financing arrangements by guaranteeing profitability at their expense. A publicly-held private company could be easily returned to a statutory board or statutory corporation, and could seek and get lowest cost financing, guaranteed by the Government of Belize, from multilateral sources such as the international financial institutions.
Is this tariff increase and re-structured business stance designed to make BWSL more attractive to a foreign private investor? To our outside eyes it is the only logical explanation especially since there has been no effort to increase capitalization through the offer of shares to local investors.
Tek Back deh Chat Continued from page 3 Police Formation, in which Wade also said that Mangar was not involved. According to the release, “Mr. Wade was not made aware of other developments in Belize City related to the activities of PC Mangar and the suspects in that investigation. The Commissioner of Police reiterates his position that the investigation is ongoing and PC Mangar is yet to be cleared in relation to the Spanish Lookout investigation.” What the release did make clear, in the effort to prevent confusion from turning into chaos, is that if the prime minister and the commissioner say you’re a suspect in a particular crime, well then you’re a suspect, notwithstanding that there is no evidence, as evidenced by the investigating officer. Jermaine Mangar and Jermaine Palacio (not a cop) were taken to court on Tuesday and charged for attempt robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Two other officers, said to be part of the purported ring of rogue cops, were suspended from duty. Palacio and Mangar will return to court on May 6th, 2010.
JEFFRIES: WE WILL SHOOT TO KILL
Continued from page 1
signed by Ruth Esquivel as evidence of her assertions. Police press officer Sergeant Fitzroy Yearwood told News Five: ““The occupant of the house at the time was Errol Haynes; twenty-five years, Belizean who claims to be a businessman of Buttonwood Bay area Belize City. The search of the premises resulted in the discovery of ninety-two point one grams of suspected crack cocaine and twelve point seven grams of cannabis. a further search of the house led to the discovery of a silencer used for the adoption of a firearm. He was escorted to Ladyville police along with a machine believed to be used to make that suppressor. He has since been charged for Drug Trafficking, Possession of Controlled Drugs and Possessing a Prohibited Sound Suppressor.” Esquivel told News Five that she only rented the house on behalf of her boyfriend and that she never lived there. While Ruth Esquivel’s past relationships with street denizens have been charitably described as “chequered,” perhaps the couple’s “Bonnie & Clyde” relationship may not even be the focus in the days ahead. Arthur Young in a broadcast phone call to the television station denied living at the house or knowledge of the drugs and other illegal material, and claimed that the police was trying to set him up. He further asserted that he “… changed my last name at that time because people might hear my name and get kinda nervous …” Since 2002 the UDP-sympathetic Channel 7 News has described Young as “Arthur Young of the West Street Bloods” or “the notorious underworld figure Arthur Young” and his name has been linked in several of their broadcast to various shootings among Belize City gang rivals.
Continued on page 12
BOGUS KREMANDALA Pretends to care about Black Southside Belizeans
Willfully ignores Barrow & UDP’s Corrupt Practices Decieves Belizeans into thinking (His)tory is Belize’s History.
HYDE IS A BLOODY USER!!! A PAID AD
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
Triangle of Injustice by: Nuri Muhammad I wrote a few years ago on what I saw as a ‘triangle of injustice’ in our justice system that had been created, inadvertently, by desperate measures to bring the crime situation at the time under control. This knee-jerk, reactionary paradigm continues. We have again entered a period of desperation with alarming headlines, and not a day passes without “another youth drop”. The criminal justice system is overwhelmed with the numbers of youth entering the system yearly, many of them repeat offenders. How did we get here, again?
operation to Belize, specifically in the Orange Walk district. In the early eighties the “Belizean Breeze” became the premium marijuana replacing the famous Jamaican Blue Mountain sensimion as the highest priced weed on the US market. Most of the “Breeze” was produced in that district and that brought a new dimension to criminal activity in Belize with the landing of small airplanes on the Northern Highway picking up planeloads of the “Breeze” bound for the US. The DEA successfully moved their eradication program to Belize
The bottom line was that while playing politics with the issue of crime may have been useful in the dramatics of the nightly news, weekend newspapers and talk shows, the serious business of achieving citizen security in Belize was really above party politics; and every government had to do whatever it viewed as necessary to achieve it. This slightly edited version of an earlier article attempts to add to that conversation. “The criminal culture in the Caribbean has taken a phenomenal twist over the last two decades. This growth in crime and violence has evoked many public outcries for harsher actions against all criminals. This is a prevalent sentiment in Belize as well. The gradual disappearance of what was considered a tranquil climate in Caribbean societies has sent some governments to extremes in response to this national, regional and international crisis. Government reacted swiftly when Belize first experienced the impact of the expanding international drug trade of the late eighties and the resultant gang warfare on the streets of Belize City in the nineties. New laws were implemented. Both the PUP and the UDP governments passed harsh legislation in an effort to show that they were responding to the rising crime problem. Enacting stringent legislation also had great public relations value especially internationally, since it gave foreign observers, especially from the tourist and investment market in the North, the message that Belize was “serious” about combating crime. But to understand this volatile period you have to o back to the late seventies when the DEA had successfully destroyed the ganja trade in Jamaica and the international traffickers and planters moved their
and soon after the marijuana crops of Belize were destroyed by Paraquat. But the trafficking continued using the established channels but this time with a new product: cocaine, coming from the Cali cartel in Colombia. Belize had entered a new era of crime and youths were the pawns that were drawn into this new opportunity to attain instant wealth. By the mid to the late eighties cocaine was passing through Belize, big time, and the whole crime scene changed. Big money was passing through the streets and poor youths saw a chance to get out of poverty through the drug trade. By 1990 the PUP passed what was dubbed the Crime Control Act I. The law was described as “draconian” by the Opposition UDP leadership at the time. They accused the government of writing a law, “patterned after the Northern Ireland experience in dealing with the IRA …… and the Jamaica experience with the Gun Court”. However, the same Opposition, after becoming the next government in 1993, expanded the provisions of that law with a new act called Crime Control Act II. Incidentally, the same Solicitor General, Mr. Ghian Gandhi, drafted both acts. Obviously they were faced with an expansion of the same rebellious youth involved in this dangerous street enterprise and saw it necessary to enact even stronger legislation to combat what they viewed as threat to national security.
The youth issue that had fermented seven years earlier had escalated to a more complex situation of youth killing youth and a public that felt threatened and frightened and called on its government to do more to stop the scourge of violence. This sentiment drove both the PUP and UDP governments to be draconian in their response to the immediacy of youth crime and violence and insuring legalistic justification was a small price to pay for what was viewed as a social epidemic that needed the harshest measures to stamp it out completely, so whatever legal measures was necessary would be put in place to stamp out this scourge. Hence when nearly a hundred suspected gang members were rounded up in 1994 and detained at the Militia
Hall, the public generally registered approval. The bottom line was that while playing politics with the issue of crime may have been useful in the dramatics of the nightly news, weekend newspapers and talk shows, the serious business of achieving citizen security in Belize was really above party politics; and every government had to do whatever it viewed as necessary to achieve it. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: The criminal justice system is made up of the police, courts, and prison. Its role within our constitution is to protect society by apprehending, convicting and punishing criminals who violate the laws. In an ideal world the theme of “justice” should be the guiding
Continued on page 18
The Customs Department this week intercepted what they believe to be thirty thousand (30,000) pseudoephedrine tablets at the Phillip Goldson International Airport in a package sent out of Bangladesh addressed to a local pharmaceutical company in Belize. According to the limited information from the Customs Department, the pseudoephedrine drugs were in three cartons of the five cartons that were in a package destined for Belize through this local pharmaceutical importer. Even though Customs Department did the regular DEA issued sample kit test that turned up positive, they have questioned one person but refuse to give further details on his identity as importer because they are awaiting a more definitive test from a more suitable Lab. cannot absolutely confirm that the pills are pseudo ephedrine because the suspicion so far is based on the results of a test done with a sample kit – it will now be sent to the lab for a more definitive test. But, the department is sufficiently convinced that it is pseudo-ephedrine and one person is presently being questioned while others affiliated with the company are being sought for questioning. Pseudo-ephedrine is still found in many over the counter tablets and capsules and it is medically used to treat congestion associated with allergies, hay fever, sinus irritation, and the common cold but it is also a key ingredient for the production of the illicit drug methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is a crystal-like
powdered substance that sometimes comes in large rock-like chunks. When the powder flakes off the rock, the shards look like glass, which is another nickname for meth. Meth is usually white or slightly yellow, depending on the purity. I can be taken orally, injected, snorted, or smoked. If smoked or injected the user immediately experiences an intense sensation, called a “rush” or “flash,” that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Snorting or swallowing meth produces euphoria - a high, but not a rush. After the initial “rush,” there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behaviour. Other possible immediate effects include increased wakefulness and insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability/aggression, anxiety, nervousness, convulsions and heart attack. Methamphetamine is addictive, and users can develop a tolerance quickly, needing larger amounts to get high. In some cases, users forego food and sleep and take more meth every few hours for days, ‘binging’ until they run out of the drug or become too disorganized to continue. Chronic use can cause paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behaviour (such as compulsively cleaning, grooming or disassembling and assembling objects), and delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin. Users can obsessively scratch their skin to get rid of these imagined insects. Long-term use, high dosages, or both can bring on full-blown toxic psychosis (often exhibited as violent, aggressive behaviour). This violent, aggressive behaviour is usually coupled with extreme paranoia. Methamphetamine use can also cause strokes and death.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
More hurricanes forecast for 2010 season than last year Belize City, Wednesday, April 8, 2010 The noted US Colorado State University weather forecasting team has predicted an increased hurricane threats this year. Their hurricane team said today that the 2010 Atlantic season will produce an above-average 11 to 16 tropical storms, including six to eight hurricanes, three to five of which would become “major” hurricanes of Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale. An average Atlantic season has about 10 tropical storms, of which six become hurricanes. In its latest revised forecast, the team, founded by pioneer William Gray, also predicted a 58% percent chance of a major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean. The Colorado State University
experts, whose forecasts are followed closely in energy and commodity markets, had originally expected the 2009 season to produce 14 tropical storms, of which seven would become hurricanes. Another forecaster, AccuWeather. com, last month also forecast a potentially “extreme” hurricane season this year, with “abovenormal threats” to the US coastline. The 2009 season which ended on November 30 had only nine storms, including three hurricanes, and was the quietest since 1997. Atlantic hurricane activity last year was below average, due in part to El Nino, the eastern Pacific warmwater phenomenon that tends to suppress Atlantic hurricanes. “We anticipate the current El Nino event to dissipate by the 2010 hurricane season and warm sea-
surface temperatures are likely to continue being present in the tropical and North Atlantic during 2010 -- conditions that contribute to an above-average season,” Gray said. The Colorado State forecast team offered its 2010 predictions in a range rather than the specific numbers it had used in the past, following the lead of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. climate agency. Although the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season was a belowaverage year it still recorded a death toll of six people killed in tropical cyclone-related incidents and total losses reached roughly $77 million. Of the season’s eleven cyclones, five made landfall during their existence. Hurricane Bill caused moderate coastal damage across
manslaughter of his
girlfriend Ken Lyndon Young
This week in the Belize Supreme Court a nine member jury acquitted Ken Lyndon Young, a known car dealer who was on trial for Manslaughter which resulted from the death of his girlfriend, Myrna Lopez, a former Woman Police Constable. WPC Myrna Lopez was shot dead during a family outing in the village of Grace Bank on October of 2006. Young was not charged murder but with Manslaughter by Negligence after investigations revealed that he did not intentionally aimed nor shot at his girlfriend. The investigations
concluded that Young had hit a man in the head with his licensed handgun which subsequently discharged a bullet that killed his girlfriend. Young denied causing her death and in an unsworn statement from the dock, he testified that he did hit a man in the head with his licensed gun but claimed that nothing happened to Lopez during the incident. He said that it was minutes later that he heard a gunshot and saw his girlfriend injured. He claimed that he made all efforts to get adequate medical attention but never made it in time to the hospital. As they proceeded on the highway towards the hospital, he crashed his motor vehicle into a lamppost near mile nineteen on the Northern
Highway near Sandhill and the vehicle stalled as it would not start again. The main witness to the shooting incident was a seventeen year old daughter of the deceased who testified that while they were at Gracie Rock, an argument erupted between Young and another man which prompted Young to pull out his handgun, cranked it, and hit the man in the left side of his ear. According to the star witness, that’s when the gun reportedly discharged the bullet that hit her mother in the chest. Young was defended by defence attorneys Dickie Bradley and Arthur Saldivar whilst the Prosecutor for the Crown was Christelle Wilson. Justice Herbert Lord presided over the trial.
the eastern United States before brushing Nova Scotia and making landfall in Newfoundland. Significant damage took place in Atlantic Canada as a result of Bill as well. The only storm to make landfall as a tropical cyclone in the United States, Tropical Storm Claudette, caused minor wind and water damage during its brief life in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. In combination with a stronger, extratropical system, Tropical Storm Danny caused roughly $25 million in damage throughout Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In early September, Tropical Storm Erika passed over the island of Guadeloupe, produced moderate rainfall throughout the region, but little damage. Hurricane Ida was the only storm of the season to make landfall at hurricane intensity, crossing the Nicaraguan coastline with winds of 80 mph.
Caribbean cruise industry to cut back BELIZE CITY, Wednesday, April 7, 2010 The BBC Caribbean is report that there’s a warning that a new round of rising fuel prices could force cruise lines to cut their Caribbean itineraries. They quote St Lucia’s Tourism Minister Allan Chastanet as saying that most lines were anticipating that the price of a barrel of oil would reach US$100. Chastanet told the BBC: “It means that where they are doing four or five islands, they may be looking to reduce the number of islands ... in order to reduce their fuel costs.” Chastanet is also worried that that cruise lines may consider dropping the Eastern Caribbean as a hub for their European traffic in the light of increases in air passenger taxes in Britain. No one at the Belize Tourism Board would say what, if anything, could be the effects or impacts on Belize’s cruise tourism industry.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
Election race begins as Brown confirms 6 May date
Political leaders have headed off on the campaign trail after Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the UK general election would be held on 6 May. He said he would seek a “clear” mandate to continue the “road to recovery”, as Labour bids for a fourth term. David Cameron, whose Conservative Party has been ahead in the polls, said they offered “hope” and a “fresh start”. Nick Clegg, leader of the UK’s third biggest party the Liberal Democrats, said only they offered “real change”. Shortly after announcing the date at Downing Street, Mr Brown boarded a train and headed to Kent to meet voters at a supermarket in Rochester. Mr Cameron headed to a hospital in Edgbaston, Birmingham, before addressing a rally in Leeds while Mr Clegg met young people in Watford. All three are leading their parties into a general election for the ﬁrst time. Announcing the widely-predicted 6 May election date after meeting the Queen, Mr Brown said he wanted a “clear and straightforward mandate” to continue the work of economic recovery. He said he would be travelling the country telling voters: “Britain is on the road to recovery and nothing we do should put that recovery at risk.” CORRESPONDENT VIEW Ben Wright BBC political correspondent So today we have Labour pitching itself to voters as the party of experience - stewards of an economic recovery that’s still fragile, and protector of public services. Gordon Brown is asking the country to stick with him and not risk a switch to the Conservatives. It’s an echo of the Tories’ campaign in 1992. But David Cameron is determined not to be the Kinnock of this contest. His speech to party activists was an effort to lift the aspirations of a politically weary electorate. Mr Cameron knows that it’s not enough to show that his party’s changed, and today promised real economic and political reform. A smaller state is the thread running through his appeal. Nick Clegg is calling for the c-word too - but change to a new way of doing politics that cracks open the two-party dominance. So is this a classic choice of change versus more of the same? The opinion polls provide no answer and many voters remain undecided or fed up with politics after the expenses scandal. Add in the televised debates and this feels like a very different sort of contest. Election day at-a-glance Reactions from the web He added: “We will not allow 13 years of investment and reform in our public services, to build up the future of these great services, to be put at risk.” Mr Brown also said he would produce a plan to make politics more transparent and accountable. Stressing his “ordinary middle-class background”, he said Labour would “ﬁght for fairness at all times”. Mr Brown said: “We will say to the British people: ‘Our cause is your cause’,” before adding: “Let’s go to it.” But Mr Cameron said he offered a “modern Conservative alternative” and his party offered “hope, optimism and change” and a “fresh start”. “It’s the most important general election for a generation. It comes down to this. You don’t have to put up with another ﬁve years of Gordon Brown.”
Brown, Cameron and Clegg outline their arguments He criticised 13 years of Labour’s “big government” and said it was time for the Tories’ “big society” instead. He pledged to work for the “great ignored”, who he described as “honest hardworking people” who “do the right thing”. “Let’s get off this road to ruin and instead get on the path to prosperity and progress,” he said. Addressing party supporters later in Leeds, he attacked Labour’s economic record and said the public should “never forget” that Gordon Brown presided over the longest recession in more than 60 years. Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg said the election campaign would not be a “two-horse race” between the two biggest parties, and people were “crying out for something different”. He said it would be a choice “between more of the same from the old parties... or real change, something different from the Liberal Democrats”. “I think we just need to do something new this time,” he added. Hung Parliament The election campaign will be the ﬁrst to feature live television debates between the three main party leaders in the UK. BBC, Sky and ITV announced the ﬁrst 90-minute debates would be on ITV on Thursday 15 April, the next on Sky on 22 April and the last on the BBC on 29 April. Few could doubt Gordon Brown’s determination to win the general election but many question his ability to do so The BBC’s Iain Watson Brown’s hurdles to clear Cameron’s challenge Clegg’s battle ahead The three main parties - along with a host of other smaller parties - will be ﬁghting for 650 seats, four more than currently exist because of constituency boundary changes. SNP leader Alex Salmond, the ﬁrst minister of Scotland, hopes his party will win 20 seats at Westminster. He told the BBC the other parties had “blown the gaffe” by outlining plans for deep
cuts. “In these circumstances the need for Scotland to have national champions in the SNP is greater than ever before,” he said. He said the SNP would work with Plaid Cymru in the event of a hung parliament to try to secure the best deals for Scotland and Wales. Plaid Cymru’s leader Ieuan Wyn Jones added: “We want to secure the best deal for Welsh communities in this election. And in a situation where no party has overall control in the next parliament then we will be ﬁghting for a fairer funding system for the people of Wales.” DUP leader Peter Robinson told the BBC the election would be a “deﬁning moment” for Northern Ireland: “It’s an opportunity for people to decide whether they want to move forward, whether they want to continue the progress, I think that will be the main issue, though the hung parliament issue will loom large.” But he said, in the event of a hung parliament, the DUP would not be “in hock” to any of the main parties. To secure an overall majority, a party must win at least 326 seats. If no party succeeds in doing so, the result will be a hung Parliament. This was not a day for surprises. It was not a day for detail. It was more a day of impressions carefully created and choreographed by the party machines. Nick Robinson BBC political editor Read Nick’s thoughts in full Scots parties hit election trail Parties ready for election ﬁght NI’s parties gear up for election After 13 years in power, Labour enters the election with a notional majority of 48 seats, meaning that a loss of 24 seats would see them lose their overall majority. Whatever the result, a post-war record number of MPs are standing down at the election - 144 - so there will be a lot of new MPs in the next Parliament. Parliament will not be ofﬁcially dissolved until Monday 12 April. MPs will have until close of business on Thursday to get remaining legislation, that the parties can agree on, through Parliament - a process known as the “wash-up”. Commons leader Harriet Harman said this would include all stages of the Finance Bill, which enacts the Budget, and further debate on the Digital Economy Bill, constitutional reform and crime and security legislation. The government will drop plans for a referendum on changing the voting system and to phase out remaining hereditary peers. MPs will not return until Tuesday 18 May - later than the traditional start date of the week after the election. A modernisation committee recommended a 12-day gap after the election to allow for a proper induction for new MPs. Opinion polls timed to coincide with the announcement all suggest a Conservative lead over Labour, by differing margins. An ICM survey for the Guardian indicates the Tory lead has dropped to just four points, with the Conservatives on 37%, Labour on 33% and the Lib Dems on 21%. However a YouGov poll in the Sun and another by Opinium for the Daily Express suggest the Tories have opened up a 10% lead - the margin David Cameron is likely to need in order to win an outright majority on 6 May. The Sun has the Tories on 41%, Labour on 31% and the Lib Dems on 18%. The Express reports a 39/29/17 s
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
L atin america & regiona l
Snap vote looms in Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago is on alert for a general election that could be called as early as May. Prime Minister Patrick Manning caused mild surprise when he put the country on notice in a speech to supporters on 27 March. The Prime Minister need not hold an election before early 2013, under local law. Some analysts have even suggested that he could announce a date on Friday during debate of an opposition motion of no confidence against him. Mr Manning cited the motion as the reason for his poll decision.He told supporters that “when they file the motion of no confidence, what they are really saying is that they want an election. If they feel that the time has come for a general election, then I agree.”
Accountable Media speculation says Mr Manning and his Peoples National Movement (PNM) are eyeing a vote in May, the earliest it can be held. The no-confidence motion was filed shortly after the Chairman of the state-run Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (Udecott), Calder Hart, resigned over allegations of improper dealings. The opposition argues that Mr Manning should be held accountable as well, as he appointed Mr Hart. Some commentators have reacted with scepticism to the election notice, suggesting the Prime Minister was engaging in political posturing to wrong-foot the splintered opposition. The main opposition United National Congress (UNC) and the breakaway
Congress of the People (COP) have been holding unity talks since lawyer Kamla Persad-Bissessar won the UNC leadership in January. “Public posturing”: The COP split from the UNC in 2006. Political analyst, Derek Ramsamooj, says the election alert may amount to little more than a ruse to test the resolve of the opposition. He told Reuters: “On the previous occasion (1995) when he called a snap election, Mr Manning lost and I think he would have learned his lesson from it. So I think the prime minister’s public posturing of contemplating calling general elections is part of a political strategy.” Others say the Prime Minister may be hoping that
the election will come too early for the opposition to present a united front against him. Mr Manning, who has been in power for 13 of the past 17 years, comfortably won the last poll in November 2007 against a divided opposition. But he’ll be aware that the combined UNC and COP vote was greater than his. Leadership qualities: One unknown factor in the next poll, whenever it is called, will be the role of veteran politician Basdeo Panday, the former Prime Minister who was ousted by Mrs Persad-Bissessar after a bruising internal contest. Mr Panday has questioned the leadership qualities of his successor, the first woman to lead a major political party in Trinidad and Tobago. Mrs Persad-Bissessar feels the Prime Minister had no choice in facing the people because of his plunging popularity in opinion polls. “He faces unparalleled revolt from the party faithful across the country, as well as from some members of his cabinet. It is the first time that a sitting Prime Minister has been booed and jeered on walkabouts even in traditional hardcore PNM areas,” she said.
Flooding in Rio de Janeiro state kills scores Landslides and floods wreaked havoc in the area At least 95 people have died in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro after the most torrential rain for decades caused landslides and flooding. A state of emergency has been declared and officials have warned the death toll may rise as many more are missing. At least 33 people died in Rio de Janeiro city after 28cm (11in) of rain fell in 24 hours, while 33 were killed in the neighbouring city of Niteroi. Many houses in Rio’s hillside shanty towns were buried under mudslides. Rescue teams have been scouring the city’s hillsides to find missing people and recover bodies buried under the mud. With no let-up in the rain, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has urged residents to leave their homes if they are at risk of flooding. Otherwise, the authorities have told people to stay indoors and avoid travelling around the city. “The situation is chaos,” Mayor Eduardo da Costa Paes said in a statement on Tuesday.
“All the major streets of the city are closed because of the floods. “Each and every person who attempts to enter them will be at enormous risk,” he warned. Mr Paes said the preparedness for heavy rainfall in Brazil’s second-largest city - which will host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games - was “less than zero”. Public schools will remain closed until at least Friday. State governor Sergio Cabral meanwhile declared a state of emergency and urged people in high-risk areas to leave their homes. He told TV Globo that to stay inside would be “irresponsible” given the risk of new landslides. The victims of shanty town landslides in the city of Rio de Janeiro included a five-month-old baby and a nineyear-old child, officials said. Rio de Janeiro has experienced a particularly hot and rainy summer.Flooding left another 12 people dead in Sao Goncalo, and one in Petropolis. The continuous rainfall also forced Santos Dumont airport, which handles domestic flights, to close for two hours on Monday night, causing a number of delays. Many cars were left abandoned on
main roads throughout the city. The head of Rio de Janeiro’s civil defence department told TV Globo the amount of Landslides and floods wreaked rain that had fallen was ha voc in the area “more than any city is capable of supporting”. Paulo Marqueiro, a reporter for the houses there.” newspaper O Globo, told the BBC it was Another reader in Rio de Janeiro, Duncan like the city had “collapsed”. Crossley, said he had witnessed Rio de Houses had been brought crashing down by Janeiro “on the brink of collapse”. the floods and landslides, and there was no He said the power had been cut in his public transport whatsoever, he said. neighbourhood at about midday, and that the storm had brought down huge trees, which “It hasn’t stopped raining since then,” he along with the flooding were blocking major said. “This is the worst storm in decades.” traffic arteries. He added: “The city has been abandoned “The streets were thick with mud,” he wrote. by our government. The current situation is “The city reminded me of a war zone.” unacceptable, with so many people getting President Lula, who was visiting the city killed because of the rain. on Tuesday, blamed local officials for not “Everybody knows the danger of living in enforcing adequate building standards in the hills, and the government does nothing areas prone to landslides, particularly in to stop more and more people building shantytowns.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
BY RHENAE NUÑEZ
Barrow’s Budget 2010 May Be His Undoing There are discernible signs that the Barrow government is imploding. Following last week’s Senate debate of this year’s budget, the ﬁssures were even more evident and observers are saying that this may be the Barrow administration’s undoing. Prime Minister Barrow over estimated his political capital when he made his budget presentation on Monday March 15th, 2010. In fact, so grossly did he over-estimate that he did not see the backlash that was heading his way because of his budget that further punished the poor and came laced with higher taxes including a 2.5% increase in General Sales Tax (GST). That announcement alone has sent shockwaves throughout the nation. Unlike previous years when known friends of the UDP supported anything Barrow and UDP, this year those friends are pointing an accusatory ﬁnger at Prime Minister Barrow and his government. It had become the mantra of the UDP that the difﬁculty that Belize is facing now is because of corruption by the former government and the damning SUPER-BOND! The UDP would NOT entertain any sober discussion on the super-bond; it was very bad and those who constructed it had betrayed the Belizean people by visiting years of indebtedness on
generations to come. That propaganda was shot down by none other than Senator Godwin Hulse a known UDP activist. Hulse told Channel Seven’s Keith Swift last week that he did not agree with the government that the super-bond is to blame for the difﬁculties we are facing. Hulse said that the super-bond was “good” and that instead of hurting us, the super-bond helped us. Of course Hulse who never gives credit freely and grudgingly added that the problem was with “the bonds that made up the super-bond and why we had to borrow them and what they did with the money that created the problem.” The pronouncement by Hulse has sucked the air out of the Barrow administration’s sail and has exposed them to the unforgiving and unrelenting battering waves of political scrutiny. The UDP now has to take responsibility for the government they run. “People need to get that clear,” Hulse emphasized, as he cleared up the misinformation by the UDP’s propaganda machinery. According to Hulse, the super-bond was an amalgamation of ﬁfteen previous bonds, ranging from 2002 to 2006. He said that in 2006, the former PUP government faced serious debt servicing problems because of balloon payments, some of which were due
that same year. Former Prime Minister Said Musa, in his book, With Malice Toward None said on page 92, “In August 2006, I announced our intention to seek a comprehensive restructuring of the commercial debt. By the time I presented the government’s budget on March 2, 2007, the exercise was completed after extensive meetings were held with the creditors. Before the end of our term in government, we had succeeded in restructuring virtually 100% of some US$550 million debt. The creditors all agreed to exchange their existing instruments for a new US dollar bond with a-22year duration. Under the negotiated terms, no principal payment was due until August 2019. The interest rate on the new Bond started at a reasonable 4.25% and would go no higher than 8.5% in year 6.” In my view, the UDP has lucked out on the super-bond debate. Key to understanding how we ended up in this current situation is by revisiting this government’s ﬁrst ﬁve months in ofﬁce when the UDP celebrated for ﬁve months before they ﬁnally got around to constructing and presenting a budget. Much as the UDP and their sympathizers may want to convince us that the problem started further back, they have omitted those critical ﬁrst ﬁve months of the UDP’s administration. I will be ﬁrst to challenge Godwin Hulse by saying that the proceeds of those bonds are visible everywhere. I can also respond by asking if the UDP has built anything new since their advent in ofﬁce. Then I need ask what happened to that $217 million that was left in the government’s coffers over those critical ﬁve months. The UDP’s game of politics has blindfolded the people from important facts that have now come back to haunt people like Godwin Hulse and Prime Minister Barrow. Barrow diverted
attention from his and his government’s ineptitude by constantly accusing the former PUP of corruption. Even with Godwin Hulse’s admission he somehow gives Barrow and the UDP an out by casting doubt on what was done with the proceeds of those “15 bonds”. You cannot have your cake and eat it my friend. You cannot commend the super-bond and then imply that the money was spirited away. By your admission and bold declaration, I hope that we are turning a new page in our politics when we will quiet the wingnuts. They serve no constructive purpose in this exercise. Wingnuts with their Chicken Little mentality rioted in the streets and almost succeeded in toppling a duly elected government in 2005. The result of that is this UDP government. Under this UDP government we have seen a dramatic slow down in our economy. This ﬁrst started in the Ministry of Natural Resources which was closed for months as the government conducted a witch hunt disguised as an audit of the department. The chokehold on the construction industry started a domino effect which was felt throughout the industry and its ancillary services no new mortgages were being signed, no new loans were being processed, no land was changing hands except those that were taken away from their deserving owners in the “quitar” agenda. At this point Prime Minister Barrow is faced with a series of harsh realities and he has to reconcile his party’s propaganda with the confronting realities. A dejected looking Prime Minister Barrow conceded at a police press conference held at Raccoon Street last week that he may have to revisit his budget in order to give back to the Police Department what was taken from them in this year’s budget.
Continued on page 18
QUARRELING ABOUT WORDS … By: Glenn Tillett The 2010 Village Council Elections The prevailing cynicism by the nominally and committed independent members of the electorate is making gauging their assessment of the chances of the political parties a dicey proposition. Certainly much has changed since the 2008 General Elections and in the time between that and the 2009 Municipal Elections. If there was a trend it was that the UDP lost some support, the PUP did not lose any support and the VIP gained some ground in their home base of Belmopan. The 2010 Village Council Elections are a national election and therefore the nearest thing to a nation-wide poll until the 2012 Municipal Elections and the 2013 General Elections. Village Council Elections are difﬁcult to accurately assess since so many of them are not partisan campaigns and both parties try to choose carefully when and where they contest and show
their colors, and when and where they hide behind independents and declared non-partisan. The upcoming Village Council Elections which start this weekend is certainly going to be interesting and its result will probably be the most perplexing ever. Unlike the last one, the partisan campaigning on both sides has been relatively muted. While there is a distinct sense of the UDP’s popularity slippage there has not been, at least so far to my observation, a concurrent increase in the PUP’s ratings, and I have yet to see any evidence that there is such a thing as a VIP slate anywhere. In fact I was told that the VIP had adopted a hands-off posture, but I am unsure if this is indeed the case. Overall, though, while the PUP may not “win” the Village Council Elections, I think there is a chance the UDP could lose these elections where
they are contested. There is no great passion out there in the villages for either party, but there is growing approbation for the UDP and their high-handed area representatives. The ﬁrst, and so far only, campaign ad I have seen is one by UDP Stann Creek West area representative Melvin Hulse which seems to praise him more than anything else. He obviously thinks that the election is a referendum on him and he must be feeling a bit bothered to have bothered to have gone to such expensive lengths. Come to think of it I have never seen a village council elections television campaign ad before. The ad itself is no novel approach in terms of its content even if its development and deployment for that purpose may be a ﬁrst. It is atypical, almost too atypical in tone and substance of most general elections campaign ads. It extols Hulse’s purported good works and
alleges that the former administration was neglectful. It stopped just short of mentioning Hulse’s former opponent by name and when I think about it, I must recognize that that must have taken a great deal of restraint. It will be interesting to see how Hulse’s urban politicking strategy works in these areas. I have no idea how such a “national” strategy will play out but you can be sure I will follow this “campaign” a little more closely and will ponder more widely on what, if anything it portends. You can be sure UDP television spinmeister Delroy Cuthkelvin collected another big fat check. It also leads me to believe that Flippin’s bank account must be bulging. Wonder if the residents of these villages are as politically astute as their urban counterparts and will start lining up to collect theirs?
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
BY: MARSHALL NUNEZ
Combating or Submitting to Crime Part 2
As we prepare to go to press, this Tuesday April 6, 2010 I am uncertain of what major news may have broken over the Easter weekend. Sincerely I want to wish everyone well who had a safe and blessed Easter Vacation, I trust that whatever you did was done with the greatest of caution and precautions, was done in a family oriented atmosphere, and an ultimately you had the greatest time on your break. Last week I promised that I would pick up the story of crime and the question of whether we are committed to combat crimes or whether we will submit to crime, without sounding as if I am repeating myself I need to once again reﬂect on the article I did last week and particularly the reference that I made to the presentation in the national assembly by lake I area representative Hon. Cordell Hyde. I tried my best to list in a chronological order, the number of crime that were committed after that presentation. But since then what has transpired is maybe the most mind-
bubbling thing that would ever happen and perhaps the most disgraceful thing that our police department has ever looked. Just as folks were making preparation to leave their homes for the extended weekend travel to whatever destination they would have gone to enjoy their Easter and investing the greatest of conﬁdence in the police department, the police commissioner and top members of the police department along with the prime minister held a startling press conference last week at the raccoon street police station. Before we try to interpret and or paraphrase the substance of the press conference I think we need to imagine the possibility that, that press conference could have created a cross destination. Major entertainment promotion were to be held at major entertainment centers across the country. The security of these events were dependent almost exclusively on the effectiveness, efﬁciency and respect of the Belize Police Department. The country
was at hostage to the crime situation especially the Belize City area, then we were slat with the indignity of police casting blame of corruption within their ranks, identifying rogue members of their own department but most startling of all incrementing members of the law enforcement department as master minds and perpetuators in some of the most heinous crimes committed in this country, among that being the robbery of 300,000 dollars and killing of the security guard the Scotia Bank, Spanish Lookout Branch, the purported involvement of cops in the robbery of over 400, 000 dollars from the Social Security board, and suggesting cop involvement in the plot and robbery of Courts. In my opinion this or these events sighted at this press conference can do a unrepeatable damage to the already shaky conﬁdence that residence have for the police. Without having to go in details as to what the police unearthed at that press conference. Several weeks prior to that citizens and family members have been accusing the police of being involved in at least ﬁve killing, the latest being the incident where a cop killed a cop in San Pedro, obviously this is not good for this country and is far worse for the ministry of National Security whose budget was cut signiﬁcantly just a week before. We were asked to imagine the possibilities but we certainly did not believe that the possibility that we were asked to imagine would have been a complete breakdown in law enforcement breaching our sense of security as a people. Remember those times when or military/solders were chased and harassed by Guatemalan military on the border, do you remember when Mexican militia was stopped at the check point with guns
and were escorted by law enforcement back across the border, these things only refresh the level of insecurity that as Belizeans we’ll have to face. But before we become alarm is all of this, a strategy, to create a smoke screen or to distract us momentarily from the real over-arching problem of the inability to combat the crime situation. Remember that all along these crimes were either gang relating, drugs relating, or settling old beef and most recently these robbers try to amass weapons and money to continue to sufﬁce their criminal life style. Now this revelation that cops are in fact the master mind in these crimes eliminate all the previous speculations and all of a sudden it appears as it though all the previous crimes were solved in one plot, that in my mind is a false sense of security or is this now a strategy to promote some major players in the Belize Police Department, just some innocent questions. So you remember a few years ago when there was a similar allegation against a senior police ofﬁcer just around the Easter vacation and that ofﬁcer was reprimanded, interdicted, frustrated but was later reinstated because the allegations turn out to be false all of these thoughts and the theories of conspiracy are created by a vacuum of lack of prudency, transparency and trust for the police department. This is a terrible state of affairs and for my part it might be a little too premature to say anything but I’ll have to wait and see and then I will be able to pass my comment and if possibly make some recommendation, the purpose of this article is not to create distrust or to alarm anybody but I think we have to look at it very seriously because it is our national security that is under question. For now this is my impartial view.
Over cash found Stashed in SUV
Police this week levied charges of ‘Money Laundering’ on Scott Stringer, a 30 year old Belizean American, Sydney Ellis, 37 years who
was driving the vehicle at the time and 23 year old Julia Salazar McCord after conducting a search on a vehicle in which they
were travelling and ﬁnding over $US60,000 dollars. The report adds that the three named adults were travelling last Saturday in a late model Ford Expedition along with two children ages three and ﬁve years old on the Northern Highway towards Belize City when they came to a ‘Police Check Point’ that was set up at the time in Sandhill Village near the junction of where the ‘Old Northern highway meets the new main artery. Police say that upon questioning the trio found out that they had previously entered Belize via the Northern Border Station from Mexico hours before and upon checking their passport documents, it conﬁrmed that
allegation. After conducting a routine search on the vehicle they discovered two aluminium containers under the rubber mats in which the discovered a total of $60,815 dollars in United States currency. The three were transported to Belize City where they were arrested and were ofﬁcially charged on Sunday by the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Belize Central Bank with ‘Money Laundering with a substitute charge of Failure to declare funds’. The three were arraigned in court on Tuesday and bail was set at twenty thousand dollars each. But their Defence Attorney Dickie Bradley said that with the high rise in crime, genuine business people are afraid to declare their money to the authorities. He added that the system needs to review that matter to see how people can conﬁdentiality inform the authorities without putting their lives at risk.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
JUDGES’ DISCRETION TO IMPOSE FINES AFFECTED by the new Supreme Court of Judicature Act
Senior Attorney Lisa Shoman
Last week Tuesday the Senate passed a bill amending the Supreme Court Judicature Act which deals primarily with ‘Contempt of Court’ and within a few days it is expected to be signed into law by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young. This amendment which was introduced without prior notice and manoeuvred through all its stages without input by the Opposition or prior consultations with the stake holders is now raising eyebrows. Legal minds
JEFFRIES: WE WILL SHOOT TO KILL Continued from page 5 On February 17, 2006 Channel 7 reported that Young had “… ﬂed Belize in 2002 but tonight notorious street ﬁgure Arthur Young is in jail for murder. Young was this evening arraigned in Magistrate’s Court for the August 2nd 2002 murder of Jose Chavarria on East Canal. Since that time, Young was apprehended by U.S. authorities in New York, deported to Belize, remanded for a short time, then release, and went into hiding. But now police say they have the evidence to charge him for the 2002 murder.” Young was freed of the charge on October 3, 2006 when the DPP’s ofﬁce entered a nolle prosequi in his murder trial. No reason was given why the DPP withdrew charges. Since his release on that charge, Young was arrested three times and charged with keeping unlicensed ﬁrearms, including a stolen 9 mm pistol. There is no report as to the status of those charges. On November 6, 2007, Errol Haynes was arraigned for the Friday, November 2, 2007 murder of Kelvin “Kelo” Young who was stabbed to death, as many as 20 times, in his home on the third ﬂoor of a building in Belama owned by his father James Young. Police also sought Arthur Young in connection with the murder but soon learned that he had again ﬂed Belize to the United States. Almost two year later, on June 3, 2009 Young was again deported back to Belize to face murder charges and again on January 20th of this year the charges against him were dismissed after the prosecution was forced to to throw in the towel. They entered a nolle pros submission indicating that the prosecution could not proceedbecause star witness Floyd Hyde told the court that he had developed amnesia and could not remember what had happened on that night. Young has been in hiding from police since February of this year when police claiming to have tied a discarded Ruger 9 mm pistol
to him, arrested him and charged for ﬁrearm possession and other offences. There is no indication if he was freed of the charges or again managed to obtain bail on a ﬁrearm offence but in a phone call broadcast on Channel 7 Tuesday night Young had this to say: “Police they do not know my whereabouts, they don’t know where I live. They worry and they try to put out all kind of negative things about me to the media, to the police force, and tell them all kinds of things. The way I see it right now, if I meet up to the police, if they meet me in a spot I think they are going to try to kill me. That is the word they are putting out. The police force is trying to kill me for ever so long. For what, I don’t know. This morning I sent the Commissioner of Police Mr. Jeffries and he didn’t answer me. I called and he didn’t answer me and I’ve been doing this from several weeks ago to try and meet with somebody in high places.” Young may have been feeling the pressure because last week Thursday Commissioner of Police Crispin Jefferies was clear that there has been a change of attitude and a new policy for how the police intend to deal with those it consider notorious and dangerous criminals. He said at a press conference: “The criminal element is very brazen, very aggressive and we will have none of that without us having similar and proportionate response and the proportionality will be that if we are confronted we will have to speak to people in the court system because they will be shot and killed when they are caught. There is no doubt in my mind that if they can operate this way with impunity we will have to respond in a similar manner. There is no telling when it will happen but I can tell you that our ofﬁcers are being taught and told to act professionally but take decisive action.”
are saying that the amendment is unnecessary since there were already protocols in place that deals with cases of ‘contempt of court’ considering that there are far more pressing issues of national importance. Senator Lisa Shoman says the act takes away the judges’ ability to use their discretion when deciding on penalties. According to Shoman, the act widens the extent of the offence, brings harsher repercussions and extends to jurisdictions other than Belize. She gave more details on the act and why she and other senators do not support it. Senior Attorney Lisa Shoman who is also a PUP Senator told the media in an interview this week that this new legislation is set out to strengthen the offence of contempt of Court. She explained that ‘Contempt of Court’ is a very speciﬁc offence which has to do with an act or an omission which ﬂies in the face of the court, which is a deliberate act and designed not to hold up the court to the high standard that it is supposed to have. She said it is an act or omission which ﬂaunts an order of the court, which disobeys an order of the court,
which does something the Court, says you’re not supposed to do or doesn’t do something the court says you’re supposed to do, adding that it is an act or omission which deliberately holds up the court to some kind of ridicule, embarrassment or disrespect. Shoman said that the legal profession does not see at this point in time why there was need for such a piece of legislation; one. Saying that if there was such a need then it needed to be demonstrated and then it needed to be consulted with the stakeholders, with the judiciary, with the Bar Association. Senator Shoman stated “it needed to be made known to all so that people can understand what it is that the law was seeking to do. No one disputes that the House of Representatives and the Senate, what is called parliament has the right to make laws—that is in the constitution; they have the right to make laws—but those laws are supposed to be for the peace, good order and good governance of Belize. If you cannot demonstrate to me why a law is needed for the good order and good governance of Belize, why are we passing a law?”
Mavado, a No Show, U.S. Cancels US VISA
Concert was Cancelled
It was the most anticipated dancehall concert scheduled for the Easter week-end Holy Saturday night with “Mavado live in Placencia” but it had to cancel. According to the promoter, DJ Ritchie, DJ Ritchie on Wednesday the United States through Mavado its Embassy in Jamaica announced circulated that they were cancelling Mavado’s that he was wanted for interrogation US Visa – along with the visas of other and he would not be allowed to leave Billboard name Jamaican artists such as Jamaica. In a nut shell that was the reason Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, and Jah Cure. given for the no show although he is A search of the internet reports conﬁrm the rescheduling the event for a future date. cancellations of Visas which we take to The United States is in Dispute over a mean Mavado and the other artists could wanted man in the US that Jamaican not travel to or through the United States. Authorities are refusing to hand over and Promoter DJ Ritchie Galvez claims that as a result. They are putting the pressure Mavado and the other artists were also on other Jamaican artist to ﬂy into the barred from leaving Jamaica. Because of US or in transit. DJ Ritchie advises the Easter rush they could neither secure everyone who bought a Mavado ticket to ﬂight accommodations to Belize through get a refund at the ticket agent where you CanCun, Cuba nor Panama. Ritchie said bought it. If you have problems getting that by Thursday they had made private your refund for tickets purchased for arrangements to ﬂy from Jamaica directly the concert– you can contact DJ Ritchie to Belize but by this time a memo was directly at 620-6890.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
April Fool’s Day Press Conference
BARROW & EVAN X HYDE, THE BLOODY USERS CONTRIBUTED BY GORDON SMITH Belize’s slick Prime Minister, Dean Barrow known as the Master of deceptive politics in Belize has teamed up with two of his self professed senior law enforcement advisors, Broaster (a washed-up police actor and wannabe poet), Blackett ( an actor in training) and guest con-artist, Police Chief, Crispin Jefferies. The political dunce attempted to hoodwink the Belizean people with his April Fools press conference regarding the lack of public safety and security. He used all that hog-wash about a special police sting operation in which they claimed to have uncovered the ‘cartel enforcers’ within the Belize Police Department. Just imagine, a corrupt ring of rogue cops that actually controls the entire operational machinery within the police is openly involved in master-minding several high-tech robberies and rampant murders across the Belizean landscape. Belizeans would have fallen for the Prime Minister’s April Fools Day press conference had it not been for the involvement and reputation of a senior officer. Belizeans now believe that the Police Department is led by a rogue topcop; is controlled by a criminal gang involved in executing young Belizeans. The problem at this juncture is not only about the incompetence of the Prime Minister, his Minister of National Security and his lame set of law-enforcement actors. The senior top cops of the police are now split and the hard working Assistant Commissioners have no confidence or trust in Crispin Jefferies as Commissioner. Knowing all this, the Police Department has been reduced to a corrupt ring operating from within and you have a Commissioner in the person of Crispin Jefferies, always creating diversions with the press, thus, misleading the people. The situation is so critical that it begs for the intervention of the Queen’s Loyal Opposition, the People’s United Party‘s House members. They are being paid by Belizean taxpayers to defend our democracy and expose the increasing deficiencies of this UDP Government and the burden they have brought to bear on the Belizean people. While the PM and his top cop advisors continue with their clever games of deception, this latest saga called a press conference was to disengage the minds of Belizeans as they headed into the Easter holidays. Keep in mind that the
new and dreaded GST tax increase was imposed that very same day, 1st April 2010 “All Fools Day”. The question is: “Where is the Opposition?” Why is it that they appeared not to have the ability to press the hard questions? Why were they not at this press conference? Why wasn’t the Leader of the Opposition available to the press to give his Party’s views regarding the PM and his gang along with a response to Commissioner Jefferies’ public statement that the police will shoot to kill any suspected gang members in fire exchange? Belizeans now feel that they are living in a police state headed by Jefferies, Dean Barrow and the police gang! Are we living in a democratic
resurfaced with an excellent article last week, and Rhenae Nunez, a woman that holds no boundaries in her straight up articles; and of course the rank and file grass-root PUPs. The report card for this PUP leadership is an “F”, yes FAILED, and we know what happen to failures so please don’t waste more of our time, just call it NOW! Don’t even think about an endorsement convention; we have enough leadership material to bring about a renewed inspirational leadership that will finally bring the Party together. Last week I unintentionally misinformed my readers when I stated that Hon. Mark Espat was a graduate of Viterbo College in Wisconsin, USA.
by Father X whenever he responds to what he calls ‘attacks’ from the Perspective. You see, this fellow is now old and very paranoid and trusts no one. My essay is not necessary for business Mr. X; it is aimed to expose you Father X. Last week, Father X, a student of the Landivar Catholic Jesuits, went after the Roman Catholic Church and the PUP as usual. At a time when there are many political genocides and apathy being committed by Dean Barrow and his UDP Government on single mothers, the poor and overburdened, the Civil Servants and teachers that are considered PUP, the outright corruption within the Police Department and among Government Ministers, Father X continue to find time to attack Lord Ashcroft, Said Musa, Ralph Fonseca and the PUP and the Roman Catholic Church! This publication keeps running an ad saying how BOGUS Evan X Hyde and Kremanadala is when they pretend to care about Black Southside Belizeans. How they are willing to ignore Barrow and UDP’s corrupt practices and how they deceived Belizeans into thinking (His)tory is Belize’s History. Evan X Hyde IS A BLOODY USER!!! How true are the words of the National Perspective’s paid ad? Evan X uses the pages of the ‘poor man’s newspaper’ to attack the Catholic Church about the ongoing alleged sexual molestation by priests in the Catholic Church and some idiotic dream of his cousin Georgia Belisle being victimized by who supposed to be his good friend Dicky Bradley at the then Belize Technical College. Evan X is a sick, sick individual! I would not be surprised if one day Father X would allege, in the pages of the Amandala, that he is a victim of some sexual molestation in his early days at some Catholic institution by a bad priest or nun. I wouldn’t be surprised. And while I can understand X’s hate for the PUP, I cannot understand why he so hates the Roman Catholic Church. On Tuesday, March 30, 2010, Henry Gordon, a rabid UDP supporter and a former panelist on the now defunct Tuesday evening Kremandala Show; a sorry state of a black man ‘searching for truth’ in the pages of the Amandala and who represents the Council of Churches in the Senate, voted along with the UDP Senators for Barrow’s Budget to bring more burdensome Continued on page 18
Evan X is a sick, sick individual! I would not be surprised if one day Father X would allege, in the pages of the Amandala, that he is a victim of some sexual molestation in his early days at some Catholic institution by a bad priest or nun. I wouldn’t be surprised. And while I can understand X’s hate for the PUP, I cannot understand why he so hates the Roman Catholic Church. state in Belize where there is supposed to be law and order and where citizens are innocent until proven guilty Hon. John Briceño? This UDP Government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the PUP Opposition lead by Johnny Briceño both has something in common. Both have failed the Belizean people during their last two years in office. Barrow asked the Belizean people to “Imagine the Possibilities” and promised many other things including “Bringing down the cost of living, no matter what”; while Briceño, as Opposition Leader, promised “Real Unity… Real Change!” Belizeans today are worst off with the high cost of living; the worst ever experienced under any Government. The Opposition is unable to inspire its followers to unite and lacks any serious strategy on how to bring about victory at the polls in the coming elections. The charge from the mass voices of the PUP is demanding that the National Convention be called. This is being echoed by Jeremy Robinson, who have
I was informed by a young friend of mine and a graduate of Viterbo, that Hon. Mark was a graduate of St John’s College Sixth Form, who enrolled at Viterbo College, a Catholic Jesuit institution, but became ill early in his first year, and had to discontinue and returned to Belize. My essay, however, this week is about..... you guessed it, Evan X Hyde, Hon. Mark Espat’s father-in-law for the last six years (since April ‘04). Father X as he is known behind the Zinc Fence is the owner and publisher of the country’s most expensive newspaper, the Amandala. I intentionally used the word expensive because Father X likes to beat his chest and boast that the Amandala is the poor man’s (people’s) newspaper. Before I start to get down on Father X, please let me state again and assure my readers that my articles is a contribution to the National Perspective and I am not on the payroll of Said Musa, Ralph Fonseca or Lord Michael Ashcroft or whoever X might think own the National Perspective newspaper. This is an allegation made
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
FC Belize rules Caribbean Motors Cup football - bombs Hankook Verdes 3-0 San Ignacio, April 3, 2010 FC Belize is still No. 1 in the 2010
Caribbean M o t o r s Cup football tournament leading the
Orlando Jimenez Belize Premier Football League standings with 22 pts from 7 wins and 1 draw after bombing Hankook Verdes 3-0 at the Norman Broaster Stadium on Saturday night. The winning goal came from a strike by Jerome Archer in the 18th minute of play, and Jerome “Jaro” James scored a 2nd goal in the 31st minute to lead 2-zip at the half time break. James embarrassed the Verdes’ goalie with a 3rd goal in the 80th minute for the 3-0 win. The Belize Defence Force are still No.2 in the BPFL rankings with 22 pts after they blasted the San Pedro Sea Dogs out of the water 2-zip at the Ambergris Stadium on Sunday. Gilroy Swazo scored the winning goal in the 38th minute to led 1-zip at the half, and Clifton West sealed the 2-0 win with a 2nd goal in the 67th minute. The Paradise/Freedom Fighters delighted their home town fans with their 3rd win, 1-0 over BRC Blaze at the Toledo Union Field on Saturday
night. Wilmer scored ﬁrst for Freedom Garcia scored the the winning goal Fighters in the in the 32nd 39th minute, but minute to Orlando “Lichy” l;ead 1-zip at Jimenez delivered the half, and the equalizer in the the Freedom 46th minute, and F i g h t e r s scored the winning locked up goal in the 81st shop to keep minute. the visitors off Hankook Verdes is the scoreboard and ranked No. 4 after secure the win, which posting their 5th kept them at 6th in the win 2-0 over BRC Blaze at the Norman rankings. Georgetown Ibayani is No.5 in Broaster Stadium on night. the rankings when Shanaiah Wednesday Corozal gave them the The BRC squad were seeking go-head to their 4th win desperately when they forfeited their scheduled match ast the Michael Ashcroft Stadium on Saturday night. Shanaiah Corozal did no better at the Ricalde Stadium last Wednesday night, when FC Belize had posted their 6th win: 3-1 victory over Shanaiah. Brian Martinez scored the winning goal for F.C. Belize in the 1st minute Olvin Serano of play, and Delroy Andrews added a 2nd goal in the 20th minute of play to lead 2-zip at the half time break. Hernan Mossiah scored Corozal’s only consolation goal in the 67th minute, before Jerome Archer made doubly sure of the win with a 3rd goal for FC Belize in the 82nd their ﬁrst win and while they failed to impress the scoreboard, their defense minute. The BDF recovered from a 1-0 shut out the Verdes’ attacks to keep it deﬁcit to upset the Paradise/Freedom a nil-zip ball game up to the half time Fighters 2-1 at the M.C.C. garden break. Edon “Yellowman” Rowley on Wednesday night. Ralph Flores drew ﬁrst blood for Verdes in the 60th
Jerome James minute, and Julian Maldonado iced the win with a 2nd goal in the 85th minute. The San Pedro Sea Dogs rank No.5 with 13 pts after posting their 4th win: 3-0 when they visited Georgetown Ibayani at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium on Wednesday. Tonbra Akpobodor scored the winning goal in the 21st minute of play and Jacinto Pinelo scored a 2nd goal in the 27th minute for a 2-zip lead at the half time break. Honduran import Olvin Serano iced the win with a 3rd goal in the 65th minute. The competition continues with the BDF hosting Georgetown Ibayani at the M.C.C. garden on Sunday, while BRC Blaze will host Shanaiah Corozal at the FFB ﬁeld in Belmopan, Hankook Verdes visit the San Pedro Sea Dogs at the Ambergris Stadium and the Paradise/Freedom Fighters host F.C. Belize at Toledo Union Field.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
Miguel Perez wins 2010 Holy Saturday
Cross Country Cycling Classic was Team Z a m i r ’s Ve n e z u e l a n i m p o r t Wilmen Bravo Isaga who
Belize City, April 3, 2010 Belizean cycling enthusiasts groaned as Team Sugar City Starz’ Guatemalan import Miguel Perez won the 2010 annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, and resigned themselves to wait another year for a Belizean to win the coveted garland of roses in this most revered ofBelizean athletic events. Perez set no new record, but he still had the fastest time, clocking 6:09:22 on his 142 mile ride from the starting line in front of Leslie’s Imports on the Western Highway to the Constitution Park in San Ignacio and back to the ﬁnish near the Memorial Park in Belize City. For his efforts, Perez claimed the $5,000 1st prize, the champ’s trophy offered by the Belize Tourism Board, the winner’s garland of roses from Florasol, a trophy offered by the O’brien family in honor of 4xCross Country champ Jeffery Obrien, the Altreith Smith Memorial trophy offered by the Smith family, a trophy offered in memory of Ludrick “Bunio” Smith and a course at Galen University valued at $750. As Belizeans asked themselves why a Belizean could not have won the race, we must recognize that the Cross Country is a grueling test of strength, determination, patience and endurance, it is not for the faint of heart and victory does not always go to the swift of foot. It is not the horse who takes the lead, for blood will tell: of the 95 riders who started, only 46 ﬁnished. The Cross Country is also a contest of strategy, and Perez was the concumate strategist, humbly sitting back in the middle of the pack, conserving his energy while other eager, younger hearts rode off to win the early station prizes. Even on the return leg, when he had bridged the
Chetumal Quintana Roo, is a familiar name in Belizean cycling circles as he had ridden in several Orange Walk Criterium’s, and he made several attacks to win 7 station prizes on the outbound leg, and he still had the legs to ﬁnish 7th, two minutes behind Perez to win a $400 prize and a trophy. Perez’s teammate and countryman Luis Santizo rode in 12 seconds later to win the $300 8th prize and a trophy offered by Steve Benedict Auto Sales Inc. Delong’s teammate, the 2004 and 2005 Cross Country champ Chris Harkey, won the $200 9th prize from Heusner’s gap from the main Professional peloton to the lead Dentistry, and breakaway, Perez ga Isa vo he was followed Bra Wilmen made no bid for the by 3 other riders lead, content to sit from the 2nd behind the leaders, breakaway that and let them do the included Team Zamir’s work of breaking rode across other Venezuelan import the wind, while he the ﬁnish line Gil Cordoves who roumded out the top drafted along in their 43 seconds 10 to claim the $150 10th prize from slipstream. behind the Heusner’s Dentistry. When Team Santino’s leader to win Team Santino’s Mexican import Carlos Mexican import the $3,000 2nd Manuel Hernandez won $100.00 11th Hector Hugo Rangel prize, a trophy prize from B.N.E. and American made his breakaway offered by Anthony Taylor claimed the $100.00 from the lead group at Channel 5, the 12th prize and a trophy from Quality St Matthew’s village, Altreith Smith Poultry Products. in a bid to help his M e m o r i a l Team Benny’s Megabytes’ Byron Pope Belizean teammate plaque from ﬁnished 13th to win a $100 prize and Greg Lovell win the John Delong the Smith trophy from the Weekend Warriors garland, Perez made family and Cycling Club; Bravo’s and Castillo’s sure to tag along, a course teammate Quinton “the Baddest” again tucking himself at Galen Hamilton took the $100.00 14th in behind the wheel University valued at $750. prize and a trophy from the Weekend of Team Subaru’s John Delong of The Belizean favourite, Team Zamir’s Warriors Cycling Club, and Lovell’s the USA to conserve his strength, but Marlon Castillo, also caught and passed teammate Leroy Casasola edged out remain in contention. Lovell, but Castillo chose not to help 2006 Cross Country champ Shane Perez watched humbly as Rangel won John Delong catch Bravo, so when Vasquez in the sprint for the 15th place. 17 station prizes over the next 32 miles, John Delong rode across the ﬁnish Of the 19 foreign riders who began the like a beggar waiting at the banquet for line a minute and 33 seconds behind race with 76 Belizeans, 10 ﬁnished in some crumbs to fall his way. It was Perez, Castillo was hard on his wheel the top 12, and 12 in the top 20. not until he was certain that he had to take 4th. Delong took home the Orange Walk’s son Eduardo Reyes had exhausted his rivals’ energy that Perez $2,000 3rd prize and a trophy offered made a name for himself as a junior made his move at mile 8, and when he by Esso Standard Oil and Barrow and rider for the Smart Speednet team, but attacked none of the other 3 riders in Company and one course at Galen now riding his ﬁrst Cross Country for the lead group, not Rangel, nor Delong University valued at $750. Castillo Team Santino’s, he won several station nor Lovell, could keep up as Perez tore claimed the $1,000 4th prize and a prizes on the outbound leg, and was off down the road, sweeping 13 station trophy offered by the Development ﬁrst across the Hawkesworth bridge at prizes worth over $3,200 as he rode on Finance Corporation. the halfway point to win some $875 in his solo ﬂight to the ﬁnish line. Greg Lovell of rode in solo 4 seconds prizes, and he remained in contention As he passed the Gwen Liz taxi stand, later to win the $800 5th prize and a on the return leg taking more prizes up some unsportsmanlike hooligan threw trophy offered by the Belize Social to the Roaring Creek police Station, a bottle on to the pavement in a vain Security Board, while Rangel took the but by this time his energy was spent hope that it might cause a puncture in $600 prize for 6th place and a trophy and he ﬁnished in 42nd position, just Perez’s tires, but it was not to be. from Belize Roadway Construction. ahead of Masters’ riders Luigi Urbina Others from the second breakaway Donizetti Aburto Vasquez of the and Kenneth Butler who brought up caught up to the other leaders, and it Mexican Depredadores team from the rear.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
By: Dulce Silva
How to Get Really Shiny Hair
Darryl Amir to Dario Amir and Marina Isabel Canul nee Lopez Naziel Ezekiel to Ezekiel Roquel and Stepahine Varelli Ellis nee Coh Orin Devoy Devaughn to Erwin Ernesto and Noevia Nicole Wade nee Arzu Jessica Ciscely to Julian Audwin and Jacqueline Amanda Murrillo nee Evans Brandon Jonathan to Orrin and Zenita Rosalba Jones nee Cabb Tayvaughn Isaac to Emmanuel Alexander and Nicole Andrea Matthews nee Budd Jaevin John to Juan pastor and Jessica Nayely Garcia nee Salas
Louis Leavin Moses of Belize City to Gilberta Bernardina Ellington of Mahogany Heights, Belize District Ashward Llewellyn Gillett of Bermudian Landing, Belize District to Faye Emelia Thompson of St. Paul’s Bank, Belize District Modesto Antonio Sanchez to Solia Veliz, both of Big Falls, Toledo District Sanja Gordon Pitts to Diana Marion Crawford both of Belize City Wilton Lewis to Phyllis Dawson, both of San Ignacio Town, Cayo District Esbin Dannis to Ana Garcia both of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District Yasser Vasquez to Reina Estrada both of San Ignacio Town, Cayo District Amin Jesus Castillo of Benque Viejo, Cayo District to Lidia Dorita Mai of San Antonio, Cayo District Said Henry Navarro to Sandra Leticia Larios both of San Antonio, Cayo District Jesus Rafael Canto to Lorraine Lolita Canto both of San Antonio, Cayo District Augusto Waldemar Witzil to Hady Patricia Garcia both of San Ignacio Town, Cayo District Ramiro de la Rosa to Merli Ramos both of Spanish Lookout, Cayo District Santos Raymundo de la Cruz to Elda Josephine Arana both of Armenia, Cayo District Anibal Humberto Requena to Olga Marisol Guerra Pinto both of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District Pedro Julio Vilegas to Edith Elizabeth Guerra both of Benque Viejo Town, Cayo District Alejo Rivera to Audeli Sheridan Tun both of Santa Familia, Cayo District Rosendo Jaime Anderson to Trecia Elicia Reynolds both of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District Michael Anthony Mena to Selene Suzanne Lizarraga both of Belize City Juan Rolando Hernandez to Nidia Loydi Guevara Aleman both of Belmopan, Cayo District Juan Carlos Ruano to Maria Angelica Catalan both of Duck Run, Cayo District Edbin Ernesto Caballero to Francisca Beatriz Alas Marti both of Placencia, Stann Creek Districy Angel Mazac to Sandra Jimenes both of San Ignacio Town, Cayo District Anthony Manolo Pop of San Pedro Columbia, Toledo to Berthe Elda Tush of Aguacate, Toledo Marvin William Novelo of Xaibe, Corozal District to Solmaria Rasaura Chub of Ranchito, Corozal District Rumaldo Pop to Sandra Velizo both of San Ignacio Town, Cayo District Alvaro de Jesus Kotch to Maritza Minely Ayala both of Benque Viejo Town, Cayo District Luis Alberto Penados Jr. of San Jose Succotz, Cayo District to Carmelita Castellanos of Benque Viejo Town, Cayo District Jianqiang Lei to Xiu Ming Yu both of San Ignacio Town, Cayo District Eric Christopher Holtzman to Tracy Lee Piraimo both of Pensacola, Florida, USA Peter Kendall Woodward to Darlene Marie Dykas both of Wakefield, Massachusetts, USA Lindsay Jones to Leila Aldana both of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District Sheddon Fitzroy Martinez of Belize City to Britteny Tracy Humes of Rockstone Pond, Belize District Oscar Luis Aldana to Karla Carola Nisbet both of Trial Farm, Orange Walk District Daniel Enrique Raymundo Garcia to Mirna Rocio Chan of Trial farm, Orange Walk District
Gleaming hair is a sign of youth and vitality, so I cringe when I see a woman with lackluster hair—it ages her. Pollution, harsh chemicals, and heat styling can all turn hair dull, but a few extra steps will ensure your head shines. • Start in the shower. Look for shineenhancing shampoo and conditioner with ingredients like olive oil, jojoba, and rice proteins. Alternate these with your regular formulas to prevent buildup. Be wary of clarifying shampoos; they can deprive hair of much-needed moisture and even strip the dye off color-treated hair. After you shampoo, apply a conditioner evenly through the ends and rinse thoroughly. If your hair is color-treated, use a hair mask weekly to replenish moisture. • Prep work. After towel-drying, apply either a glossing cream or shine serum with high levels of panthenol (provitamin B5). Glossing creams are
lighter and have less silicone, so they’re more appropriate for women with ﬁne to medium hair. Use a shine serum if you have frizzy or coarse hair or unruly curls. (Avoid saltwater sprays; they tend to leave a matte ﬁnish.) Massage a quarter-size dollop of the product evenly through your hair. • Dry the right way. Place a round, natural-bristle brush under a threeinch section of hair. Start at the roots, and hold the dryer so the nozzle aims downward—never up against the shaft. Slide the brush down without twisting it, to seal the cuticle. • Add a spritz. While your hair is still warm from the dryer, ﬂip it upside down and mist the ends with a shine spray. This ensures you won’t get too much product near the roots. If you need a touch-up during the day, spritz some shine spray on your hands and run them lightly through your hair. Again, you don’t want to overdo it.
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Two Shop Spaces (Ground Floor) centrally located in Belmopan Through access Street in front of Belmopan Terminal entrance located directly behind Angelus Press Building For Serious Inquiries Call Cel: 666-2290
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
The RIGHT to CHOOSE, – Our INALIENABLE RIGHT! Contributed by: Jeremy Robinson All indications are that Johnny Briceño and his “senior advisers’’ in his Executive are thumbing their noses at this author’s call and the call of fellow comrades Gordon “Mr. Straight Shooter’’ Smith and Rhenae “Spot Check’’ Nunez for the National Convention to be called as prescribed by the PUP Constitution. While Johnny & Co. may want everyone to believe that this call is being beckoned by Smith, Nunez and Yours Truly only, they ought to be advised that our call is one shared by thousands of PUPs across all 31 constituencies. While those other PUPs have chosen to sound the call among themselves, Smith, Nunez and Yours Truly have done so publicly. While our call continues to be ignored, there is some indication that Johnny & Co. are considering a Convention of sorts only that it will be a Convention which will seek to “endorse’’ Johnny as “Leader’’ of the PUP. My immediate instinct tells me that such a move is being concocted by Johnny’s Northern allies who would spare no effort in maintaining the status quo. After all, they are the ones who have benefited the most during Johnny’s two-year reign as “Leader’’ of the PUP. As some have suggested before, since Johnny Briceño became “Leader’’ of the PUP, the Party has been “Latinized’’. Like his Northern allies, Carolyn “The People’s Reject, The PUP’s Liability’’ Trench, Eamon “Free Rider’’ Courtenay, Narda “NADA’’ Garcia, “Senior Adviser’’ Stuart Leslie (What’s his moniker again Gordon?) and the other incompetents FEAR a National/ Leadership Convention. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. It’s no rocket science that Johnny & Co. have performed POORLY and MISERABLY over the past two years. Rather than making the PUP into a viable and formidable Opposition, Johnny & Co. have made the PUP into the Party of press releases and newspaper pages. It’s bad enough we have to endure “From the Desk of the Party Leader’’ weekly but for us to now endure an entire page dedicated to self-adoration of “The People’s Reject, the PUP’s Liability’’, what’s next? Please don’t tell me Mr. “Free Rider’’ is thinking about creating his own page that will highlight his junkets across the globe. The truth of the matter is Johnny & Co. are in “self-preservation’’ mode. They know all too well what an UTTER FAILURE they have been; though, they continue to be in SELFDENIAL. Like a wounded animal, Johnny & Co. now have one priority and one priority only, i.e. to “survive’’ - BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. As the saying goes, “Anticipation of
death is worse than death itself’’. Naturally, if the call is being made for a National/Leadership Convention, this must be accompanied by suggestions for alternative leadership. In the past, several names have been thrown out, some publicly and some in “private circles’’. I recall a recent article by “Mr. Straight Shooter’’ in which he offered the name of the Former Party Leader/Prime Minister, Right Hon. Said Musa as a possible alternative to the current leadership. In his article, “Mr. Straight Shooter’’ provided several reasons for his choice of the Rt. Hon. Said Musa, all of which I agreed with. “Father X’’ has made it his business to question the feasibility of a “comeback’’ of the Former Party Leader/Prime Minister. His reason for doing so is quite obvious. “Father X’’ knows damn well that Said Musa’s “comeback’’ is a “very real’’ possibility and it is this realization which he and the “Zinc Fence’’ DREAD with every fibre of their collective being. To all those who wish to dismiss the possibility of the Rt. Hon.’s “comeback’’, the message is clear: He ain’t DEAD; he ain’t DONE. Then again, as he would tell you, “MIND over MATTER, I don’t MIND and you don’t MATTER’’. Another name that has been thrown out in the public domain is that of Francis Fonseca. Lest anyone forgets, Francis Fonseca had come within an ace of defeating Johnny Briceño for Leadership of the PUP two years ago. I daresay the Honourable gentleman has recovered those twenty (20) votes he had fallen short of a hell of a long time ago. Whenever people think of Francis Fonseca, they see him for the “learned attorney’’ he is. What a lot of people may not know, however, is that Francis Fonseca is also a “learned economist’’. Perhaps, the Honourable gentleman should assume some level of blame for this as it has long been a professional aspect of his life that he has not exerted as much as he should. When it comes to economic issues, Francis Fonseca is as best a person to articulate those issues. Thus, I, much like many others, was happy to see him addressing the issue of the “Barrow Budget’’ during the PUP Budget Consultations and the Budget Debate. During his tenure as Minister of Education and Culture, Francis Fonseca led an “education revolution’’ and “cultural renaissance’’ in the country of Belize from 2003 to 2008. So, yes “Patsy’’, you go right ahead and enjoy your role as “ribbon cutter’’. Unlike your predecessor, you are simply “standing on ceremony’’. And whatever you may “build’’ during what is sure to be your your first & last term,
be reminded that you’ll be building on PUP FOUNDATION. I could go on and on about the man named Francis Fonseca but there are those who would want to regard such as a “campaign’’ of sorts by Yours Truly. What I will say, though, is that ever since his narrow defeat at the Leadership Convention two years ago, Francis Fonseca has been supportive of and cooperative with the “Leadership’’ of Johnny Briceño. I dare anyone to challenge this fact. For all intents and purposes, losing by a measly twenty (20) votes is sure to leave a bitter taste in anyone’s mouth. Rather than whining like a sore loser, however, Francis brushed the dirt off his shoulders and demonstrated the true statesman he is. And it is exactly these and other notable qualities that make Francis Fonseca worthy of leading the Party he has remained loyal to ever since he was a young child. Earlier in this article, I mentioned that Johnny & Co. are contemplating an “endorsement convention’’. If no one else wishes to, Yours Truly wishes to remind Johnny & Co. that upon his
withdrawal from the leadership race and the earlier withdrawal of Mark Espat, the then PUP National Executive could have “opted’’ to conduct an “endorsement convention’’ which would have seen the “endorsement’’ of the lone contender at the time, Francis Fonseca as “Leader’’ of the PUP. The then National Executive, however, had chosen, instead, to “allow’’ Johnny to “re-enter’’ the leadership race just days before the Leadership Convention. The PUP is governed by democratic principles and the Leadership Convention of March 30, 2008 confirmed just that. So, Mr. Party Leader, I ask that the same be done this time around. As Rhenae had rightly affirmed, it is our inalienable right to choose those persons we wish to lead us. To deny us this right is to deny yourself the opportunity to have us follow you. Again, I humbly ask that you make known to us the date of the National Convention. And again, I reiterate – It is RIGHT! It is NECESSARY! It is TIME!
Czech National accuses police of robbing $15,000 from him
The Belize Police department is in the habit of denying or coveringup all information pertaining to accusations against rogue elements of the police and the latest finger pointing is that the police stole $15,000 dollars from a Czech national during a search of his home last Thursday situated on Calle al Mar in Belize City. The police this week did not confirmed or denied the allegation but said that the Internal Affairs of the police department is investigating the allegation made public by the Czech. Police Press Officer Fitzroy Yearwood said this week that their investigators have questioned several officers that were involved in the search of the home but no one has been interdicted from duty much less accused of theft. It is a well-known fact that there is a criminal ring of rogue police
officers that controls the operational arm of the police and as a result there is a (code of silence) where the tendency is to cover-up wrongful deeds of corrupt officers especially after the latest incident where a police killed another police officer about a month ago in the island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The Police department is riddled with accusations that stem from being enforcers of the ‘Los Zeta Drug Cartel’ that have carried out crimes from robbery, extortion to murder all of which seem to be out of the capability of the high command to deal with. Citizens are now helpless without any sign of hope by the government through its Ministry of National Security to put an immediate corrective damper on the situation that has brought about an atmosphere of panic, lack of public safety and security.
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
Triangle of Injustice Continued from page 6 principle of a criminal justice system, but in the real world that “justice” is often compromised in the face of public outcry for tougher actions against criminals. In an effort to stem the tide of the expanding criminal culture over the last twenty five years successive governments have enacted anti crime legislations, strengthened the interdiction powers of the police, invested of millions in equipment and vehicles, quickened the trial process
to facilitate convictions, instituted mandatory sentencing, and expanded prison space. Ironically, when observed closely, these provisions, instead of providing the sense of security among the citizenry they were intended to, have inadvertently contributed to the creation of a criminal culture that continues to plague Belize. The operation of these three institutions within the criminal justice system has inadvertently become part of a “triangle of injustice”.
(To be continued next week)
April Fool’s Day Press Conference BARROW & EVAN X HYDE, THE BLOODY USERS Continued from page 13 taxes on the poor people of this country. The newspaper that is supposed to care and represent the poor did not see it fit to rebuke Henry Gordon and the Council of Churches for voting and betraying the poor masses of Belize. There was a complete news blackout in the Amandala in reference to the Council of Churches’ betrayal of the poor people (Shame). Instead, the bad minded Father X and his brother-inlaw Russell Vellos (who suffers from a serious mental disorder) focused on the alleged sexual molestation in the Catholic Church! You see, Evan X Hyde CANNOT criticize Barrow and the UDP and by criticizing Henry Gordon and the Council of Churches, he is afraid of Barrow’s wrath. Father X wants us to believe that his cousin, Georgia Belisle, was somewhat victimized by the PUP Government in 1992 when Said Musa was Minister of Education and Dicky Bradley was Musa’s Permanent Secretary in that ministry. But here again is where Father X wants to divert attention. For the second time in a row since the House of Representatives met, Kremandala have been attacked by senior Ministers in Barrow’s administration. The first attack was from Education Minister Patsy Faber. That attack was no doubt sanctioned by Barrow himself. The second attack came from UDP Whip Michael Finnegan when Finnegan, standing over a jarring and jovial Dean Barrow, attacked Father X’s friend and business partner Rufus “Illegal Electricity” X. Again, Father X, instead of defending Rufus, attacked the PUP and Dicky Bradley. This brother simply CANNOT criticize Barrow and the UDP. The cheese that is pouring in from Barrow Telemedia Ltd. (BTL) and Social Security Board is too much and would be a great loss for the Zinc Fence to give up in defending Rufus X. The cartoon in the National Perspective could not have said it better regarding the worthless trio (Finnegan, and the two X’s). Ms. Georgia Belisle should reminded her cousin X that it was
under Said Musa, as Prime Minister, Cordel Hyde as Minister of Education and Dicky Bradley as the Head of the Southside Urban Renewal Project that gave her the opportunity to work along with Mr. Michael Price and others like Mr. Owen Morrison to transform the Princess Royal Youth Hostel building at the corner of Raccoon and Dolphin Streets into a fledgling Southside High School named St. Michael’s College now re-named after the current Education Minister’s mother-in-law Maud (Mad) Williams. The point of my essay is simply to expose the worthlessness of Evan X Hyde. The very same people he attacked weekly in his expensive newspaper are those that he once used for his survival behind the Zinc Fence. Father X must realized that when it comes to defending the poor, the Catholic Church may have many faults (like any other organization) but the Catholic Church takes care of the sick, poor, and dying; it also feeds and shelter the needy. When it comes to politics, we all know that there is no such thing as ‘Trust’ when it comes to Evan X Hyde. This worthless individual refuses to educate Black Southside Belizeans that they are being profiled when visiting the tourist capital San Pedro Town. He refuses to highlight the fact that the Prime Minister, the Police and Minister of Defence are giving orders to shoot and kill black brothers from the Southside. He refuses to discuss that a Black Chief Justice from Motherland Africa is being forcefully removed from the Supreme Court to make way for Belize’s first ‘Hispanic’ Chief Justice. Father X now needs to take a hold of all that he has received ($$$) in the name of poor Southside Belizeans and try to save those brothers. These Black Southside youth are now classified as endangered species. The time of being a Bloody User must come to an end Father X. It is now time to be a Bloody Doer! Those that have ears to hear, Hear!
Barrow’s Budget 2010 May Be His Undoing Continued from page 10 Conspicuously absent from last week’s press briefing was Minister of National Security, Carlos Perdomo. There was no explanation from the PM or the police top brass for the absence. Former Prime Minister Musa warned newly elected PM Barrow of the current circumstances during the first budget debate in July 2008. Musa in his famous, “Noh watch me, watch yuself” budget debate contribution said to Barrow: “You cannot deny that the overall deficit was reduced to less than 1%, in fact to .63% of GDP, exceeding even our own target that we had set to 0.97%.” The former Prime Minister impressed upon newly elected PM Barrow on July 25th, 2008 that “… less than six months later the economy is coming to a screeching halt unless you do something about it quickly.” Musa continued to say that, “Belize is now facing the economic phenomenon of an economic slowdown, so called recession compounded by an out of control high cost of living, inflation, and we know what that means- recession, inflation, that is stag-flation staring us in the face.” The words fell on deaf ears. Barrow was not hearing any of it as his government hastily squandered monies, doling out $4.5 million to Edmond Castro for Blackbun Road in the Crooked Tree Area, a fleet of new vehicles were purchased for new political appointees and the UDP caroused for five crucial months. Reality struck when southern Belize and parts of the north were ravaged by a devastating flood which resulted from Tropical Storm Arthur. The damage assessment from the widespread flooding which devastated crops, damaged infrastructure and homes was estimated to be in the vicinity of $100 million and five lives were lost! Almost two years later the Kendal Bridge has still not been replaced. Barrow has promised once again to do so in this year’s budget. As critics and sympathizers alike, crunch the numbers the truth is jumping out at them like ghosts. Prime Minister Barrow’s new budget has been amply criticized on both sides of the political divide
as being lacking of any sort of stimulus that would put a dent in the country’s growing rate of poverty and unemployment and hopelessness. The Prime Minister’s critics have aptly asked why tax an already overburdened people? The answers have been hollow and insensitive – because they need to fill the gaping hole in the economy. During last week’s Senate debate, Union representative Paul Perriott criticized and voted against the budget, so did the Opposition representatives, as well as Godwin Hulse, who represents the business community via the Belize Chamber of Commerce. Hulse is adamant in his conclusion and repeated his criticism of this year’s budget on a television show that aired on KREM Television on Tuesday night. The show included Henry Gordon, UDP and Church representative in the Senate, Paul Perriott and Dylan Reneau. And though it was painful to admit, the men conceded that the super-bond propaganda is a dead issue. It is interesting to see what else is left in the Prime Minister’s bag of propaganda tricks. I will give Godwin Hulse credit for his statement because it came from him, a perceived UDP, not because he told us anything that we did not know and have been responding to for a very long time. What Godwin said and the time at which he said it is very important. I also note his disingenuousness when he said to Keith Swift on Wednesday March 31, 2010 that “it was the bonds that made up the super-bond and why we had to borrow them and what was done with the money that created the problem.” That was playing up to the “wingnut” factor that is endemic in our politics. Also Godwin did not just wake up to the knowledge that the super-bond was a good thing, he knew a long time ago but allowed the mistruth to fester, that it became mantra to the “wingnuts”. It is dishonest to insinuate or out rightly say that the former PUP government, “did nothing” or have “nothing to show” for all that money. I will not bore you with the long list of tangible achievements by the former government and yes, there were four hurricanes NOT TROPICAL STORMS to boot!
Editor: 605-4508 firstname.lastname@example.org 25 Nanche Street, Belmopan, Belize
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
HEALTHY LIVING Syphilis
Syphilis is a highly contagious disease spread primarily by sexual activity, including oral and anal sex. Occasionally, the disease can be passed to another person through prolonged kissing or close bodily contact with an infected person. Although this disease is spread from sores, the vast majority of these sores go unrecognized. The infected person is often unaware of the disease and unknowingly passes it on to their sexual partner. Pregnant women with the disease can spread it to their baby. This disease, called congenital syphilis, can cause abnormalities or even death to the child. Syphilis cannot be spread by toilet seats, door knobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bath tubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils. What Causes Syphilis? Syphilis is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. How Common Is Syphilis? This sexually transmitted disease was once a major public health threat, commonly causing serious long-term health problems such as arthritis, brain damage, and blindness. It deﬁed effective treatment until the late 1940s, when the antibioticpenicillin was ﬁrst developed. According to the CDC, the rate of new cases of syphilis had plummeted in the 1990’s and in the year 2000 it reached an all time low since reporting began in 1941. However, since 2001 new cases are again on the rise. How Do I Know If I Have Syphilis? Syphilis infection occurs in 3 distinct stages: Early or primary syphilis. People with primary syphilis will develop one or more chancre sores. The sores resemble large round bug bites and are often hard and painless. They occur on the genitals or in or around the mouth somewhere between 10-90 days (average 3 weeks) after exposure. Even without treatment they heal without a scar within 6 weeks. The secondary stage may last 1-3 months and begins within 6 weeks to 6 months after exposure. People with secondary syphilis experience a rosy “copper penny”rash typically on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. They may also experience moist warts in the groin, white patches on the inside of the mouth,swollen lymph glands, fever, and weight loss. Like primary syphilis, secondary syphilis will resolve without treatment. Latent syphilis. This is where the infection lies dormant (inactive) without causing symptoms. Tertiary syphilis. If the infection isn’t treated, it may then progress to
a stage characterized by severe problems with the heart, brain, and nerves that can result in paralysis, blindness, dementia, deafness, impotence, and even death if it’s not treated. How Is Syphilis Diagnosed? Syphilis can be easily diagnosed with a quick and inexpensive blood test given at your doctor’s ofﬁce or at a public health clinic. If you have a chancre, your doctor will take a swab or scraping of the sore. It will then be sent to a lab to analyze under a microscope for the characteristic bacteria. How Is Syphilis Treated? If you’ve been infected for less than a year, a single dose of penicillin is usually enough to destroy the infection. For those allergic to penicillin, tetracycline ordoxycycline can be given instead. If you are in a later stage of disease, more doses will be needed. People who are being treated for syphilis must abstain from sexual contact until the infection is completely gone. Sexual partners of people with syphilis should be tested and, if necessary, treated. What Happens If I Don’t Get SyphilisTreated? If syphilis is left untreated, it can cause serious and permanent problems such as dementia, blindness, or death. How Does Syphilis Affect a Pregnant Woman and Her Baby? Depending on how long a pregnant woman has been infected, she has a good chance of having a stillbirth (birth of an infant who
has died prior to delivery) or ofgiving birth to a baby who dies shortly after birth. If not treated immediately, an infected baby may be born without symptoms but could develop them within a few weeks. These signs and symptoms can be very serious. Untreated babies may become developmentally delayed, have seizures, or die. How Can I Prevent a Syphilis Infection? To reduce your risk of infection: • Avoid intimate contact with a person you know is infected • If you do not know if a sexual partner is infected, use a condom in every sexual encounter What Is the Outlook for People With Syphilis? Syphilis is a curable disease with prompt diagnosis and treatment. However, if treated too late, there may be permanent damage to the heart and brain even after the infection is destroyed.
Belize Council for the Visually Impaired PO Box 413 1 Gabourel Lane Belize City, Belize Visit us: www.bcvi.org or www.myspace.com/bcvi Phone 501.227.7776
6 April 2010
The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) is pleased to inform you that we shall be having extra eye clinics from Monday 12 April to Friday 16 April inclusive, in collaboration with a visiting group of doctors from the USA. These clinics will take place at the National Eye Clinic (NEC) located at the Lion’s Building, Princess Margaret Drive and will run from 8am until 4pm each day. We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity of getting a free eye examination. We are especially be targeting diabetic patients for their annual eye examination. If you need more information contact can be made with the NEC at 203 5206. There will also be clinics on: Wednesday 14 April at Hattieville Community Center from 9am – 3pm And Thursday 15 April at Ladyville Health Center from 9am – 3pm.
Looking forward to working with you in reducing avoidable blindness.
Joan Musa Executive Director
Sunday, April 11th, 2010
WHY YOU CAN’T PLAY LOTTO AND BEL-3 A message from Tropical Gaming Co. Limited On February 24th, 2010 Tropical Gaming Company Limited was assured that the terms of a ten year contract to continue operating its Lotto, Bel-3 and scratch games had been agreed to, and negotiations concluded to renew its license to do same. Mr. Gian Ghandi, the legal advisor for the Government of Belize, informed the company’s principals on February 25th, 2010, by way of a letter to Mrs. Yvonne Hyde, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection, and copied to Mr. Lincoln Blake, Jr., of the Lotteries Commission and Mr. George Swift of Tropical Gaming Company Limited that: “Further to the meeting held on 24th February, 2010, please find enclosed a revised draft agreement between the Government of Belize and Tropical Gaming Company. I understand that this version is acceptable to the Company provided a licence is issued contemporaneously with the signing of the Agreement.” The attached draft contract read in part: 17. (1) Subject to Clause 18 below, this Contract shall remain in force for a period of ten (10) years with effect from 24th February 2010. The following day, on February 26th, 2010, Mrs. Yvonne Hyde wrote Mr. George Swift a letter headed: “CONTRACT TITLE: EXTENSION OF TROPICAL GAMING’S AGREEMENT AND LICENSE TO OPERATE” It reads in toto: “The Government of Belize has decided to give a temporary extension to Tropical Gaming Company of Belize Limited of its agreement which expired on 24th February 2010. “The current extension which will expire April 30th 201o is to allow GOB and Tropical Gaming to finalize the new agreement which is under negotiation. This extension will also give time for the amendments to the Lotteries Control Act to be approved by the National Assembly. These amendments will give authority to the Lotteries Committee to sign a five (5) year license for the company as stated in the draft agreement and to charge the license fees agreed to by the Company.” Despite the agreement, on March 3rd, 2010, apparently on behalf of Minister of Economic Development Erwin Contrerras, Lincoln Blake, Jr. wrote Tropical Gaming Company Limited to say: “This is the final draft that has been authorized by the Minister. The only change is that the agreement will be for 5 years instead of 10 year. “The Ministry requests that you kindly inform within two weeks if your organization is still interested in signing on to the agreement.” And indeed the amended agreement attached read: 17. (1) Subject to Clause 18 below, this Contract shall remain in force for a period of ten (10) years with effect from 24th February 2010. Tropical Gaming considers negotiations to have been concluded from as early as February 24, 2010. On that date at meeting held in Belmopan between Mr. Gian Ghandi, Mrs. Yvonne Hyde (CEO in the Ministry of Economic Development and Chairman of the Lotteries Committee), Messrs. B.Q.A. Pitts and George Swift (both representing Tropical Gaming in the negotiations), there was agreement, by all parties, to the terms of a new contract. Tropical Gaming must observe that contract renewal negotiations have been unnecessarily long for one reason: GOB’s refusal to grant to Tropical Gaming, the same exclusive rights that will be afforded to Brads Gaming Co. with respect to the Boledo and Sunday Loterry games. Brads contract and licence will be exclusive for a ten year period. Tropical Gaming had been offered a ten year contract but with exclusivity for only five of those years. GOB has since reneged on the February 24th, 2010 agreement and, with no explanation has decided, without any consultation, to reduce the contract term from ten years to five years.
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National Perspective April 11, 2010