Thursday, September 30, 2010



Lots of juicy news on the television news stations this Thursday evening, Sept. 30-th, 2010.

Allegations made by one Television station, that the Government ( Prime Minister, Dean Barrow/Finance Minister), has ordered the SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD to buy $50 million dollars worth of BTL shares when they come up for sale next month. The PM has seemingly plucked a number out of thin air and valued the company at $300 million dollars, with no supporting evidence to show this is true. The Telemedia company was nationalized by the P.M.’s government from Lord Ashcroft for various reasons. Mainly because he would not pay his business taxes. Off the cuff, my own valuation guesswork is about $30 million to $65 million, for the company, including the customer base, the technical equipment and any other assets, such as towers and transmitters, plus GOODWILL.

PM Barrow has been obvious in his maneuvering of the Social Security Board. He has his pet party hack puppet, Nestor Vasquez as head of the government controlled BTL, as CHAIRMAN of the BOARD. Nestor Vasquez is also CHAIRMAN of the Social Security Board Investment Committee. There is probably truth in the allegation on TV quoted from insider sources, that PM BARROW has ordered Nestor Vasquez to get approval from the Social Security Board, ( theoretically an independent institution from politics ) for a $50 million dollar investment in BTL. Does this sound like Said Musa and Ralph Fonseca speaking of the last administration?. The SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD is supposed to be independent of the political party in power. In Belize this is not so. There is no real SEPERATION OF POWERS BETWEEN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCHES, or so called independent government institutions, if you want to keep your politically appointed job.

This is looking like a repeat of the LOOTING AND PLUNDERING of government institutions by the UDP government, that went on and destroyed the economy and finances of Belize under the PUP administration last term. This current government is following the path of the previous administration, increasing the DEBT to GDP ratio alarmingly. What makes it alarming is that the Belize Chamber of Commerce TV program ( Business Perspectives ) has exposed how fragile and corrupt the whole Cabinet Ministerial financial system is in our government. There are no checks and balances for government monies, and millions are disappearing without trace.

Chime in the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE who are responding to enquiries about the shares of BTL being offered, who in turn are asking the government for the last ANNUAL REPORT, the PROSPECTUS and an audit of all the technical equipment, with projections on how long it will last, before it must be replaced and modernized, projected out over the next few years. What I take it is; they want to know the BOOK VALUE of the nationalized company, to make their own evaluation of the WORTH OF BTL. They need to know the debts if any, the numbers and classes of shares outstanding, the price per share and other things. Their business members deserve this information. So do I, as we at home, were interested in buying shares if it would prove proper and profitable through a dividend payment..

The Prime Minister has responded that the PROSPECTUS will be available, October 15th. The date has been repeatedly postponed up to date. It is expected to be postponed again until mid November, as the company articles and bylaws are going to be completely revamped and changed.

Enter stage right: Lord Ashcroft with a bevy of Commonwealth expensive lawyers coming to sue, or challenge the government over a new law that is being amended, to make a CONTEMPT of COURT be finable by a $50,000 fine, or five years in jail. Mandatory minimum. The local lawyer for Lord Ashcroft says it is aimed at the good LORD ASHCROFT solely. On the other hand, Louis Young, ex-wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, overloaded with government work, now that her ex-husband is our Prime Minister, was asked by a TV reporter outside the court house, about this allegation by Lord Ashcroft. She laughed and said, she doesn’t know where they are coming from. Lord Ashcroft has denied for some years now, that he owned BTL, or that he had any interest in the company. She went on to say the Judges of the Court system have a long list of complaints were INJUNCTIONS were being ignored and they were not enforceable and the government is trying to correct that. Anyway, the lawyers will get rich and fight over the subject.

Things are getting hot! The spectator gallery are interested and lots of juicy fights are expected to be in store over what happens to this nationalized Belize Telemedia Company. We also think the looting of Social Security Funds to the tune of $50 million is a done deal, whether it gets wasted, stolen, or not. In our existing government system there is no check and balance to such things. Everything is a CABINET piggy bank.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010



There are no adjectives to describe the chilling and frightening show held on TV by the Chamber of Commerce BUSINESS PERSPECTIVES PROGRAM, regarding the government handling of the financial affairs of Belize.
Two guests were on the program. One was Joseph Waight, Chief Financial Officer and the other was Senator Hulse, a well known respected, articulate, renegade government reformer.
The end of the program summed up the very nice explanations of how the government budget was organized and run, and then how it actually worked in practice. The latter a totally different thing, from the theory of the civil service.
At heart was missing millions of dollars from different ministries, and a government ministry that lost over a 120 vehicles and doesn’t have a clue where they went, or how? To just mention a few of the things a recent AUDITOR GENERAL”s report exposed.
There is a Public Accounts Committee that is supposed to provide a supervisory role, run by politicians, but has not functioned for 15 years and is unable to function, because it is political.
In essence, Belize has NO CHECKS AND BALANCES between the politicians, the law making ability, the enforcement of financial and budgetary laws, and does not have any capability of ACCOUNTABILITY, or TRANSPARENCY. Our government regulatory financial affairs are a CRUEL JOKE!
Government revenues are just a PIGGY BANK for politicians. They just brush complaints aside and ignore them. They steal and waste with impunity. They control all levels and facets of revenue spending and controls. Of which there are none, but the capability of a single man, the FINANCE MINISTER, who is usually Prime Minister and also leader of the WINNER TAKE ALL political party system that controls parliament. ( certainly a case for a switch to proportional representation )
The CABINET is run by politicians. The Parliament is controlled and run by the CABINET and the same politicians. The same politicians make up any supervisory and accountability committees. Senator Hulse said it plain. They the politicians cannot POLICE THEMSELVES. Such a method does not work, never has worked and never will. The wolf cannot be put in charge of the hen house as a security guard.
The financial system of the Belize government has not only broken down, it does not even exist. Except perhaps on paper and in the imagination and rhetoric of politicians.
Great tv show! The Chamber of Commerce are to be congratulated. Senator Hulse hit all the main faults during the program, why our financial affairs are such a mess.

That certainly makes clear why we have such a massive political created national debt, ruinous in scope. Senator Hulse is to be congratulated on a clear analysis of the faults within the current system and suggested ways of correcting the way our country is so badly managed and run.


This Belize UDP government DO NOT support conservation of spawning fish stocks!

Fisheries conservation debate ( taken from Belize culture listserve ) to join send a message to: and in the body of the email put subscribe There should be no headers or signature files.

I think you've been put in your place. Obviously Mary has much more pertinent and more data than you.
From what little about Bz fishing I've read in this forum I don't recall environmentalists applauding anything but the "catch and release " policy.
Do some more proper research on this topic before you spout your ignorance (= lack of data, not stupidity) publicly, in your own interest?

On 28.09.2010 13:28, Mary Toy wrote:
> Trevor, not one single “environmentalist” in Belize supports shrimp trawlers. Talk to your government and the previous government about why they’re still here. We’ve tried to get them banned from the South for many years. The government and the Northern Cooperative wants them there and their political connections keep them there. So, stop already!!!!!!
> As I’ve said many times on this list, the catch and release legislation is great for Belize because it enhances our world reputation as a responsible and sustainable fishing destination and brings in more fly fishing anglers who have lots of money to spend. Few people can make a living off straight commercial fishing anymore, so the fishermen have to do something, and guiding fly fishermen is a good substitute at over US$300 a day if they work for themselves. (I’ve offered to send the economic studies about how much money fly fishing brings into this country to anyone who wants them, but nobody has asked.)
> Also, I don’t see you advocating banning gill nets, which are currently doing more damage than the trawlers in terms of our fisheries. Also, what about the practice of allowing commercial fishing of spawning aggregations, such as happens at Gladden Spit with the snappers every year? Why in the world, with fish stocks declining as rapidly as they are, would Belize allow fishermen to commercially catch and sell spawning fish? But, Fisheries does, SEA does, why?
> Attention also needs to be focused on the now-legal harvesting of sea cucumbers which is probably going to radically change our reef structure (and not for the better), the threat of mechanized fishing by foreign fleets outside the reef, the still imminent danger of Jamaican exploitation of our fish stocks, destruction of mangroves, corals and seagrass beds when developing cayes (mostly by foreigners who pay next to nothing for the cayes and are destroying prime fish habitat), agricultural runoff carrying toxic wastes into the ocean, human sewage being dumped in the ocean from our sewage systems (or lack thereof), cruise ships and overfishing by our own fishermen.
> Trawlers are bad, we all agree with that. But there are many other issues that also need public attention drawn to them, and you don’t need to belittle “environmentalist activists” who are attempting to do just that. There are few enough of us as it is. You may have also noticed that most of us are not what you’d call politically well connected or well funded – at least not enough to take on the political connections and money interests that protect the shrimp trawlers. Maybe you are. If that’s the case, get them gone, but please realize that nobody in the environmental community supports them AND that there are other issues where we are more likely to make a difference. When you have limited resources, you have to make choices.
> On 9/27/2010 7:38:03 PM, tc vernon ( wrote:

Monday, September 27, 2010

The dilemma over to buy BTL SHARES!

The dilemma over to buy BTL shares?

Latest news on the BTL nationalizing de-vestment in shares is that the Prime Minister has announced the shares will be sold to Belizeans from middle of October, or at least the PROPECTUS will be ready then.

I suppose like the insurance companies big bucks people, or the Social Security funds, the whole thing is going to depend on the expected DIVIDEND return to capital? That certainly is what is concerning us. While my wife and I are small players, I'm sure the big money in the country, the INSURANCE companies and the Social Security Board are puzzling over the same dilemma.

At heart is the Commercial Bank, CERTIFICATE of DEPOSIT rate. This means a six months CD is earning around 7 1/2 % for small players and the institutions with large amounts of our local funny money are getting upward of 9 1/2% return. There has NEVER been any public announcement of TREASURY BILL interest rates and the several times I tried to find out from Central BANK, they were either evasive, or plain LIED TO ME, I later found out. It is suspected the TREASURY BILL AUCTION rates go for about 9% to 11%. We really don't know and it is some kind of STATE SECRET? ( no transparency from government here ) From this we have surmised that some kind of SCAM DEAL goes on with TREASURY BILLS in Belize, by Central Bank, to do with the CABINET and FINANCE MINISTER? The guess: favored players in the big money field ( millions ) get all the TREASURY BILLS offered. Who and why is unknown? But another guess is that it has to do with campaign party election donations.

That aside, the major thing to do with the sale of BTL shares is what will be the DIVIDEND rate? What will be the return on capital invested in shares?

Nobody in his right mind is going to invest in BTL shares if the dividend rate is lower than the Bank Certificate of Deposit rate. The FINANCE MINISTER realizes this now. Albeit slowly. ( he is a slow learner ) What the FINANCE MINISTER/PRIME MINISTER has said, is that he is bringing in a high powered advisory team from one of the big world institutions, to advise him on how to force down the Commercial Bank interest rate. He has also announced that $3 million for our small society ( 350,000 people ) is being given to the DFC ( Development Finance Corp. ) to give as loans to small businesses and start ups, at 8%. So an interest rate war is now on, with the Commercial Banks on one side and the Government of the day on the other. The 8 % loan rate is going to undercut the banks badly and presumably this is the first battle, in a war, to force capitulation and a further lowering of the bank commercial loan rates. The banks usually charge a 5% spread, between what they pay savings people and for Certificate of Deposits and what they lend loan money for.

I have two viewpoints: the first one has to approve of what the Prime Minister is doing and the second one is to feel dismay with the loss of income we have already suffered from this year's earlier dropping of Bank C.D. interest rates. Our family of three, get a half of our income from the interest, paid by bank CD's on life savings. To expect a further cut is a calamity that is threatening our ability to support ourselves in our old age. Inflation of about 10% doesn't help either. The war has been declared though, between the Prime Minister and the Commercial banks. The first skirmish is already over, the second battle is coming up, or already here, with the 8% loan rate being offered by the Development Finance Corporation. The Prime Minister is expected to add some millions as he can, to the DFC loan portfolio. The third battle is now being maneuvered by the Prime Minister, as he brings in a high powered banking team from either the IMF, or the World Bank or someplace like that? ( I forget! ) to advise him how to FORCE the commercial banks to drop their interest rates. The banks will not really suffer, they always lend money at 5% more than what they pay their clients and customers. Plus they add on a lot of loan fees, which is a hidden type of way of increasing the overall bottom line.

In a round-a-bout way, we come again to the BTL Shares and the estimate of the dividend rate. To purchase BTL shares, they have to have a dividend rate higher than the Bank CD rate. We are like the Insurance companies and the Social Security people, we are trying to estimate what the expected return on dividends to capital. We also wonder if the dividends will be paid quarterly, like our Bank CD's, as we need that money to pay our utility bills and food and stuff. If you look at the newspapers, we know that BTL could not pay the dividends of 15% when Ashcroft had the company. Government was forced to subsidize the BTL dividend. Some of that supposed net profit disappeared into OFFSHORE loan deals with SHELL COMPANIES and other bookkeeping scams, beloved or Robber Barons investing in small countries like Belize. So under government management, what is not siphoned off by salaried relatives of the Prime Minister and party hacks in Board of Director back room deals, should in theory improve the bottom line and net profit of BTL.
We know that BTL is the main player and at the moment is now the lead player for cost for internet and bandwidth and speeds. The cell phone business is growing. SMART the major competitor has lost a lot of ground, they do not have their own fiber optic cable to join the international communications network and without that, they cannot compete. There is a court case to settle the joint sharing of the BTL ARCOS fiber optic cable and BTL wants 60% of the revenues from SMART from their traffic. If not now when this court case is settled, SMART is sooner or later going to have to get their own fiber optic international link. In the meantime, it is expected that BTL will get a lot of the subscribers to SMART cell phones back to their company with lower rates, and or the faster capabilities and bandwidth. The TV cable company competitor now starting to offer internet, is now currently non-competitive in price, so where that leaves their internet investment remains to be seen. They have been buying up TV cable small companies and changing the cable to accommodate internet ability, as a secondary income stream.
Up front, BTL looks like a good investment. A lot depends on the price of shares, the amount of shares out in the public domain that are being issued and we need the last Annual report for 2009 - 2010 and the PROSPECTUS. Ultimately, the BTL shares look like being a better investment than the Bank Certificate of Deposit. The problem is we do not know? Nor do we know how long this interest rate war is going to last and how many future interest rate battles are going to be coming down the pipeline. Unlike, the 6 month bank CD's, you cannot easily change your shares in BTL rapidly into cash money when you need it. That is an advantage to the Banks! There is no commercial stock exchange, or anybody actually buying and selling shares for BTL, to enable an investor to get their money out rapidly, when they need it for an emergency. That is a drawback, about putting one's savings into BTL shares. Once in, you are stuck! The money is gone!
So we dither and worry, postponing a decision on whether to just buy $500 worth of BTL shares, or buy a $100,000 of BTL shares, by cashing in our bank C.D.'s. What would you do?
The Prime Minister/Finance Minister has announced that 45% of net profits of BTL, will go in dividends. A reasonable amount. Translating that into dividend interest return to capital invested is the problem. How many shares are out there? How much was the net profit and what are future projections based on population growth. Like any small family with their life savings, we worry about getting the most safety along with the biggest return in order to live. It sure looks like though, living in Belize off LIFE SAVINGS is definitely on the DOWN SLIDE and not going to get better?

Saturday, September 25, 2010



The latest news was that Bart Jones went to Barbados to persue his Law Degree, as a police administrative staff. This was followed quickly by Senior Superintendent, Chester Williams recently appointed head of the TWIN TOWNS Western District police affairs. Bart Jones according to the TV news, received LEAVE WITH PAY and subsidies for his further education. BART we have always said, should be in the BELIZE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE. He has a winning way with words and a silver tongue. Butter would not melt in his mouth. Senior Superintendent, Chester Williams of the Western Division was snubbed by the political powers that be, and decided to do his studies at his own expense. When questioned on how he would support his family for the four years involved, he said that his mother was helping him out with assets, which he was selling, for the first year. Later he would re-apply again to the government, as the POLICE FORCE was his life career and he enjoyed the work in the police force. After his first year in the Barbados law education system has passed, he will seek departmental financial assistance again.
CHESTER WILLIAMS is admirable in the affairs of Belize, particularly in our National British Police Force model, which is basically an enforcement arm of the POLITICAL PARTY IN POWER. No Cabinet Ministers ever go to jail for white collar crimes, such as forgery, fraud, embezzlement and other misdeeds. Nor do elected AREA REPRESENTATIVES in the Parliament. These crooks and criminals who control our National Police force and police promotions, are dependent not so much on ability, but favoritism in political affairs. Most senior government ministry CEO's also lead protected lives for scams and schemes to rip off tax payer money, or less than sterling results for mismanagement. Our local police force is usually for violent crimes, and street level people. The rest of their time, it is protecting the UPPER CLASS, with politicial connections. Such is our colonial inheritance from the United Kingdom.
Chester Williams story is one of admiration for his drive and goals. As a teenager he joined the National Police Force with just a PRIMARY SCHOOL leaving certificate. Standard 6 in Belize, or Grade 8 in Canada. During his early police service he rose through the ranks rapidly. He is the youngest Senior Superintendent of police ever. Most of our police constables are poorly educated. Most have problems with literacy and writing. They are in the majority, street people themselves, self taught and relying on street smarts for self education. We get a lot of rogue cops, and those of a criminal mind set in the police force, that have to be weeded out. What set Chester Williams apart, is that he took his evenings, while working full time, and went during the week to classes at St. John's College high school extension and graduated eventually from High School. He has also since then, gone on to earn an Associate Degree in Criminology. He is very well experienced and has been sent to countries around the world on training police courses. If you got a MASTERS DEGREE FOR LIFE EXPERIENCES, Chester Williams would already have his degree. His favorite niche is investigation and prosecution. He has even worked as police prosecutor in his career. Now Chester Williams has decided to join his fellow police friend Bart Jones in Barbados and finish his Bachelors Degree and then his Masters, which would be a LAW DEGREE with entry to the BAR. Unfortunately for him, he does not enjoy the financial support of the government and has to take LEAVE OF ABSENCE - WITHOUT PAY. He hopes the government will relent in another year's time.
The man has overcome big obstacles in his career and we can see that one day he will make COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, depending on the politicians of that future time finding him obedient and respectful of their scams and schemes to get rich quick. Out in Western Belize, this Senior Superintendent of Police, Chester Williams is known as a man of integrity and strong determined character, with the ability to achieve his goals in life. We are immensely proud of him. We salute him in his new endeavor and wish him luck, from WESTERN BELIZE.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I got blasted with diatribes by local Government Public Servants, who complained that the government is misspending and wasting money.


The argument went, that our school system, using cult religious financed schools is inefficient and a waste of money and not only money, but improper placement of teachers. I was given a couple of examples. One I remember was the village at 7 mile on the Georgeville to Pine Ridge road, but there were many similar situations, over 200 of them. Apparently this village has two schools. One school has 145 kids or so served by three teachers. The teachers by necessity teach three or four grades in one group at the same time and quarters. The other school, another religious cult school, I believe it is a Roman Catholic school has two teachers I am told serving only 12 students. The examples went on around the country.
The argument went on that the teacher to student ratio is irrational and since the government subsidizes religious cults in this country that run schools, a lot of very small schools are basically HOME BUSINESS INVESTMENTS, done under the guise of religion, because the Principal and teachers get a government pay cheque this way after three years of proven existance. It is a kind of SELF EMPLOYMENT at government expense.
The debate said the children were being short changed, because they are not getting a fair education with proper rules and regulations and supervision. The tax payers were being short changed by improper use of educational budget funding for school teachers. That the solution was to consolidate all these competitive schools and make ONE SCHOOL, and make more effective use of the teachers salaries that were available.
That rang a bell with me, as at 12 years old, the same process occurred in Canada where I was then living. I once attended for two years, a country rural one room school house, with a teacher who taught 8 grades for 12 students. Actually I remember it as one of the best schools I ever went too. I walked about 5 miles to get to school and often rode our farm horse, and my dog was allowed to sit under my desk in class. The opportunity to listen to older grades do English grammar and arithmetic, while we did our lower grade assignments was excellent schooling. Most FALL months we were out of school, harvesting crops. High School we had about 25 students in four grades in the local village. There were two teachers. The Principal taught.
At that time, a new school system went in that Canadian Province and large centralized schools were built and all the little schools were closed down. Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing I don't know. I know I got a good education in the small schools.



Local TV investigative reporters decided to investigate the Chairman of Digicel, allegedly interested in purchasing 25% of BTL.
The story was one almost identical with ASHCROFT. A tax dodger with Permanent Residency in couple of different offshore jurisdictions, the latest being MALTA, where you have to visit once a year to stay a legal Permanent resident for tax purposes. ( No taxes on offshore earnings )
Now I have nothing against a man establishing Permanent Residency in various OFFSHORE TAX DOMAINS for keeping his business private, or improving his bottom line in profits. I'm just envious my poverty level income is too small to be able to do the same thing. That after all is the name of the game in INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS in the NEW WORLD ORDER. The guy is an Irishman the local Television said.
What roused the hackles of the television investigative reporters is the spectre of another IRISH style ASHCROFT doing private deals with the Government of the DAY, in this case the UDP, the influence such things can have on election donations and campaigns. The under the table deals and baksheesh, bribes, special dividends, or export deals arranged with Central Bank to export our scarce FOREIGN EXCHANGE and other such criminal deals. Or special favors channeled through Prime Minister's LAW OFFICES in dealing with the government.
If there is any answer here, I don't know it and am watching our local media tabloids with interest for the latest juicy gossip.

Local TV reveals lies by Belize, Prime Minister!


In a speech on Independence Day, there is a clip on television news, showing the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, saying that his UDP Government has enabled the shipment of live cattle to Mexico with various pre-agreements necessary. In his speech he said it was imminent, if not almost immediately, 3000 head of Belize cattle were ready to be exported across the border to Mexico.
On the basis of this, we were debating on whether to award his 55% Approval Rating Report Card with an extra 5 points for a job well done.
Unfortunately, the same evening, Channel 5 Television investigative reporters reported the Prime Minister's claim as HOGWASH and political bombastic rhetoric. They reported that there were numerous bureaucratic, political and other impediments to making this a done deal. In fact, the bureaucratic holdups in the Prime Minister's government would take at least a year to make such an exportation deal of live cattle to Mexico possible.
The UDP government remains at an 55% approval rating.



Delhi is hosting the Commonwealth Games, but most of the stadiums and
facilities are either unfinished or suffering from leaks and shoddy

A bridge to the Games area collapsed.

Two foreign tourists were shot in Delhi, raising fears that foreign
teams attending the games would be at risk.

Then photos of the new athletes' village appeared, showing filth and
garbage in the upscale apartments, not to mention serious plumbing and
electrical problems such as exposed wires.

Some Commonwealth country teams have delayed arrival or said they were
undecided about whether to attend. However, England, Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland have announced they will travel to Delhi for the
games, and several other countries including New Zealand are supposed
to announce their decisions soon.

Belize has participated in all Games since 1994, after being absent
from the games after 1978, but Belize has not yet won a medal.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lynn from Placentia, Belize affirms GLEE with new BTL internet system.

LYNN from Placentia BELIZE affirms GLEE with new BTL internet system.

Lynn wrote me on the Belize Culture Listserve for debating things Belizean, that down in Placentia, she just got this past week, the new BTL internet wireless system and is very happy with it. It is costing her $130 Bz per month to install and forget the monthly fee and that is probably what she said. However, this new internet system is being applied first in the Southern part of Belize and slowly coming North. The biggest delight is in the faster speed and most of all DOUBLE THE BANDWIDTH.
Last night we saw the Prime Minister on TV news giving a couple of snippets at the Independence celebration speeches, someplace else in the country somewhere, and he stated that the bandwidth has been doubled by BTL, which he currently controls, for the same price. ( BTL was NATIONALIZED last year again ).
From what LYNN down in Placentia told me on the listserve for Belizean subjects discussion, I can't wait to get the same service out here in HILLVIEW, the TWIN TOWNS of Western Belize. Hope they hurry up and get out here. Currently the only thing I have for internet is SMART, which is slow wireless dial up system at 115 kbps. Inadequate for most modern purposes. Most of the time in the night particularly, there is some sort of trouble with the computer serving SMART telecommunications and you get kicked out every 3 minutes or so and have to reload the service, as the SMART computer does not recognize your signal. The trouble is believed to be with BEL the electrical utility provider, with irregular voltage controls, as the loads change during day and night.



In Western Belize the primary sites and tours for TOUR COMPANY buses from the coastal CRUISE SHIPS, are CAVES BRANCH. This is a tree top ZIP LINE adventure operation, and floating on tractor rubber inner tubes through an underground river cave system. The other favorite site is the Mayan Temple pyramid system complex of XUNANTUNICH, about 1500 years old. Sometimes the TOUR BUSES also visit the other famous MAYAN TEMPLE site of CAHEL PECH, which was built by the previous Mayan civilization about 3500 years ago. With a gap between the two Mayan civilizations of roughly a 1000 years politically. Both sites are rapidly available for short visit cruise ship passengers on the 4 hour time table allotted for a Belize visit. The Western highway is an asphalt paved, narrow two lane road, permitting a round trip in the allotted visiting time for Belize by the cruise ships.

There is a government regulation in Belize that TOUR OPERATOR run operations for CAVES BRANCH tour trips are limited to 8 persons per tour guide. Recently one or two CARICOM country FEDERATION tour operations from the EASTERN CARIBBEAN islands have started operating in Belize with solid negotiated CRUISE SHIP contracts for such services, in competition with local TOUR GUIDE operators in Belize. The locals are being squeezed out, under the new CME rules that allow foreign competition in Belize by other CARICOM persons and businesses.
The local TOUR GUIDES complain the small number of Belize TOUR GUIDES have difficulty in competing with the CRUISE SHIPS because they do their negotiating out in the Eastern island countries of CARICOM among the 25 million population. Here in Belize the population is about 350,000 ( we await the new census figures ). The local TOUR OPERATIONS previously working with the visiting CRUISE SHIPS, complain unfair treatment by our local BELIZE government, as inspections, head counting regulations and such, are being enforced on local BELIZE independent Tour Operations, and the contracted Eastern Caribbean two new companies coming in, are not meeting the same local standards. They complain of cruise ship TOURS by these contractors are being allowed to pass without any counting or regulation and are running anywhere from 12, 15, to 20 people tubing in CAVES BRANCH, or at the Mayan pyramids for only one TOUR GUIDE. The tour buses are being passed without inspection, or head counting per tour guide numbers. While local TOUR OPERATORS are being emphatically fined and inspected. If the local TOUR OPERATIONS have ONE person over the 8 limit per tour guide, they are stopped. Whereas the CRUISE SHIP groups and CARICOM Tour Operations are unregulated and not inspected.
They claim the playing field is not fair and the worst culprit is our own government.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010



There are two types of fish farming in Belize. One is TILAPIA which is a VEGETARIAN fish. We don't grow Arctic Char here, but it is a vegetarian fish also. There is also a net pond salt water operation. Growing a salt water species. Do not know if it is vegetarian or meat eating?

Gene Modified foods in the USA are raising new concerns. The long term effect is not known in the food chain. In SOY seed and growing there are lots of complaints in the USA. Meat eating fish are predatory and the oceans are already under stress and the fish stocks are often below self-sustainability. GM modified Salmon are raising concerns in the USA, for eco-terrorism. They could have profound effects if somebody mixed them with wild species.

The question then arises. Should we have legislation policy in Belize to control fish farming to vegetarian eating only fish?

BNE - Western Belize successful OIL COMPANY has stockholder revolt. ( NO DIVIDENDS )


Looks like it will be a good scrap. Note the complaints of lack of financial disclosure and possibility of liquidation of the company. And yet another suit may be in the works.....

From The Irish Times:


YOGA GURU Tony Quinn is facing a challenge to his role as a director of an oil company in Central America.

A legal action taken by Paul Marriott, a former director of the company, International Natural Energy, also seeks to have it wound up.

The case taken by Mr Marriott represents the latest bout of feuding within the company since it discovered massive reserves of crude oil in Belize in 2005.

Another former director, Jean Cornec, is taking legal action seeking millions of euro he claims are owed to him after he sold his shareholding.

INE was founded by two women from Northern Ireland, Susan Morrice and Sheila McCaffrey, along with Mr Marriott, Mr Cornec and Mike Usher, who has since died.

Most of its 400 shareholders are Irish people who at one time attended one of Mr Quinn’s “Educo Mind Power” seminars. Mr Quinn was not involved when oil was discovered, but was invited to join the board two years later.

Subsequent disagreements among directors led to the suspension of Ms McCaffrey, who is currently considering her legal options.

While most shareholders remain fiercely loyal to Mr Quinn, a minority have expressed frustration at the lack of financial information from the company and its failure to pay a dividend since oil started flowing.

INE earns up to $100 million in oil revenues each year but says it has had to borrow heavily to fund further exploration and is prevented by its banks from paying a dividend.

Last Christmas, it provided $9 million in loans to shareholders who were “in good standing” with the company. Mr Marriott, through his drilling company Maranco LLC, has started his legal action in the High Court in Nevis, the Caribbean offshore tax haven where INE is incorporated.

The claim is against INE and its subsidiary Belize Natural Energy, Mr Quinn and Ms Morrice.

He is seeking a court order compelling the defendants to purchase his shares or else to liquidate the company.

He is also seeking a declaration that the purported appointment of Mr Quinn as a director be declared null and void.

In a letter to shareholders, Ms Morrice says Mr Marriott’s claim is “wholly without merit” and part of an orchestrated campaign against the company. Shareholders will “lose everything” if the case is successful.

“In the world, throughout history, the tail always seems to wag the dog.

“Similarly here, a small minority are loud and aggressive about their position while the silent majority just looks on.”

Mr Marriott then responded with his own letter to shareholders, in which he states that liquidation of the company is being sought “as a last resort”.

Last week Mr Marriott told The Irish Times his action would help other “poor souls”, many of them Irish, who had put money into the venture.

While a liquidation wouldn’t be helpful to anyone, “if it gets to that, so be it”.

Mr Quinn could not be contacted for comment.

************ Nobody in Belize knows the facts, or the truth. This doesn't stop the rumor mill and allegations from flying around. What we hear is that there is a stockholder revolt in the BNE OIL company and that some stockholders are suing in NEVIS the offshore domain of company registration.
What we suspect is that PEAK OIL production has already tipped over for the BNE first small oil field, but not the second small one. Stockholders are alarmed because they feel they are being shafted in different bookkeeping scams by a small group of main players. These are rumored to be taking out mega bucks in loans and other bookkeeping deals.
The fly in the ointment in the Western Belize paradise, is over the fact that NOBODY yet has received any dividends, or payments on their first risky investment, which turned out successful, as in a HOLE IN ONE, DRILLING! Some years have passed and money is flowing, but to WHO and HOW? Maybe the court case will shed light on the bookkeeping shenaningans?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Belize Oil Exploration news.


( from the Belize culture list serve )

This is the penny stock firm that wants to drill in Belize. They are claiming they have people in the country starting on their project....

HOUSTON, TX, Sep 20, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Treaty Energy Corporation /quotes/comstock/11k!teco (TECO 0.01, -.00, -6.67%) , a growth-oriented energy company in the oil and gas industry, today announced the signing of a service contract between the Company and Radar Satellite Solutions ("RSS" or "Contractor") on July 20, 2010.

This contract with RSS covers remote sensing and exploratory services in the country of Belize. RSS will provide services to Treaty in regards to the joint venture for developing oil production from the 200,000 acre onshore portion of the concession held by Princess Petroleum Limited. Under the leadership of the Treaty group as the operator of the concession, the Contractor will provide scientific oversight to survey and provide drilling technology on the concession in accordance with the proprietary technology of RSS. The RSS crew arrived in Belize on Monday, September 13, 2010.

Under the agreement RSS, the Contractor, will provide:

1. All satellite data on the Belize concession.
2. Proprietary 3-D Seismic (60 miles) and ground work using Contractor
technology on the Belize concession.
3. Data including Micro Mag and Gamma Ray Spectrometer, to be developed by
an aircraft to be provided by Treaty. This aircraft has been purchased
by Treaty and is currently being outfitted with the equipment at an FBO
in Mesquite, TX .

Under the agreement Treaty will provide:

1. A $50,000 deposit. This deposit was made at contract signing on July 20,
2. A weekly draw when Contractor's people are in the country of Belize on
the project.
3. All reasonable expenses.
4. Use of Treaty's aircraft.
5. 15,000,000 shares of Treaty common stock as part of their compensation

The following is the Contractor's process for the first 2-week stay in Belize.

1. Running Magnetic Surveys.
2. Running Radio Metric Surveys.
3. Running proprietary seismographic surveys on the ground which are non-
invasive to the soil and will not disturb farm land or land owners'
4. Depth of hydrocarbons will be determined using three sciences.
5. During the first 2-week stay RSS anticipates determining 20% of the
future well sites on the onshore portion of the Belize concession.

The RSS process is implemented as follows:

1. Satellite sensing.
2. Fly aircraft at low levels over 50 mile grids to collect data.
3. Go on ground with data and follow up with depth tools.

RSS anticipates 3 - 4 more 2-week trips to complete their work on the entire onshore concession.

Treaty Energy's shareholders can view information about Radar Satellite Solution on their website at for a more complete understanding of their process.

Andrew Reid, Chairman and CEO of Treaty Energy, stated, "We are very pleased with the performance of RSS as this project moves forward. We expect to have our first well site chosen by RSS over the next several weeks. Once this is accomplished, Treaty and our JV Partner, Princess Petroleum, will implement the procedure to permit and drill well #1."

Mr. Reid added, "John Barksdale, President of Treaty, will be on the ground in Belize following completion of the acidizing of two wells on the Tennessee leases that are scheduled to be done in about two weeks. In addition, Gerard Danos, COO of Treaty, will be on site to receive Treaty Energy's specially equipped aircraft when it is delivered to Belize. We expect completion of equipment installation and delivery of the aircraft to Belize forthwith."

About Treaty Energy Corporation Treaty is engaged in the acquisition, development and production of oil and natural gas. Treaty acquires and develops oil and gas leases which have "proven but undeveloped reserves" at the time of acquisition... These properties are not strategic to large exploration-oriented oil and gas companies. This strategy allows Treaty to develop and produce oil and natural gas with tremendously decreased risk, cost and time involved in traditional exploration. For more information go to:

Forward-Looking Statements: Statements herein express management's beliefs and expectations regarding future performance and are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, raising working capital and securing other financing; responding to competition and rapidly changing technology; and other risks. These risks are detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Forms SB-2, 10-KSB, 10-QSB and 8-K. Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements.

Osprey Partners
Tel: 732-292-0982
Fax: 732-528-9065

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BTL to stay a PRIVATE COMPANY controlled by government.


The latest article on the developments with the BTL company, nationalized from an Englishman, who controlled it last year, because he was bankrupting the small government of ours with nuisance lawsuits seems to be clearing up. The fog of establishing net worth, market size, assets, future projected earnings is ongoing and it is a painful experience to see amateurs deal with the intricacies of handling this NOW PRIVATE COMPANY.
The main player is the current UDP Party Leader, Prime Minister of the country of Belize and also retaining the portfolio of Minister of Finance, Mr. Dean Barrow. This is very much a ONE MAN show. The puppet being played as proxy is one UDP political party hack, called Nestor Vasquez, as Chairman of the Board of BTL. The Board of Directors of BTL is stacked with party hacks and relatives of the Prime Minister, is the impression articles in the newspapers give. A bunch of freeloading fee ridden parasites.

According to the Amandala newspaper article, there is already more than one CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Nestor Vasquez is not only the appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of BTL, but also is Chairman of the UDP Government investment branch, of the Investment Division of the Belize Social Security Board. The UDP government is carefully controlling the sale of the shares it is rumored. The impression is; that the Social Security Board interest is cloaked with smoke and mirrors, and political hype, but ALL street persons know this is a done deal, as far as our patrimony in social security funds. The question is; are the UDP looting the Social Security funds at the expense of citizens, particularly seniors? Seniors need about $600 a month to barely live and are rumored to get about $75 bz. Without the 15% guarantee in dividends, the alternative is an offer by the Prime Minister announcing that; 45% of the net profits of the private company will be paid out in dividends to shareholders. Since the Government of Belize had to subsidize the past Englishman with millions of dollars out of the GENERAL FUNDS of the revenues to pay him his guaranteed dividend of 15%. Future shareholders in BTL will certainly be curious at estimated net profits and numbers of shares being issued in the re-structured telecommunications company. You divide one by the other to find your return on capital investment. It is believed from published quarterly bank reports that the Social Security Board gets about 9 1/2 % interest on Bank, Certificate of Deposits. So as far as a genuine interest by the Social Security Board in BTL shares, they would have to get better than that to be proper and fundamentally sound? More like 12% to 16%. Is the net profit there is the question? From the past Accommodation Agreement and the guaranteed subsidized dividend payments under the Englishman, past controlling owner, it is doubtful? In the past, net profits for BTL were quoted in the newspapers to average about $30 million a year. Though around $70 million a year were looted from the company on various financial subterfuges the newspaper articles hinted at. Mostly through lending money back to itself through SHELL companies in offshore locations. Nobody knows how many shares in BTL are out there?

The theory espoused of PM Dean Barrow, is that no foreign investor can own more than 25% of the shares in BTL. The government itself will control the voting control of the Board of Directors of BTL. The valuation of the shares of this PRIVATE COMPANY has been quoted in newspapers as $300 million by the Prime Minister. On the street, rough estimates put the value of the company between $35 million and $60 million. This includes physical assets, customer base and good will.
Two foreign investors have supposedly expressed interest in BTL. The company was looted by the previous controlling owner, an Englishman ( now a major player in the UK government ) and also by the controlling owner before that, one American. The major asset in the past was an Accommodation Agreement between the last Prime Minister in which the Government subsidized BTL, with a guaranteed 15% return, and any shortfalls in this amount were met by millions of dollars from the government of Belize. The Englishman was noted as manipulating the political parties during election campaigns according to the newspapers on the subject. The funding of political party election campaigns was used in a corruption campaign contribution system, using BTL funds via pseudo shenanigans is the impression given.

The Amandala article states that there are about 10,000 existing small Belizean shareholders in the company BTL. The situation has changed for telecommunications in Belize. The biggest problem facing Belize is affordable internet service with modern high speeds and bandwidth to hasten entrepreneurial development through the rural entrepreneurial areas. At the moment there are three companies providing such services in scattered locations. These are SMART, owned or controlled by the aforesaid Englishman which gives internet service in competition with BTL and also in areas such as mine in Santa Elena Town, with 22 year old technology, speeds and bandwidth. 115 kbps per second. It takes about 9 hours to download my own business program and there are huge swaths of the computer software I cannot use with such low speeds and bandwidth. The other competitor is the CABLE TV company who has bought up the competition for cable TV in the industrial and population belt running from the Port Town on the East coast of Belize to the Western Twin towns along the Western Highway and off to the sides, some 30 miles both North and South of the Western corridor. We await the arrival of this internet service. It is very high priced. The existing Cable TV coaxial cable had to be replaced for internet provision. The owner is reported as reinvesting as he earns it. The other player is the old colonial telephone company, now called BTL. Now controlled by the government, nationalized and being divested to raise money to pay for the nationalization. It has been a monopoly almost all of it´s existence.

An Irish company in telecommunications throughout the Caribbean has been over to look at the assets of BTL. They are interested in investing, but the government has announced they cannot own more than 25%. The rumor hints that a Mexican company is also interested. On the borders, most internet is provided to border towns from Guatemala companies and Mexican telecommunications companies. I wish I lived closer to the borders. My internet service is inadequate but all that is available. The price is fair though, but not the speed and bandwidth.

The latest announcement is that the sale of shares to the public is postponed again, an ongoing process, the latest being now OCTOBER, 2010. That is unlikely as there is as of yet, no Annual Report to peruse, nor prospectus for BTL. At least I have been unable to get any. Nor have queries to BTL resulted in any. Complicating matters is the subject of resale of shares under the current articles and by laws of the company. The Government is announcing a wholesale replacement of the old Articles and Memorandum of the company will be made and this will not come out and replace the existing setup until November. One doubts any large investor will invest until getting these documents. Me included! The current interested foreign buyer of shares in BTL which is DIGICELL, had to sign a NON DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT with BTL and the government. So SECRECY of the actual situation in BTL remains a sore point with anybody trying to investigate the fundamentals of the company. We are obviously going to be fed a bunch of government hype as in a sales pitch is the impression. Due diligence is limited. This is not a PUBLIC COMPANY, but a PRIVATE COMPANY.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010



Gainesville, FL. -- The first genetic study to compare nuclear DNA of endangered Antillean manatees in Belize with Florida manatees confirmed their designation as separate subspecies. Belize’s manatees, however, were found to have extremely low genetic diversity, raising questions about their long-term genetic viability.

The Central American country of Belize hosts the largest known breeding population of Antillean manatees and is touted by biologists for its potential to repopulate other parts of Central America where manatees are severely reduced, rare or absent.

“It turns out that the genetic diversity of Belize’s manatees is lower than some of the classic examples of critically low diversity” said U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conservation geneticist Margaret Hunter, Ph.D., who led a molecular DNA study of genetic diversity in the Antillean subspecies in Belize.

Belize’s Antillean populations scored lower in genetic diversity than textbook examples of “bottlenecked" endangered species such as Wanglang giant pandas, the East African cheetah and an island koala population founded by only three koalas.

Endangered species need genetic diversity to weather threats to their survival, including random or rare shocks such as disease, hurricanes or habitat destruction. When a population drops to low numbers, the diversity of its gene pool also shrinks. Even after it rebounds to greater numbers, that population decline leaves a legacy of reduced genetic diversity known as a bottleneck. This renders the population more vulnerable to future shocks, explained Hunter.

The low genetic diversity in Antillean manatees is attributed, in part, to centuries of hunting that were only curtailed early in the 20th century. Once found throughout coastal regions of Central and South America, Antillean manatees are now rare or absent in parts of Central America where they used to be considered abundant. Today, even Belize only hosts about 1,000 individuals — a number well below the threshold recommended for long-term sustainability, said Hunter.

Distinct Populations Offer Opportunity

Although the study found low overall genetic diversity in Belize, notable differences were found in manatees that live near Belize City compared to manatees living in lagoons, rivers, and cayes farther
south. These differences, said Hunter, equate to genetic variation, which is valuable for sustaining a diverse gene pool.

“When it comes to the sustainability of a species, this is the type of genetic diversity you want to preserve for the future,” explained Hunter.

To sustain the diverse gene pool these populations offer, managers will need to consider methods of enabling natural migration and mixing to take place between the two populations.

“These results show the importance of corridors of suitable habitat and low human impact that allow manatees to travel between key sites,” said co-author Nicole Auil Gomez, a Belizean biologist who does consulting for the Florida-based conservation organization Sea 2 Shore Alliance.

“Leaving pockets of habitat is no longer enough,” she added.

Confirmation of the Subspecies

The genetic evidence that Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are not regularly mixing with populations of Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) in Belize means they don’t naturally affect each other’s population size or genetic diversity, Hunter said.

The question of whether these two seemingly distant populations were interbreeding had been raised in light of radiotracking evidence that manatees are capable of migrating long distances. Florida manatees have turned up in places as far as Rhode Island, the Bahamas and Cuba.

The only prior genetic data comparing the subspecies came from mitochondrial DNA, which is useful for understanding historical relationships on an evolutionary time scale (think millennia, not decades). By including nuclear DNA, this study provided a modern-day assessment of whether the two populations are migrating and interbreeding.

“We are continuing to piece together the genetic relationships of manatees throughout the Caribbean and it’s giving us insights into how to maintain healthy and stable populations,” said USGS biologist and co-author Bob Bonde, Ph.D.

The study, Low genetic variation and evidence of limited dispersal in the regionally important Belize manatee, was recently published in the journal Animal Conservation.

More information about USGS research on manatee genetics can be found on the USGS Sirenia Project website.
USGS provides science for a changing world. Visit, and follow us on Twitter @USGS and our other social media channels.

FIDEL CASTRO announces the failure of the totalitarian state of CUBAN ECONOMIC experiment!

Fidel Castro of Cuba tells foreign reporter the economic system of CUBA has failed.

A week later, there is an announcement of a 1 million layoff of workers paid by the government at token wages. The Cuban government pretends to pay them and they pretend to work.

In the meantime, the totalitarian dictatorship is announcing a phase in, of small business licenses for private enterprise in certain fields. Like barbershops. Cuba under Fidel Castro believed the nonsense about a STATE OWNED ECONOMY where the population were SLAVES and possessions of the government. Everything in the country was owned by the government.
Like RUSSIA, Fidel Castro of CUBA has learned the truth the hard way. It took him 50 years or so to learn, it took the RUSSIANS about 70 years and it took MAO TSE TUNG of China and his inheritors about 70 years to discover the same lesson.

Now all we have left in the American Continent to learn these economic lessons is Noriega, dictator of Nicaragua and Hugo Chavez, dictator of Venezuela.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

BTL to remain a GOB monopoly, for employing party hacks and relatives?


Just when competition in the field of local telecommunications, promises better bandwidth, speed and lower prices, the Government of the DAY ( UDP ) pull the same twisted deals that the PUP did.

SOCIAL SECURITY should be paying payments to the elderly at the rate of $600 a month Bz. ( $300 usa ). Not investing in a badly run telecommunications company for the benefit of political party hacks employment, or relatives. Unless the GOB is going to GUARANTEE 15% or more dividends annually to small shareholders?

BTL to continue as monopoly, run by Political party hacks?


Check out the comments at the end of this Channel 5 news article...

Sep 9, 2010
B.T.L. on the selling block

Turning to news of a financial nature, it is known that Prime Minister Dean Barrow will use the occasion of Independence Day to announce the sale of shares in the government owned B.T.L. which he arbitrarily took over in August 2009. The sale was discussed today at a special meeting of the Social Security. There are reports that are emerging from the meeting of the investment committee that, if true, are disturbing. News Five was reliably informed that the S.S.B. and G.O.B. will be acquiring fifty-one percent of the B.T.L. shares. There has been no public notice of the investment but the pre-cooked deal is a clear cut case of a conflict of interest. The investment committee is chaired by Nestor Vasquez, who is also the chair of B.T.L. Lois Young, the secretary and legal advisor of B.T.L. is also the chair of SSB. So how is it that Vasquez and Young have become both the sellers and buyers of B.T.L. shares using the people’s pension fund? Well it boils down to the continuing incestuous relationship in the government. As to where the money for the sale will be drawn from, sources say that the local commercial banks will be most affected if SSB deposits are withdrawn to cover the purchase. It then seems likely that corrective measures will have to be taken by the banks in regards to liquidity and outstanding loans. There are two other parties named in the sale; Heritage Bank, which is very interesting since the Bank reported a loss in 2009 and again in the first two quarters of this year. Furthermore, S.S.B. is known to have investments in Heritage Bank so the obvious question is whether the bank’s investment will come from the SSB deposits. The other buyer named is Digicel Caribbean, which in return is to gain a lucrative contract to manage B.T.L. If you join the dots, you will come full circle with those Concerned Belizeans, who stand to benefit from the people’s pension fund. The P.M. will also be releasing the B.T.L. prospectus on Independence Day. The worth of B.T.L., we are told, has been determined at three hundred and eleven million dollars, merely half of what the previous owner has valued the company and compensation has not yet been settled. And when it is finally paid out, how is the Government going to fund the difference between the proceeds from the sale, and the compensation payment? And why don’t they agree on compensation before selling the company to remove risk? While the true financial position of B.T.L. is not known, what is known is that last year it recorded a decline in profits but an overall increase in expenses. News Five attempted to get confirmation but we were told that the manager of the investment committee and the C.E.O. could not be located in Belize City or Belmopan. We’ll have more on this story in the days to come.

2 Responses for “B.T.L. on the selling block”

Magician says:
September 10, 2010 at 10:08 am

Many moons ago, I was a mere student. My teacher taught me that he who has little shall have less, and even that will be taken away. He also had a funny way of counting money. He would say let’s split profits 50/50. Then he would stash his half of the profits, and count my half, which was then split 50/50 again. A very astute individual he was. I was simply naive in the ways of money and money schemes. Yes, Net Vasquez, my teacher………. was one of a kind.
Patriot says:
September 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm

We all remember what happened the last time Social Security funds were used. In fact what happened to those funds anyway. The then Leader of the Opposition (Dean Barrow) vowed that he would trace the money anywhere in the world. Where is the money? I am absolutely opposed to using SS funds to buy BTL. If you want to do something with the funds Mr. PM pay my grandfather and the other people who have given their lives in service of Belize more benefits.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Belize UDP government pre-election propoganda spin!


The latest propaganda ploy in the newspapers trying to show that the government and political party, along with the various Ministry CEO´s, are advertising in the newspapers this past weekend a repeat of the blarney and crap we got 6 or 7 years ago; to sort of show they are innovative and working.
The latest bombast is about the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. This Reserve was de-reserved about 6 or 7 years ago by newspaper announcements of the then PUP administration and opened to tourism development.
I was excited about this at the time and spent 3 years making trips up into the Mountain Pine Ridge to find locations in the cloud cover area for a Biological Reserve station and one that could function as a sailplane operations place and for hang gliders and para gliders. I finally did locate two such places that had the required cloud cover unique bio diversity range we were looking for and also the steep hill, along with an atmospheric STANDING WAVE for tourism glider and soaring operations. I not only needed those conditions, but also a scenic area with remaining good quality scenic pine forest cover, after the rest of the Mountain Pine Ridge had been devastated by the Pine Beetle infestation. Then came the time wasting and expensive process of trying to buy the land and get title to what we needed to build the development. The PUP politicians of that day were busy with get rich quick schemes for themselves and failed to provide the oversight element for the CEO´s of the day and their ministries. The ministries themselves acted just like normal. Since they were not getting paid any extra to take on any extra work, each Ministry, whether it was Forestry, Natural Resource, Lands or Tourism Board simply played the game of referring me back and forth between them. NOBODY wanted to take any responsibility, or hold the position of making decisions. There was no attempt to make a chief. After a couple of years of this run-a-round we gave up. By then a logging operation went into our two chosen locations and deforested them destroying the ambience of the tourism product we envisioned. I was getting older and it looked like my time to develop the Mountain Pine Ridge assets for tourism was fast passing away.
The latest advertising blurb, which I take with deep cynicism, is the same rhetoric and under the advertisements of the Belize Tourist Board and the following CEO´s are supposed to make this de-reserving and tourist development of the Mountain Pine Ridge happen. The do-nothings this time around under the UDP administration are; Beverly Castillo, Mr. Michael Singh, Allen Whylie, Brigadier General Dario Tapia, Mr. George Thompson, Mr. Marcelo Windsor, Ms Christy Mastry, and of course the invisible members of the Forestry Department.
Now if you believe any of this bull manure crap, you need your head examined. There isn´t a single chief among these salaried civil service CEO´s charged with the responsibility to make things happen. It´s a great publicity stunt though, to garner pre-election propaganda for the politicians in the Cabinet. Everybody here named above will follow the same dynamics of civil service survival fiefdoms and point the finger at the other participating Ministries. It´s all crap! BEEN THERE – DONE THAT!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jaguars of Belize study.

(from Belize Culture Listserve )

From Planet Earth Online:

Belizean jaguar populations 'well connected'

3 September 2010, by Tamera Jones

Jaguars in Belize roam over a much wider variety of habitats than previously thought, researchers have found. They say this is good news, because it means the cats are likely to be well connected, which will ensure populations don't become isolated and inbreed.


But it also means jaguars are more likely to come into conflict with people, presenting what the researchers call a conservation paradox.

In contrast, the news is less good for Belizean pumas. The same researchers found that they rarely venture out of the tropical rainforest and warn that with rainforest increasingly under threat, the cats' numbers could drop even further.

Jaguars (Panthera onca) and pumas (Puma concolor) coexist in Belize and sometimes prey on livestock. Before this study, researchers didn't know which habitats they were willing to use, or whether or not human activity put any pressure on their coexistence.

'Understanding how jaguars and pumas share landscapes with people is essential for devising effective conservation strategies.'
Dr Rebecca Foster, Panthera

Earlier studies suggested pumas would be more likely to hunt in a wider variety of landscapes - including those used by people – than jaguars, because they traditionally live in more varied habitats than jaguars do.

'Understanding how jaguars and pumas share landscapes with people is essential for devising effective conservation strategies,' explains Dr Rebecca Foster, who led the study from the University of Southampton but is now at conservation organisation Panthera.

'Jaguars often come into conflict with people, which is a problem for both. So we wanted to see how often they go into 'human-influenced' places,' she adds.

Foster and other researchers from the University of Southampton and Panthera describe in Biotropica how they set up a network of 178 motion-detector cameras both in rainforest in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize, and in unprotected areas used by people to the east of the sanctuary.

The cameras captured thousands of images of jaguars, pumas, people and livestock over a three-year period. It was then Foster's job to sift through the pictures to find the answer to the team's question.

Jaguar caught on camera.

In the end she whittled thousands of photos down to 1380 useful images of around 64 to 74 different jaguars and an unknown number of pumas. Pumas are difficult to identify, because their coats are so uniform. In contrast, jaguars are much easier to identify, because each cat's spots are unique.

To their surprise, Foster and her colleagues found that jaguars roamed over both the rainforest and landscapes used by people much more than pumas did. On the other hand, pumas were less likely to leave the rainforest than jaguars were.

'We found that jaguars are making better use of all areas, which was unexpected,' Foster says.

Foster admits that right now, the researchers can't say exactly why pumas aren't as widespread as they'd anticipated, but suggests that pumas may be less tolerant of people than jaguars are.

The images also revealed that within the forest the cats use similar locations to each other, 'demonstrating an extraordinary capacity for coexistence,' which the study speculates could be down to a difference in their diets. Pumas mainly eat pacas, while jaguars rely on armadillos.

The results are invaluable for a project Foster is currently involved in at Panthera which is partly funded by the UK Darwin Inititative. The organisation is setting about establishing a 'corridor' across the jaguar's entire range in Central and South America to connect the various habitats the cats use. The aim is to make sure that jaguars are well connected to each other, encouraging a healthy mixing of genes.

Rebecca J. Foster, Bart J. Harmsen, and C. Patrick Doncaster, Habitat Use by Sympatric Jaguars and Pumas Across a Gradient of Human Disturbance in Belize, BIOTROPICA, published online 4 August 2010, doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2010.00641.x