Sunday, July 31, 2011

UDP Report CARD approval rating drops to 23%.

Article in the Amandala, by Oscar Ramirez, ( July 31/11 )is going to cost the UDP Cabinet, a loss of 10 points due to lack of coordination, leadership, management and directional control of the reorganization process of the land title processing system in the government bureaucracy. Much as they try, the UDP CABINET cannot seem to organize the Lands Department in an efficient organized expeditious manner. As TRUMAN is often quoted, "THE BUCK STOPS HERE!" In this case the long running, eternal complications with the lands department beauocratic system and fiefdom, STOPS WITH THE UDP CABINET. DYSFUNCTIONAL LEADERSHIP control is the verdict and this is going to cost the UDP CABINET 10 points. The problems are outlined in the article in the Amandala by Oscar Ramirez, titled, Crooked JP´s are the problem. The dysfunction is more than that.
This has been a festering problem for too many years. If the UDP CABINET cannot fix it, they need to resign and lets elect somebody who can manage this country better in the Lands Registry system. Faster, more reliable and less time consuming bottlenecks are needed. 10 points deducted from the Government Report Card approval rating. This now slides to UDP Cabinet rating of 23 points.

UDP rating gains 1% to 28% of their Approval rating report card.

UDP Approval rating gains 1 point on their report card. The subject was the overproduction of certain basic commodities, among which were were corn and onions. At the moment BELIZE has an agricultural surplus. We produce more basic food than we can eat.
This is a GOOD THING and the Agriculture Department takes some credit for this.
There are other problems with overproduction of food and that is preservation and value added products for exports. That is another challenge for another day.

UDP report card approval rating drops to 27%.

UDP CABINET loses 5 points on Approval Rating report card, for their inability to control the bureaucracies under their control and leadership. A series of articles show that across the country, particularly along the Western border, some 14 miles inland. Lumber poachers are encourage to rape the rare tree lumber species, with the connivance of our bureaucratic departments. An article in the Amandala newspaper, July 31/11, by the Maya Leaders Alliance covered one aspect and geographic invasion in their area. The explanations given, shows that the UDP CABINET lack the leadership, the will, the capability to coordinate, and control the fiefdoms of different Belize Government institutions. You have the POLICE Department, the Forestry Department the major independent uncontrollable bureaucratic fiefdom, and the Lands Department in this one instance. There are other geographical places also along the Western border of our nation where beaucrats are runing wild with dysfunctional incompetence and not controlled by our political UDP Cabinet leadership
New score card rating for the dysfunctional UDP Cabinet is 27%..

UDP approval rating goes up 2 points, to 32%

UDP Approval Rating goes up by 2 points to 32%

Based on BTB signing contracts for improving established tourist site infra-structure in the Cayo District.

Press release on signing of STP contract for Cayo Archeological investments. Found in Amandala newspaper July 31st, 2011.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Selling artists work from Belize - travails.

Lans Sluder, famous international travel writer on Belize. Many books about Belize.

Yesterday we deposited some art, from my wife and I, at the HOUSE OF CULTURE below the Town Hall in San Ignacio. Apparently it is run by the more advanced lady from Benque Viejo TOWN BOARD, HOUSE OF CULTURE. I was a bit disconcerted that I could not get a receipt for my pencil art of Mayan historical scenes, as the two pieces selected were moderately valuable, and that the lady had no idea, or concept, that when requesting and accepting contributions from artists, THEY at the HOUSE OF CULTURE were required to have an INSURANCE POLICY, to cover damage or theft of any art on LOAN to the HOUSE OF CULTURE. My pieces sell for $750 usa, nearly always to foreigner collectors of unique rare, one off art pieces, overseas, via the internet. ( known as INVESTMENT ART, as they will only go UP in value, over time and long after I´m dead ) There was not much there to show in San Ignacio of much value art otherwise. My wife also placed samples of her weaving art. She was very worried that the House of Culture had no receipts or insurance policy either. She elected to remove a couple of weaving pieces, of relatively expensive decorative hand woven ( back strap loom ) belts that she makes and sells locally for $150 bz. Since she has a market for several of her weaving products. They sell reasonably well. Guatemalans like them and that is a bigger market. Our only hold back is the transportation and time necessary to get pieces to distributors in Guatemala and in the case of weaving stuff, it is impossible to buy the wool in Belize, so we have to wait until we can make a vacation trip to Guatemala. We bring back wool, but have found that our bags of wool disappear in our work space, presumably from different housekeepers that work once in a while. Very annoying, because it is irreplaceable wool. A few hundred dollars of wool inventory have disappeared from the work space several times. My wife is a full time weaver. Thickness and quality has a lot to do with weaving art wool. There is a stall in the Macal River market that carries a few types of wool from Mexico, but for greater selections we have to make a trip to Guatemala interior up in the mountains.

Anyway at their ( SAN IGNACIO HOUSE OF CULTURE ) solicitation, we tried to help out and submitted a few pieces for them to show. It will be the last time though, if anything is lost, or damaged.

From: tc vernon
To: Lan Sluder
Cc: Belize Culture
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 7:15 AM
Subject: Re: Bz-Culture: Art Galleries in Belize

Thanks for sharing that Lan! Much appreciated at this end.

Have a great weekend.

On Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM, Lan Sluder wrote:

Corrections and additions welcome.

--Lan Sluder ( travel writer on Belize specialist ) contributed by LAN SLUDER and received via the bz-culture chat list. Lan is a famous travel writer on tourism in Belize, with regular updates on changing conditions.


Art Galleries in Belize



Image Factory

91 N. Front St.


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9-5

Established in 1995, the Image Factory under Director Yasser Musa is at the heart of Belize’s art and cultural scene. The Image Factory has shows featuring Belize’s top artists and writers and regularly exhibits around 15 artists.

Fine Arts Gallery

1 Fort St. in Tourism Village


Hours: When cruise ships are in port, or by appointment

Stocks original art and prints from a number of Belizean artists including Carolyn Carr and Walter Castillo. Sells primarily to cruise ship tourists.

Belizean Handicraft Market Place (formerly National Handicraft Center)

2 S. Park in Fort George area opposite Memorial Park


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8-5, Sat. 8-4

Broad selection of 100% Belizean-made crafts.


Art Box

Mile 46, Western Hwy.


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8-6

Large gift shop with wood carvings, jewelry and some paintings by Carolyn Carr, Manuel Gonzalez Daza and others.


Caribbean Colors Art Gallery

Front St.

501-206-0206 or 877-809-1659

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8-5

Detroit-born Lee Vanderwalker’s gallery, café and gift shop has wearable art by Vanderwalker, along with Christmas ornaments, jewelry, jewelry boxes and tiles.

Cooper’s Art Gallery

Front St.


Hours: Mon. Noon-6, Tue.-Sat. 10-8

Co-owner Debbie Cooper, who spent years living in Hawaii, sells her own paintings and prints here, together with work by Walter Castillo, Nelson Young and other artists.


Corozal Art Gallery

Reyes Plaza, 4th Ave. and 3rd St. N.


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 am “until” or by appointment

Newly opened in mid-2011, the Corozal Art Gallery offers the work of several Belizean artists including Donna Williams and David Terrelong of Corozal, along with art by owner Anne de Strijcker, who signs her paintings “Iver.”


Garinagu Crafts and Art Gallery

46 Oak St. at Tubroose St.


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30-6

Owner Francis Swaso, a Garifuna art and culture expert, offers handmade Garifuna drums, dolls, wood carvings and masks.

Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery

3 Aranda Crescent at Gallery St.


Hours: 9-5 Tue.-Sat. (usually closing at Noon-2 for lunch); Sun. 9-Noon

Admission BZ$5

Dangriga native Cayetano’s well-known impressionist paintings depict Garifuna culture. Also sold here are CDs from Cayetano’s band and needlework and other art by other members of the Cayetano family.


Sugar Shack

Gales Point village next to Maroon Creole Drum School


American Jill Burgess sells art made from driftwood and bamboo.


Maya Center Women’s Cooperative Crafts Store

Hours: Daily 7:30-4:30

Baskets, slate carvings, masks, bowls, wood carvings and knick-knacks made by local Mopan women are sold at fair prices in this co-op.


Lola’s Art

Seine Bight


Hours: Daily 7-6

Belize City native Lola Delgado displays and sells her own bold, strongly colored paintings of Garifuna women and Belizean seascapes, primitive in some ways but strangely appealing.

Art ‘n Soul

South end of the Sidewalk, Placencia village


Hours: Daily 9-6

Greta Leslie displays and sells her own work, together with that of Nelson Young, Lola Delgado, Omar Sierra and others.


Maya Beach, opposite Green Parrot


Hours: Thu.-Tue. 10-6

No junk here. Long-time Belize resident Jenny Wildman’s gallery cum café displays the top end of Belizean furniture, crafts, sculpture, textiles and art. Among artists displayed here are Pen Cayetano and Isiah Nicholas.


Orange Gifts (formerly Caesar’s Place)

Mile 60, Western Hwy.


This roadside gift shop near San Ignacio has a large selection of Belizean and Guatemalan crafts, including wood bowls, wood carvings, masks, and others. There also are Orange Gifts locations in San Pedro and at the Ka’ana Resort in San Ignacio.

Garcia Sisters Tanah Mayan Art Museum

Cristo Rey Rd., San Antonio, Cayo


Hours: Daily 7-7

The Garcia sisters brought back the Maya art of slate carvings, and many beautiful examples are on display and for sale here (most of the slate comes from the Mountain Pine Ridge) along with limestone statues.

Sak Tunich

Cristo Rey Rd., San Antonio, Cayo


Hours: Daily 6-6

Brothers Jose and Javier Magaña offer their slate carvings, limestone statues, wood carvings and ceramics.


Belizean Arts

Barrier Reef Dr. at Fido’s


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10-6

The first art gallery in Belize, established more than 20 years ago by Londoner Lyndsey Hackston, Belizean Arts today has the largest selection of art by Belizeans and Belize residents of any gallery in the country, with paintings by Walter Castillo, Pen Cayetano, Nelson Young, Leo Vasquez, Piva, Eduardo García, Curvin Mitchell, Jorge Landero and others. The gallery also carries art by Cuban and other Caribbean artists, along with ceramics, jewelry and other crafts.

Dock Street Art Gallery

Black Coral St. at Barrier Reef Dr.


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10-6

Dock Street Gallery represents one Belizean and three expat artists resident in Belize: Jose Cantos, Linda Mikulich, Wayne Hammon and Paul Stevenson.

C. Emmanuel Gallery

Coconut Dr., inside SunBreeze Hotel


Hours: By appointment

Christopher Emmanuel, author of Secrets to Life and other self-help books, operates a small gallery selling his paintings of Maya and Garifuna life.

In addition to these galleries, gift shops at some Belize hotels and lodges sell Belize crafts and a limited amount of art. Among notable hotel gift shops with art and crafts are these:

Blancaneaux Lodge, Mountain Pine Ridge

Hamanasi, Hopkins

Jaguar Reef, Hopkins

Ka’ana Resort, Western Hwy., San Ignacio

The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Chial Rd. near San Ignacio

Turtle Inn, Placencia

Monday, July 25, 2011


Lord Ashcroft of Belize and UK and myriad tax havens in between.




In the last sitting of the house, the PM introduced a new bill that will amend the constitution saying that no one can ever challenge amendments to the constitution or the constitution in a court of law.

What kind of nonsense is that?

That is the kind of law dictators pass.

The rule of law is supposedly the foundation of our democracy. If you don't like something, including a law or proposed law, you go to court to contest it. Not all laws passed by the government pass the sniff test. Governments are always trying to find way to circumvent their responsibility to the people. That is why Judicial Review exists, to challenge unjust and dictatorial laws.

"Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review, and possible invalidation, by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority, such as the terms of a written constitution. Judicial review is an example of the functioning of separation of powers in a modern governmental system (where the judiciary is one of three branches of government). "

So now, with his supermajority, the PM can pass any old law to enshrine himself as the ultimate dictator and no one can challenge that?

Every time you think it can't get any worse in Belize, it does! What an este!

Belizeans, rise up and protect what's left of our democracy. It is under SERIOUS attack by the sitting PM.


Belize is an elected dictatorship. The GANG leader, or Mafioso Don is the leader of a political party. In Belize, there are TWO parties at present. The mafioso Don who is the gang leader ( political party ) automatically takes the title of Prime Minister, ( in Spanish we call him a CAUDILLO ) if his party wins the election by majority elected representatives. The GANG LEADER, or now DICTATOR of the government takes on the charade of a British Parliamentary model, except in many countries, particularly in Belize, the mockery of titles and government executive branches are simply that, a MOCKERY AND CHARADE. The intent is to stop the outside world, who are naive about dictatorships, elected or not, believe there exists a democracy. Words and organizations like SENATE, PARLIAMENT, JUDICIAL BRANCH are used. These are actually SHAM organizations, meant to pull the wool over the outside world eyes, and give the outside world legitimate excuse not to interfere in the BELIZE dictatorship.
The dictatorship itself, is a criminal group of opportunists GANG and is ruled with an iron fist by the GANG LEADER and gang members are given salaries and perks, dependent on how well they OBEY and are obedient to the GANG LEADER. Called in this system, a Prime Minister. He in turn gives them titles making them Cabinet Members, with ministerial portfolios to run certain government departments. These lower members of the GANG are allowed to run scams, embezzlements and other criminal deeds, to sipnon off tax revenues coming to the treasury. If they do so, in a manner which is sophisticated enough, to not let the fleeced, tax paying victims of the population of Belize raise any dissension, then they get more and more perks and rewards within this gang membership system. This is the way the mafioso Don, called a Prime Minister controls those in his gang under him. Otherwise he removes them from their lucrative opportunities and positions. In order to keep their positions in the GANG, tney have to swear allegience to the gang leader and any infraction is dealt with severely. They also must as best as possible let the function of government run as best as possible and temper their stealing and crooked deals, to the point that any illegal activities are disguised as best as possible. In case of an uproar by the population of voters over some miscreant, the GANG members, must combine and protect their members against any opposition from the population of taxpaying voters.
The whole crooked system is actually, the domain and rule of ONE MAN, the CAUDILLO, or Prime Minister in our parlance. Other than fictitious SHAM names of seperate executive branches, there is actually in Belize anyway, no other governing method than whatever mafioso DON is in charge of the gang running the government. All else is showmanship, pseudynoms and a charade. If you have read books describing the mafioso 5 gangs of New York City, you can understand the Belize governing model. Here in Belize the Mafioso are the government. Play acting at running a real government.
The population have been clamoring for a change to a real government for the past forty years, without success and it will not happen until there is a revolution. A violent revolution! So history around the world teaches us.
Probably the best alternative is the REPUBLIC model of government. In which a CONGRESS is substituted for our parliament and Senators for the SENATE are popularly elected persons. The Prime Minister can exist as a mafioso Don and gang leader of those seats he holds in the Congress, but really the current system needs to be replaced with the PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SYSTEM for Congress. In which ANY political party gaining enough votes and a seat in CONGRESS, can trade their votes for a consensus reaching system. Not a dictatorial system, like we have right now. The other change, would be a President model, in which a popularly elected President, can VETO the legislation proposed by CONGRESS and the PRIME MINISTER.
Belizeans right now are more savvy about our political shortcomings and whether or not they can FORCE either of the two existing political parties to change the Constitutional setup peacefully to a REPUBLIC remains to be seen. The UDP have ONE YEAR to do so. After which public opinion will turn against them, for the next election. The Opposition party, the PUP can also win the next election if they promise to change the system within their first year in office. Neither solution history teaches is probably going to happen and the country will drift slowly at first, but faster and more violently to a revolution, with both politicians and civilians becoming dead or maimed, victims to the GREED shown by dictators, however named, and the GREED represented by the normal human frailties of a GANG of opportunists, and criminals in action. All of this throughout human history is a normal state of affairs. What is abnormal is genuine democratic government. Most people are non-violent and want to be left alone as much as possible to live well. Unfortunately, a non-violent change in the way our Constitution is written and how we are governed, historically does not happen. The alternative is a violent overthrow of the status quo and that simmering pot in Belize continues to simmer, bubble and boil under the quiet surface of our current system and dictator.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Swimming with huge whale sharks in Belize, in season.

DICTATOR of BELIZE, proposes to remove power of SUPREME COURT.

Dean Barrow seems to have gone crazy under pressure of his job?

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Today's Sitting of the house is historic but not for all good reasons - again our Constitution is under ATTACK!

PM tabled amendments to Sec. 2 and 69 - they are not progressive. The amendment to Sec.69 of our Constituion to oust the jurisdiction of the Court to look into the constituionality of any changes to the Constitution is illegal, mypoic, and a subversion of our democracy since our Courts as a bastion of our democracy cannot be excluded from hearing ANY case and matter - especially one that interfers with our CONSTITUTION! Belizeans - this is extremely dangerous!

The intention of the AMENDMENTS to the Constitution, are to solidify greater power in the CABINET, made up of our elected dictatorship for five years, under MAFIOSO DON, DEAN BARROW a lawyer. Also gang leader of his political party who controls the whole government now. Using a psuedynonm title of PRIME MINISTER. There are no functioning EXECUTIVE BRANCHES. The Parliament and Senate are rubber stamp, CHARADES to satisfy the outside world and fool them into thinking we have a democracy. Just like any dictatorship, whether it be Syria, or Nigeria. These amendments are to also cancel any seperate functions of the SUPREME COURT.
I don´t know what happened to Dean Barrow? I always thought he meant his BEST for building the nation of Belize. But lately, his legal ideas are myopic indeed and more in line with the idealistic first year thinking of a young law student. The tendency is not idealist, but dictatorship, like Nigeria, or Syria. In both countries they cannot feed their people and in both countries, the police, army and secret police are murdering their own dissenters by the thousands.
What we need is PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION FOR FOUR YEARS. PUP supporters need to get the PUP gang, organized and present a platform on amending the Constitution of Belize, to make Belize a consensual democracy, where Parliament is a real place of debate and votes cut across a different sections of society. Give us an alternative to vote for in the next election. Our SENATE and PARLIAMENT are non functional RUBBER STAMP CHARADES for outsiders to look at, but actually just play acting at democracy, while rule is by the CHIEF DON ( Caudillo ) of the MAFIOSO GANG controlling the CABINET. Taking away the power of the SUPREME COÜRT simply solidifies power in a dictator. Our current political government is a cruel joke, a false show for foreign consumption, with no real functions inside Belize. Either we fix it for the next election with a real choice on which a GANG of opportunists and criminals run the country on our behalf, or Belize is doomed to remain a third rate country.
The UDP will be rated on their APPROVAL RATING over the next year, on how many changes they make to amend the Constitution to make Belize a better DEMOCRACY with a functioning seperation of Executive powers, a broader ( PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION ) system of finding consensus. Each quarter of the coming year, the UDP fail to build a better DEMCORACY out of Belize in the coming year, they will lose 10 points from the report card on performance. Should the PUP offer a platform needed to make Belize a working consensual democracy, then we will have a choice of WHO to vote for in the next election.
TV NEWS, reports the amendments are meant to remove the SUPREME COURT from interpreting the Constitution and give that power to the GANG LEADER of the Mafioso in the CABINET. Thus we end up with no JUSTICE, we already have NO PARLIAMENT and NO SENATE, only a charade of seperation of powers, for foreign consumption, Like Syria and Nigeria.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Belize Development problems and viewpoints.

Port Town ethnic CREOLES complain about lack of opportunities.

Sheesh! Are you guys out of touch? Lots of opportunities in farming. Cheese makers are growing in numbers, yet none have got to the point of advanced cheese making and packaging for export. Shortage of milk and dairy herds is the problem. I have GINGER in my yard. We are importing GINGER products, biscuits, etc., from Sri Lanka for heavens sake. Easy thing to produce, even grow your own ginger, it will grow wild. Need a small corn mill to grind the ginger roots, the aluminum food wrapping, cardboard box for shipping, a hand held gadget to crimp the aluminum foil around your roll of biscuits. Export chocolate business is wide open. About $250,000 gross of cottage industry chocolates are made and distributed solely within Belize by six chocolate makers. They cannot even satisfy the local market, as the cost of collecting your money and distribution is killing them. There are no trustworthy distributors. Same problem with book publishing. Every place wants products on consignment, but it costs too much to collect your money for sales. The big problem so far in food processing for export, is access to cardboard decorated boxes for your food product, to export and availability for food type aluminum foil rolls with your printing on them to satisfy foreign markets requirements. 3 D wood carving machines, will make all the tourist nick knacks out of wood you want. Just have to hand paint them. Nobody has any such 3 D carver yet here. I´d love to get one. I haven´t tried the ion heat generator yet, but if it worked, lots of opportunity for a series of steam operated generators providing low cost electricity to the national grid. Been thinking of starting a pilot project company to import one of those steam electric generators, but first I want to run the experiment with the ion reaction heat generator to get some stats. Then would need a few million of investment money ( by selling preferred shares ) to do the first smaller pilot project and find out the problems and expand from there. I´m 74 yrs old, unfortunately my grandkids have their own ideas and goals in their 20´s. So not much inspiration for me to be the driving force here. I´ve been trying to make my solar panel when I can occasionally spare the time. Having trouble soldering to one side of the solar cells. Just haven´t got around to playing with it yet. I burned out my volt meter and can´t find an affordable replacement locally. So been putting it off.
You have 22 year old young Belizean farmers with their own airplanes, paid for in CASH, both Mennonite and Mestizo. Who are you kidding with your complaints? EVERYBODY who works drives a vehicle now. Lots of uneducated CREOLES complaining, I will agree with untrained labor as their only recourse. But Mennonite kids only go as far as primary school and quit at age 14 yrs. After that, they learn by mentoring, trial and error self teaching off the internet.
Research and Development costs are the big problem. No guarantee you will get your money back, you have to do it by trial and error. Unorganized investment speculation funds also a big problem for small start ups selling shares in a new venture. The CREOLE run government are locked into a Colonial LOAN mentality. Don´t even understand what an Investment Bank is. The Business degrees being produced by our Universities seem not to be teaching how to start and finance a business by selling shares. They seem to be all salaried orientated types, looking for low paid government jobs. LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES!

Thursday, July 21, 2011



The one point raise on the report card, was because I found out from the tv news, that BULLET PROOF VEST possession is no longer a CRIME in Belize with penalties. There was a court case yesterday in which a person arrested and charged with an illegal bullet proof vest was set free by the magistrate. The arresting police officer did not show up. Since the law had been changed. The case therefore was thrown out of court.
It does show that the politicians can amend STUPID legislation when they want. Now if they would only change legislation to improve DEMOCRATIC processes in the political representation realm, also in the Electoral Division head count assignments. We could start to get a more FAIR Belize.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MARCEL CARDONA is the BEST pòlitician in Belize.

Marcel Cardona, Orange Walk East elected UDP representative to parliament. Denied by his own party, for defending the interests of his constituency against the depredations of the party political gang of criminal bullies.
Marcel Cardona is the BEST politician in the UDP political party, controlling the government of Belize.
In the past year, he has been denied by the gang of criminals, making up the current controlling politics of Belize ( the UDP ). They have tried to oust him from the legislature. Isolated him to sit by himself, in the House meetings. Peer pressure, gang bullying, denial of basic elected representative rights, help for his constituents.
As a BELIZEAN I am PROUD of Marcel Cardona. He is the only politican and elected representative in the nation of Belize with a will of his own, a conscience and willing to put his constituents FIRST, over the GANG membership, called a UDP political party. Marcel Cardona is a man to be admired. He has BALLS ( testicles ) withstanding the bullying and peer pressure of the gang of sychophants surrounding the GANG leader, Dean Barrow. What Barrow wants, Barrow gets, and all his fellow gang of bullying party members know it. I´m ASHAMED of my own elected repesentative, Rene Montero. He is one of the toadys that is among the worst of the lot. Sucking up to his GANG LEADER, Dean Barrow. He will not support his constituents against the members of his gang. All this criminal gang and the previous one in government ( the PUP ) are the same. These gang members are not about serving Belize the nation, but about feathering their own pockets, with perks, vehicles, salaries, pensions, travel trips, allowances, etc. Nor will ANY OF THEM stand up to their GANG LEADER and defend the constituents that had to elect them. The best of what were bad choices.
There is much discussion about how to change the political system of Belize, instead of electing GANGS of criminals to run the country. We have two gangs representing politics and another dozen small gangs at the street level, dealing in drugs, extortion and burglary. The best idea I have heard is PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION; wherein each political party get awarded seats according to the number of votes they get in National Elections. Sort of creating a consensus in Parliament. It would certainly be better than electing a gang of criminals to be dictators for 5 years instead of a more reasonable 4 years.
The UDP have two years to change our political system to PROPORTIONAL REPRSENTATION, failing which, every right minded patriotic person should VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE. Mind you, the criminal gang of PUP could get elected if they PROMISED to convert the political system to proportional representation as their platform, in the first six months in office. The only alternative for the UDP, to do so first in the next 2 years, BEFORE the next election. Failing that, maybe the status quo will remain, with complainers, but more likely civil war will start. People will start shooting criminal gang members masquerading as patriotic politicians. One doubts that the status quo will go on much longer. It is too morally bankrupt.


According to Arnold King of Library Economics Liberty: "A BANANA REPUBLIC is a country where government obligations swamp total wealth. In a typical BANANA REPUBLIC , wealthy individuals race to move their savings overseas to safe havens. Those who fail to do so will suffer from taxation, inflation, and currency devaluation. In practice, when government borrows and spends, the people who receive the money know they are better than the people who are going to have to pay it back. That is why fiscal stimulus works...supposedly. Sooner or later, the profligate are going to take from the prudent, the grasshopper is going to confiscate the property of the ants."

TAX COLLECTORS in BELIZE waiting for Bob Bounahra to step off the plane in Belize.


Bob Bounahra, a Belize shopkeeper from the tiny country of Belize has climbed from over 6000 participants in the WORLD CLASS POKER TOURNAMENT, to 8th place. He is now guaranteed to win at least $600,000 usa currency. Bob is part of a group of weekly poker players in Belize numbering about 6 people, who decided to enter the contest. Poker is not a common game in Belize, very rare indeed. His other Belizean players say he is not even the best player among them. Bob seems to be winning based on a calculated defensive strategy. He is now shooting for a $1 million in winnings. Even if he doesn´t make it, he will at least gross over $600,000.

The USA IRS tax collectors are watching closely and salivating for the tournament to end. In Belize, the local Belize TAX COLLECTORS are even worse. They will be waiting for him to step off the airplane when arriving back in his tiny country. How much will actually end up in Bob´s pocket is unknown, but it sure isn´t going to be as much as he would like. Unless he donates it to charity up there in the USA.

Update on Belize´s Bob Bounahara standings in the WORLD POKER TOURNAMENT.

Bob Bounahra is a Belizean, and his entry in the WSOP clearly states he is from Belize. It doesn't say anything about Florida, although he probably does have a home there.

As of last night, he is now in 6th place. He made the top 9, which means he is in the running to compete for the top prize of US$8.7 Million in November.

What is interesting is that he wears a Belize cap throughout the game, so every time the camera pans to him, the name Belize blazes on the camera.

This is the current payout structure:


* Place
* Earnings
* 1st
* $8,711,956
* 2nd
* $5,430,928
* 3rd
* $4,019,635
* 4th
* $3,011,661
* 5th
* $2,268,909
* 6th
* $1,720,396
* 7th
* $1,313,851
* 8th
* $1,009,910
* 9th
* $782,115



The watchman was not killed, but injured and tied up and left on his own. The Belize Coast Guard apparently have no clue. Is there recorded archived satellite coverage one can only wonder, for the time of the robbery on the tiny rocky island? Piracy is common in Belize and has been for over 60 years that I know of. Having had altercations with pirates, or wannabe pirates myself during my seagoing career along the Great Barrier Reef. Thirty thousand US dollars worth of equipment was stolen over 4 hours.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Belize Poker Player reaches one round from World championship


Belize poker player reaches near last round of WORLD POKER CHAMPIONSHIPS this week.

He is from Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Town. On the GREAT BARRIER REEF.

Bob Bounahra still standing in Poker’s World Championship
With a combination of fantastic short stack play, incredible patience and a little luck Belize’s own Bob Bounahra is still standing tall in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. Yesterday we reported that Bob would have to survive Monday’s play in order to make the coveted Final Table in November. Turns out it wasn’t that easy. There is one more day of play today. If Bob can make it through today he’s going to the Final Table of the World Championship of Poker.
Monday saw 57 players start and after 5 incredibly tough levels of play just 22 players are left. Bob sits in 21st place. It’s familiar territory for him. He spent all of yesterday as the short stack, never leaving the bottom 3rd of the rankings. But, while massive chip leaders went to war with each other and players exited the tournament left, right and center Bob remained a pillar of calm and serenity amongst the storm. He has displayed a masterclass of pressure play, never panicking, just waiting for his moment to play his premium cards. On more than one occasion yesterday he was close to elimination but found the cards and the courage to survive.
How huge is Bob Bounahra’s achievement so far? The country of France, population 63 million, lost its last player yesterday. The United Kingdom, population 59 million has just ONE representative left. Belize, population just 300,000 has Bob! He was on ESPN 2 yesterday evening proudly wearing his Belize hat. In a text message he said “I’m playing for all of Belize.” Every poker player in Belize is rooting for him big time. This reporter went to bed at 3:30am after following every on line report and watching every second of TV coverage.
Today 22 players will start. Only 9 will be left standing at the end of the day. It’s a long shot but Bob could be one of those 9. This reporter firmly believes he will make it to the Final Table of Poker’s World Championship. He has the patience, the skill and the great karma to do it!
Coverage on ESPN2, that’s Channel 52 in San Pedro.
He has so far done more for tourism to Belize this year than any other entity and if he does make the final table it will be the biggest boost to tourism that the industry has ever experienced.

Web coverage at Play starts at 1:00pm Belize time.
Those of us who don't follow gambling may not be familiar with the event called the World Series of Poker. But for gamblers, that is like the Superbowl: it's got the biggest pot of money, the best players from all over the world and the largest audience in the world.

And tonight - at this hour - a Belizean, Bob Bou-Nahra is in the final 13 - which is nothing short of incredible, since the event started with almost seven thousand competitors at the start of the month. His uncanny ascension to the very top of the global gambling game has elated his friends and fellow players to no end. They've been following his progress very closely via the internet over the weekend - and tonight on TV as the event is on ESPN Two. It's generous publicity for Belize as well as Bou-Nahra has been wearing a Belize hat throughout the event. Speaker of the House Emil Arguelles - himself an avid gambler - who was up in Vegas at the World Series just a few days ago was part of an enthusiastic viewing party for Bou-Nahra in the city this afternoon. He put his friend's accomplishment in context for us:…

Emil Arguelles - Speaker of the House
"The enormity of this is the fact that 7,000 players have started this tournament and BOB is now on the final table which is better than at least 1% of all players who started. In addition this has to be to my knowledge the most sought after prize in gambling anywhere in the world. More so for specifically for the game of poker and the fact that it's the biggest prize for this game in the world. It's to my knowledge first place if Bob were to win would be the largest prize payout for any sport ever won by a Belizean. It is a combination of luck, skill. At this point Bob is near the final 15, so he is practically secured a critical spot and he will at this point probably playing tight and ease his way into the final table."

Jules Vasquez
"How hard are you guys routing for him and are you all sort of living vicariously through his exceptional performance?"

Emil Arguelles - Speaker of the House
"Well most of the people in this room were there a few days ago. We came back for various works - the House sitting on Friday but yes we all are proud that a Belizean with the flag of Belize that everybody can see is there online and live on ESPN."

Jules Vasquez
"How would you critique his performance right now and the prospects for him making it to that elite final 9?"

Emil Arguelles - Speaker of the House
"His performance so far has been impeccable; he has not to my mind made one mistake. He has mix in the correct mixture of bluffing and tight playing and I have no doubt that he will be on the final table in November unless bad luck which can happen happens."

As we noted - at this hour - Bou-Nahra is in the final 13 competitors - the aim is to make it to the final nine - who will play in a final in November.

Just a while ago he had 15.5 million in chips - and was fifth overall - but he just had a bad break and lost about 4 million of those chips.

So he has about eleven million in chips and if he loses now, he'd still take home a payday of $478,000.00 US dollars. If he makes it to the final 9, the minimum guaranteed payout is 782 thousand dollars up to the first prize which is 8.7 million dollars.

Bou-Nahra is the first Belizean to have reached this deep into the competition, the best another has done is to finish 150th…..


The big thing with Belize is the amount of better quality English speaking graduates coming from the colleges in the six rural districts, outside of the port of Belize City, which port town, predominantly does not speak English, but prefer CREOLE. An old English bastardized dialect, that even Belizean outdistrict people cannot understand these days, on the talk shows now on cable TV going to the district towns. I find myself flipping the channel, because I cannot understand some of the contributors that call in to local port town tv media channels. I´ve become spoiled in the Cayo District where everybody speaks American English, not Creole, or Spanish. I find I´ve forgotten my CREOLE.

With English already mastered, how far can this curiously attractive nation go on the Latin America call center map? (Part one of two part series)

By Jeff Pappas

How many times have you traveled to a tropical paradise and said to yourself, “I am going to move here and open a bar”? Now, tell me how many times you traveled to a tropical paradise and said to yourself, “I am going to move here and open a call center.”

Well, Transparent BPO chief executive officer Scott Newman did. While on a cruise that docked in Belize, he noticed that all of the individuals he met (both on the coast and in town) spoke English better than many of his agents in the U.S. Newman realized that Belize could be on the cusp of emerging as the next country to handle the needs of his U.S.-based customers.

The business potential he saw in Belize — that little spot on the map just to the right of Guatemala and just below Mexico — was high, possibly higher than either of the bordering (and much larger) Central America countries. But why? Well, first you must keep in mind what U.S. third-party outsourcers require: high-quality, English-speaking labor. Not surprisingly, they require this in large quantities and, more important, with a low price tag.

While the U.S. can no longer capitalize on low-cost labor expansion for growth, beyond our borders lies a world full of nations that can. Not only can — but are.

Can Belize Do an El Salvador?

Take the case of El Salvador. For years the Central American nation has been attracting offshore companies such as Sykes and Stream.

When the number of bilingual workers was at a minimum in El Salvador, the country reached out to Nicaragua for labor that could speak English fluently and serve U.S. customers. When the Nicaraguans realized that their quality labor was being siphoned by their neighbor, the government focused on developing a call center industry to cease the out-migration. Once Nicaragua started keeping their people, by bringing in companies like Sitel, they too started running out of quality bilingual labor. So Nicaragua reached out to Guatemala, which also had a fair-size labor force that spoke quality English.

Well, Guatemala saw opportunity and lured the likes of 24-7 and NCO to add to the already burgeoning local call industry created by GuateCall, BCC, and Transactel. Honduras took note of the potential “domino theory” and began recruiting heavily in the call center market to somehow cure their unemployment ails.

With all these Central American countries having been so successful in attracting outsourcers to increase the employment potential for their citizens, how can Belize hope to be the next in line and even surpass these other countries? Can a country the size of Belize supply and sustain bilingual workers over an extended period of time?

The English Advantage

Belize is one of the few countries in the world where English is the official language. And while Spanish also is widely spoken, all official government documents, deeds, and papers are in English. Belize can boast of being the only English-speaking country in the region where more than 50% of the population speaks a second language.

Multinational companies should focus specifically on the suitable talent supply for the job categories they need, rather than rely on the size of a country’s overall population. With regards to Belize, companies should size the labor supply based on the numbers of “English First” workers. Generally, the English-speaking portion of the Nicaraguan labor force will pale in comparison to the English-speaking portion of the Belize labor force. As a result, the availability of such bilingual labor could offer Belize the chance to play a role in the emerging global outsourcing market.

Outsourcing’s Revolving-Exit Door Problem

So, Belize would have an edge when it comes to the English capabilities of its workers. What about another major issue that outsourcing companies face all the time: loyal workers?

A majority of call centers are plagued with high attrition. Anyone who manages a call center knows that the attrition rate in the industry is a huge problem and always has been. According to some research data, the rate in the United States is 50%, nearly 35% in the U.K., and a whopping 80% in India. In Latin America, by contrast, attrition ranges from 10% to 25% for outsourced call centers, and about 5% for captive and shared service centers.

Staff turnover is more a characteristic of the type of business than of the geography or culture. In the U.S., call-center work is not highly paid (less true in Latin America) and attracts a mixed group of people: students, part-time workers, and those with few or no qualifications.

This is certainly not the case in Belize, where call-center staff may be well-qualified in their particular field but cannot get a better job in the local area. (In fact, the director of account maintenance at Transparent BPO in Belize is a university graduate with a degree in biology.) This career limitation tends to counter attrition problems. Furthermore, workers are attracted by the uniqueness of some of these new jobs, as well as the daytime working hours (given the time zone proximity to the States).

For instance, one call-center company in Belize has so little attrition (under 5% annually) that at the beginning of each year, they take the 4 or 5 lowest-performing agents and terminate their employment. This keeps the other agents honest. Unbelievable as that may seem, the company will hire better agents within 30 days and have them working on the floor within 30 days after that.

Belizeans Need IT Skills

Countries seeking to play a role in the emerging global labor market have been concentrating on improving the quality of their talent, not just the quantity of educated workers. Malcolm Sobers, BPO Industry Specialist with Beltraide (Belize Investment Promotion), says his country could unlock a potentially large labor supply by improving the skills of college graduates, particularly their computer skills.

“Since our primary and secondary education system offers all courses in English, our focus is less on language skills, more on computer skills. Offering Belizeans the opportunity to increase their technology knowledge would not only make Belize comparable to other Central American countries, but even give Belize the chance to surpass their BPO/ITO industry growth.”

Job candidates from Belize are well-educated but often lack a grounding in practical skills. One sobering statistic that makes a great case for business in Belize is that on average 5,000 students graduate annually from the Belize educational system, but only 20% of them have a remote chance of attaining a job. For every call center job opening in Belize, on average 24 applicants have an associates degree or higher.

Sobers said that many Belizeans who do have technological knowledge have attained it through personal training. With the increase of certified training centers, such as the Belize National ICT Center in Belmopan, the education level of the labor force will be enhanced, he said.

Other Central American countries have shown that to increase employment, enter the world of low-cost outsourcing. Belize has a lot more work to do to succeed in the that world. Progress is being made in that the government is starting to focus more on jobs.

I predict that the next 18 months will determine if Belize can provide one of the better offshoring and nearshoring platforms. In the end, the key will be if Belize can capitalize on the “Central America trifecta”: the necessary language, the abundance of talent, and the right cost.

For additional insight on my recent economic-analysis trip to Belize, feel free to contact me at

Jeff Pappas is the Executive Vice President of Arledge Partners Real Estate Group, in Dallas. Arledge Partners focuses on international site selection, labor analytic studies, incentive negotiations, and real estate identification and acquisition for the contact services/BPO industry.

The debate in Belize on a UDP POLICE STATE of fear, terror and torture.

Subject: Re: Bz-Culture: UDP Barrow government public support drops to 29%.
Date: Monday, July 18, 2011, 4:29 PM


This is excellent. I know you have been rating for a while. Do you rate every month? do you have the numbers for the UDP since they came into power?


There is no regular adding or subtracting of points for the government report card. It depends on what news items attract me, and whether they are concrete improvements, done with initiative for + points and bad news items for - points. The rating is subjective on my part. You can go through the many items on the WesternBelizeHappenings, blogsite with news mostly from Cayo District. The report card rating gets posted there periodically when it changes. Explaining why?

Apparently it got a prompt reaction from the media. TV news last night had interviews with PM Barrow and M. Finnegan. Both characters in the Cabinet, hemming and hawing and saying it was not written in stone. They were backtracking. M. Finnegan made a damning admission and I´m debating whether to take points off for his declaration when he said, he WAS AGAINST this ACT, but as part of the political party and cabinet, he would HAVE to VOTE with his fellow party pirates in the CABINET, as they vote according to majority Cabinet vote. Not according to his conscience. That statement makes me revise my opinion of M. Finnegan and the admiration I HAD for the man, has taken a steep nose dive, that he puts his Cabinet position and position in his GANG of Cabinet members, ahead of the interests of the country. Makes him no different than South Side gang members dealing drugs on the street creating murder and mayhem.

Just a look at the TV news from SYRIA, YEMEN, BAHRAIN, KUWAIT, on Al Jharazer TV, shows you what dictatorships are like and how brutal and murderous they can be.
I thought M. Finnegan was a man of honesty and integrity. It is disappointing to find he is just another street thug, in politics with sworn allegience to his gang of UDP, over that of the best thing for his country.

The easiest way to protect Belize and our little bit of democracy, is BEFORE this ACT is passed. Not afterward, when you will be helpless before the political controlled SECRET POLICE. Then it will be too late. Opposition will then have to be VIOLENT and CREATE MURDEROUS ACTIONS IN RETALIATION. Better that this preventative detention ACT never EVER sees the HOUSE FLOOR in our rubber stamp parliament. Obviously we cannot expect protection from our elected representatives. Their status and earning power as Cabinet Ministers comes first to them. Money talks and screw the people.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Belize UDP party loses 10 points from approval rating. Down to 29%.

UDP Government loses 10 points on their Report Card. Down to 29%.

Was reading the news this week, online and noticed that Matura Shepherd had announced that the PM Dean Barrow captive Cabinet, or pirate gang are well on their way to making Belize a tyranny. I had thought we had another 90 days before legislation will change the constitution, enabling Barrow and his gang to make surprise raids on citizens who are politically opposed to the government of the day. The surprise came, when Matura Shepherd was quoting we only have 30 days left to OBJECT to this tyrannical legislation. Enabling the government to lock up ANYBODY, at any TIME by using the new POLITICAL controlled GSU unit, under the command of a Cabinet Minister. A private political SECRET POLICE unit, that has been making night time raids, to spirit people off to jail since it´s inception.
If this is not TYRANNY and DICTATORSHIP, then I don´t understand the term. Barrow has said that without civil society OPPOSITION, he will pass this legislation, enabling him to change Belize into a POLICE STATE, run by SECRET POLICE, accountable to nobody outside of his private cabinet inside group.
BARROW wants opposition, to be vocal. Then here it is! 10 points off the REPORT CARD approval rating for the UDP government. Best I can do. It is up to the others in society to hold riots and parades, to protect our limited freedoms.

Saturday, July 16, 2011



Seems the BSI owners/management are on a Lord Ashcroft kind of rampage. Abusing their sugar and molasses monopoly. They don´t want any competition.

While the government is investing oodles of millions in GRANT MONEY to try and teach a new generation of graduates and workers to be entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs actually have been successful, in repackaging, exporting, transporting and marketing a couple of tons of sugar a year to nearby Guatemala. Sort of cottage industry, entrepreneurial level. They had to find the small markets in the Peten, do the value added packaging, transportation and so forth. Big investment for a small cottage industry entrepreneur. The marketing advantage was the small size of the Peten market where prices were double what sugar cost in Belize. This apparently triggered alarm bells in the managment of BSI. HEY! We got competition for our basic product they said. We need to get the government to kill this.
The problems as the sugar BSI monopoly see it, is the allegations they make is that the export trade is illegal, done by smuggling. Nobody yet has proved those unsubstantiated allegations. Anyway, the point is irrelevant, or should be to BSI, this is a problem for customs and border patrol, if true.

Their big complaint is that they are forced to sell sugar at government controlled prices to locals. The locals are complaining, that the BSI management are abusing their sugar production monopoly. They don´t want any marketing, value added, exporting, competition.

As an outsider looking into this problem, I think local mid level entrepreneurs would be beneficial to the economy, by spreading around the money earned from finding an export niche sugar product. Sugar cubes for instance. Unfortunately, the BSI management are plain jealous. The market in the Peten is too small for them to bother with and they don´t want anybody else making a product from their basic commodity. Just like Lord Aschroft did and every other monopoly holder.

What BELIZE needs in the economy is diversification, competition and another one or two small sugar mills would do that. Now if only the sugar cane farmers could get together and buy and build some very small sugar mills, to explore sugar and molasses products with Value Added marketing goals for exports. Obviously, BSI will NEVER do this. Like any monopoly they are holding back creation of jobs, creation of exports, diversification of our economic base. Building in stagnation. So far, they are controlling as a monopoly, the amount of sugar they will sell to the local market. This is not good for Belize.

One ETHANOL speculator says he would produce a small amount of ETHANOL, as he thinks there is a market for it. The thing holding him back is the BSI Monopoly of Molasses. They could bankrupt him in a flash, like Lord Ashcroft did with INTELCO. From all appearances, they would do that too.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sugar season went okay in Belize for 2011

2011 sugar cane crop successful

The bad news is there was a 250,000 ton shortfall due to weather problems
The good news is that quality of cane delivered went up tremendously. 840,670 tons of sugar produced. Sugar cane quality was 86% and the ratio of cane 8.5 to 1 of sugar.

Good news also: "All in all, things are looking up in the North. Gough told us that BSI has been selling again in the U.S. market at high prices, which it had previously been unable to take advantage of due to low production, and in the European Union (EU) market, some direct consumption sugar (the kind we use here in Belize as opposed to the bulk raw sugar that we export) at the rate of 5,000 tons is being sold." ( quote from Amandala newspaper )

Marketing is improving, but could stand some local entrepreneurial competition to boost value added sales. Another privately owned small sugar mill is needed to go to processed Value Added marketing in competition with entrenched BSI Factory.

Western Belize Citrus Growers continue battle for hearts and minds of small citrus growers.

Battle for the hearts and minds of the small citrus growers continues between the CGA managing committee and Belize Mutual crowd. At stake is 51% ownership of the citrus factory, millions of dollars in debt loans owed by the CGA small growers, the welfare of the small growers, and the vision of what a "for profit" business should be.

Courtesy of Love FM TV

July 14, 2011

A meeting that was scheduled for Friday on the compound of the Belize Citrus Growers’ Association has been cancelled. The meeting was requested by a group of forty members to discuss matters over which those members have concerns. But today the court ruled against the forum. Love News spoke a short while ago with Chief Executive Officer of the CGA, Henry Anderson about the background to the ruling.

Henry Anderson – CEO, Citrus Growers Association
“We got word from our attorney going on midday that the attorneys for Mr. Dwight Montero, Mr. William Bowman II, San Miguel Ltd, Mullins River Holdings Ltd and Valley Orchards Ltd. apparently went to the court to try and get another injunction on the CGA to essentially allow 40 people who are members of the Belize Citrus Mutual to come to the SGM of the CGA that was supposed to be held tomorrow. Our attorney Mr. Elrington was around the court, got wind of it, I think they were trying to sneak in and do it ex parte without our attorney present, and made representation and when the judge learned of all the particulars of the meeting that was being called and everything else, as I was made to understand, denied their request for the injunction to allow 40 people to come to the meeting and also said that the meeting should be cancelled. You may recall that they have a claim against the CGA right now in the court that will be heard on July 21 and the genesis of that was they came to a meeting on February 26 of the CGA, special general meeting, and they had not paid their fees. The committee of management said you can come to the meeting but please sign the proper paper work and everything to get your fees up to date and they refused to do so although they said they were coming to bring the industry together, they refused to do so. They left and then they took the CGA to court essentially to get a position that they can attend the meetings of the CGA, they should enjoy the services of the CGA but they need not necessarily have to be paying for those things or something along those lines. Essentially I want the members of the CGA to know that the meeting has been cancelled and as we understand it, it has been cancelled because the attorney for Dwight Montero and his fellow claimants went to the court to try to get an injunction to bring 40 people to our meeting that would have been held tomorrow, those 40 people are members of the Belize Citrus Mutual; that was denied and given everything that is before the court, the judge also said that the special general meeting should be cancelled. It is all having to do about trying to get control of the ownership rights that the CGA has in CPBL being the majority shareholder. The case that’s in the court right now, I mentioned Dwight Montero, William Bowman II, San Miguel Ltd, I believe that is a company owned by the Roes, Mullins River Holdings, if you look at the court documents Dr. Canton signs that and if you look at the Valley Orchards Ltd. He signs the documents there to being the matter to the court as the Chairman as well. I can tell you over the week or two weeks leading up to this meeting he has been going out personally holding meetings with growers explaining to growers why he wants them to get rid of this committee of Management. The Committee of Management of the CGA over the past two years on an average I would say every nine weeks would go out to different communities to have meeting with members, to hear from the members, to share information. When we are having a special meeting or annual general meeting coming up they go to discuss so people get a good idea of what the meeting is about so they are informed. The Committee of Management was having meetings like that last week with growers for the meeting that should have been held tomorrow. When we got to Maya Center last Thursday for that meeting when we stepped into that room you had Mr. William Bowman there, Mr. Mike Duncker and Dr. Canton there with what we would call a rent a crowd outside and it seemed to us that the intent was to basically have a back and forth in the meeting but we avoided that. Our Chairman managed the meeting very well and we were able to hold our meeting. In our view it was an attempt to intimidate the Committee of Management and try to push their weight around on the growers.'

Identity theft in Western Cayo District

Good friend steals identity of Sandra Andreina in Western Cayo District.
From Channel 7 TV news.

Sandra Andreina found that her identity had been stolen when she went to the Social Security Board office in Santa Elena Town to apply for her first social security card. That's when she was told by the registry officer that she was already registered and already had a social security card! Garcia - still in disbelief - was shown the card and while it carried her name, the picture on it was of her longtime friend and former roommate, Guatemalan, Dianna Estrada - who had lived with her 2009.

Garcia concluded that Diana stole her birth certificate and secured the Belizean ID in her name. Police are investigating that case at Social Security where the same Dianna Estrada allegedly also got a Voter's ID using Andreina's name. We're still trying to get details on that case….


photo courtesy Channel 7 TV

7 News Belize HeadlinesThursday, July 14, 2011

Chiquibul Forest Shootout Between BDF & Guatemalan Loggers

For a one and half years now we've been telling you about the increasing encroachments in the Chiquibul forest by Guatemalan loggers. Years ago, Xate used to be the main thing Guatemalans went into the Chiquibul for - but that trade has died down - and now Guatemalan loggers are making incursions as deep as 12 kilometers into Belizean territory for precious Mahogany and Cedar trees.

And yesterday it came to a head when there was an exchange of gunfire between illegal loggers and the Belizean armed forces in the Chiquibul Forest. The end result is that - according to the BDF Commander General Dario Tapia, - one Guatemalan was grazed by gunfire - and he is now in the custody of San Ignacio police.

Here's what happened. Yesterday afternoon at 4:00 a patrol known as the Chiquibul Forest Joint Enforcement Unit which combines Forestry/BDF/Police and Friends for Conservation and Development Rangers conducted an Anti-Illegal Logging Operation about 1mile from the Caracol Mayan Site.

They came upon a pair of illegal Guatemalan Loggers, who were using chainsaws to cut mahogany trees and had already set 56 pieces of mahogany and cedar to take back to Guatemala.

Whilst the Belize law enforcement team was speaking to two illegal loggers, they heard the voice of a young person shouting "NEGRITO" - which is a derogatory term common in Latin countries for a black person - sometimes used by Guatemalans to refer to Belizeans.

And just as they heard that voice, gun shots were fired towards the law enforcement team form the bushes. As the team scrambled for cover, the two loggers and a child then dashed towards some other men that were in the bushes and escaped into the dense forest. According to the BDF Commander, the security team returned fire.

When they checked in the bushes, they came across a 20 year old Guatemalan who identified himself as Jairo Orlando Ariel Motta of La Rejoya Village, -which is one of the border communities in Guatemala. Also found in the immediate area were eight horses, machetes, gasoline and other items. Jairo Orlando Ariel Motta was detained and escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station. Again, The BDF Commander says he was grazed - but it is not confirmed that he was injured by a BDF bullet - it may have been a case of friendly fire form his own crew.

Now the incident is a flashpoint on what has long been a troubling issue in the area for some time. Rafael Manzanero of Friends For conservation and Development today told us the incursions by illegal loggers are really getting, quote "out of hand." He calls it a massacre of the forest and notes with dread that they are now operating with impunity 11 or 12 kilometers within Belize - when we visited two years ago - the loggers were at the 3 kilometer mark.

He says the extraction of mahogany and cedar causes a far greater impact than Xate and likens it to "a massacre of the Chiquibul Forest." The logging operations are far more well financed and operated than the Xatero operations - but usually the enforcement teams get there after the logwood is extracted - this time they found them on the scene and a firefight ensued.

LOVE FM TV NEWS version same incident but condensed

July 14, 2011 ( reported by Love FM TV )

A Guatemalan national is detained in Belize pending charges for illegal entry and illegal logging. Twenty year old Jairo Orlando Ariel Motta was captured by Belizean officials near the Caracol Mayan site in the Cayo district. According to police reports, around four o’clock yesterday afternoon, officials of the Forestry, BDF and Police departments along with Friends for Conservation and Development were conducting an Anti-Illegal Logging Operation about a mile from the Caracol Mayan site when they encountered a group of illegal Loggers. The release says that they suspected illegal loggers were caught cutting mahogany trees with chainsaws. They are reported to have had fifty six pieces of mahogany and cedar. Police say that while the Belizean authorities were speaking with two of the illegal loggers, the voice of a young person was heard yelling “Negrito” and simultaneously the report says the sound of gun shots were heard. The two men and the child then reportedly ran towards some other men that were in the bushes and made good their escape. Upon checking the bushes, the Belizean authorities came across Motta, a resident of La Rejoya Village, Guatemala. Also found in the immediate area were eight horses, machetes, gasoline and other items. Jairo Orlando Ariel Motta was detained and escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For Belize, used Marine and Military operated steam engine generators.

steam engine operated electrical generators - Allen set
steam engine operated electrical generators Allen set.
steam engine operated electrical generators Bellise and Morcom
Marine and military operated steam engine generators.

see here for details

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Top paying jobs in Belize

Top Paying Jobs in Belize

1) Petroleum Engineer

2) Financial Trading

3) Certified Accountant

4) Aircraft mechanic

5) Export Marketing

6) Agro Processing for export

Entrepreneurial business wanted in Belize.

1) Aluminum framed, FLORIDA SCREEN PORCHES

2) Electrical utility power production for NATIONAL GRID ( steam engine )

3) Exporting finished food products

4) Food packaging business, boxes, printing and wrappers.

5) Hog farming commercially for export

Mexican Ambassador, Mario Suarez Vasquez coming to Belize

We get a new Mexican Ambassador to Belize.

The Mexican government has appointed a new ambassador to Belize. Ambassador designate, Mario Suarez Vasquez is expected to replace Ambassador Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno. The Ambassador designate is expected to travel to Belize shortly to present his credentials to Governor General Sir Colville Young.

Western San Ignacio Town Band for kids lose all their instruments in building fire.

Western Belize, San Ignacio marching band for kids, loses all their instruments to a building fire.

( from Love FM )

July 08, 2011

The San Ignacio Dreams Marching Band has lost all its instruments in the mid-afternoon fire that gutted a two storey building yesterday afternoon. The fire started around two fifty yesterday afternoon on Burns Avenue and quickly destroyed a residential home on the upper flat and two businesses on the lower part of the building. The building is reportedly owned by one Santiago Requena, who occupies the upper flat along with his wife and four children. No one was hurt in the incident but the family is reported to have lost everything inside the house. Today Vice President of the Dreams Marching Band, Jimmy Gongora told Love News that the band was scheduled to practice at four yesterday evening but had not retrieved the instruments when the fire consumed the building. The instruments were stored in a room upstairs. Anyone wishing to contribute to the band can contact Gongora at cellular number 6-2-9-0-5-2-9. The band is only a few months old and took part in this year’s Love FM Band Fest for the first time. Gongora says they were preparing for their participation in this year’s September Celebrations activities in San Ignacio. In the lower flat of the building two stores, a jewelry and clothes outlet were also both destroyed. The Jewelry store is owned by Oscar Cano who is also the president of the marching band.

CITRUS GROWERS ASSOCIATION to re-evaluate their management team in meeting this week.

( from LOVE FM )

July 08, 2011

The Citrus Growers Association will be hosting a special general meeting next week. Chief Executive Officer Henry Anderson says the meeting was called by some growers to remove members of the Committee of Management which is currently being chaired by Eccleston Erving.

Henry Anderson – CEO, Citrus Growers Association
“This meeting came from a request from some growers who want the meeting to be called for the membership to consider a resolution to remove the current Committee of Management of the CGA, the Board of Directors and if that is successful then to elect new Committee of Management members. Some of the issues they mentioned, the people calling the meeting were that the CGA Investment Company did not take measures necessary to get CPBL to access $10 million worth of funding from the Government of Belize which is not true, but that is what was put there. There was a suggestion that the CGA has not shared its 2010 financial statements; the audited financial statements are given out at the annual general meeting where the growers review those. The annual general meeting will be called in the next month or so. Another reason that was given was that certain growers had left the CGA because of the fighting within the industry. The reality of that situation, those growers who created the Belize Citrus Mutual resigned from the CGA a few days after the 2009 annual general meeting, the new board at that point had not even met yet and those growers namely Mr. William Bowman, Henry Canton, Michael Duncker and Ernest Raymond started a company called Belize Citrus Mutual as a rival association. The issue that they had was that they did not want to continue the time honoured tradition of the CGA which calls for when a decision is being made in a general meeting it is one grower, one vote. They wanted to vote by production so essentially the larger growers would tell the growers who have smaller production how things would work. That was the genesis of that issue. Those are the reasons they have called the meeting.”

Anderson says one of the items that will be looked at is an update on the fruit prices.

Henry Anderson – CEO, Citrus Growers Association
“The fruit price right now is at about 12.51 per box, the growers just got a payment of 39 cents per pound solid. Although growers don’t get paid by box on the average that payment worked out to growers getting six pound solids per box would work out to about $2.40.

Maria Novelo - Reporter
There seems to be a limited amount of oranges on the local market.

Henry Anderson – CEO, Citrus Growers Association
“It’s just the season with how the crop works. The first crop is on the tree and there is a bloom going on in this period of time that will start a second crop. We expect in October that the grapefruit crop would start. Because of the hurricane there might be an abnormal grapefruit crop that may become due at the end of this month or more in August and then in October the processing season starts with grapefruit and some early oranges and when you get up closer to November, January then the Valencia really come into play at that time.”

The meeting will be held at the CGA compound at mile nine on the Stann Creek Valley Road on Friday July 15th beginning at 9:30 am.



In essence, large growers have divided from smaller growers, and in their newer association they manage their affairs based on votes like in a company, by the number of shares you have. The number of shares is dictated by how much fruit ( as in boxes ) you produce. So VOTING is based on production.
The older Citrus Growers Association want a cooperative style organization, though they have not yet formed themselves into a cooperative. As small growers they want ONE MAN - one vote.

The way you vote depends on whether you are a company or a cooperative. Though I believe CGA is an ASSOCIATION not a cooperative, while Belize Mutual, the larger growers is run on the style of a company. What it is, a company or association I do not know?

There is a behind the scenes struggle for the control of the 51% shares ownership in the citrus factory, controlled by the investors from Trinidad, by clauses in the managment agreement, who built it with their money. At the moment the older CGA own those 51% shares in the factory. Yet the obligation on those shares was actually made by the large growers, who have since decided to start their own growing business. Debts have been incurred and these belong to the CGA. If they were to be assigned on the basis one man, one vote, the large growers would reap the debts, but not the dividends. Whereas in a company setup on production, those growers would get a relief from debts they cannot control, constantly created by the small growers based on their majority votes, using the one man, one vote rule.

What the small growers in the CGA want, under their current managment, is to circumvent the ownership agreement which lets the Trinidad investors of the factory control the factory affairs as a seperate business. Working to a profit motive. Not a debt ridden cooperative method. This current CGA managment want control of the Board of Directors of the citrus factory, not yet available to them under the managment agreement they signed for getting the factory. If they get control, they promise castles in the sky and riches galore to the small growers as in piling on debts on the factory, which currently is a successful business, seperate from the growers. They would run the factory and the growers as a cooperative, based on one man-one vote and control everything for the benefit of the small growers. Debts for social programs would be the order of the day, at the expense of the profitability of the citrus factory. History of the citrus industry shows this method has bankrupted every attempt to run the citrus industry in the past. The larger growers in their newer Citrus Mutual are defending their delivery and price capability at the independently controlled FACTORY, to ensure they do not bankrupt the citrus industry again. The CGA group want to ride the success of the citrus factory and siphon off the profits for their own welfare benefit.
The Government of Belize has given GRANTS to the CGA managment for the benefit of small citrus growers when they yell in distress. There are a lot of votes there. Unfortunately current CGA managment has wasted the GRANTS on frivilous lawsuits, salary perks and expenses, instead of helping organize small growers in fertilizing and clearing, or fighting citrus greening, the latest in a constant battle of diseases, growing citrus. The meeting called for this week, is about whether to remove this managment and go with a new team. The current CGA management committee are scared they will lose their jobs, income flows and perks that come with it. They are lobbying intensely to protect their job status. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Government itself is the biggest enemy of telecommunications development in Belize

The trouble with the BTL nationalization, is stagnation in the telecommunications industry. You need competition and with the government itself a stockholder, they are encouraged to try and keep it a monopoly. Thats the rub.

We need competition, the field is changing too fast. They need to drop the permit price to about $300 and say $5 per month per subscriber or something to allow competition. If it was BTL, their license fee would be 90,000 customers, or $450,000 per month. Smart say with 30,000 customers would pay $150,000 a month and some home entrepreneuer working out of his bedroom, with 5 customers in a village would pay $25 a month for his permit.

The forecast is in 20 years, that the computer will be in your blood stream activated by your brain. Minaturization is occuring so fast. The country needs to be on the cutting edge. The bottleneck is the BTL Headquarters building and the ARCO terminal. THAT needs to be seperated from BTL the telecommunications company. Do that, then all permit holders for INTERNET service providers would be able to develop latest technologies in an experimental basis and get in on the ground floor. Governments interest in BTL is holding that development back.

Right now, BOEING has produced their first ALL CARBON FIBER airliner. They have orders for 387 over the next few years. No aluminum skin, or frame. The mid size airliner now has the RANGE and POWER of the biggest ones. Due to strength and lightweight. Which translates into cheaper miles and fuel. That is progress and change and government ownership in BTL is guaranteed stagnation with outmoded technology. Owners of old factories always try to hang on to and protect their capital investment in an obsolete process, or factory. That is what happened to England.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Belize geology in looking for oil ponds.

Belize geology in looking for oil ponds.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



Disgraceful uncivilized behavior in the parliament yesterday by the UDP gang of bullies and hooligans, against their backbencher UDP member Cardoma, who tried to debate the issues against that of his gangland mafia party in the house, erupted into uncivilized shouting, hooting and drowning out of their own party members attempt to debate the issue at hand. Never did learn his point. The whole show was disgraceful, and reminded me of a street gang of bullies picking on somebody. Hate that sort of thing. This is not a bunch one wants managing the nation of Beilze. Too uncivilized. Anyway their behavior loses them 10 points from their Approval Rating Report Card. Down from 49% to 39%.


Lans Sluder, travel writer and publisher on travel accomodations and services throughout Belize.

Double! No, they need to increase the speed to minimum international standards.

On my recent trip around Belize, from Corozal to Punta Gorda and various points in between, plus San Pedro and Caulker, the internet ranged from pathetic (BTL DSL) to laughable (satellite).

I love the hotels that have notices posted about their Wi Fi that it is for email only, not checking the web or downloading files. Really would entice people to live and start businesses in Belize. ( touch of sarcasm here, if you missed it' )

--Lan Sluder

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 3:28 PM, Ray Auxillou wrote:

BTL has barely gotten out of the requirement for current speed and bandwidth this past year, which has helped commercially a lot. Still, the slowing down of connection speeds in the Twin Towns area, mean that they need to double the bandwidth and speed again. Their FAST internet is no longer fast enough. Right now it is only noticable most of the time during the times of the day and evening when a lot of people are on the internet out West here. This is one of those cases, where technology either changes the playing field in internet services, or probably in this case, just customer growth and usage.

WHATEVER the reason, BTL needs to get ahead of the technology service curve and double what they are giving in FAST INTERNET and stay ahead of demand. Only so will GDP grow. Plus associated taxes from more businesses generated and served.


Sunday, July 3, 2011


Audry Matura Shepherd sparks revolt against the UDP Government.


There is not much this BLOG can do about changing the government and legislation. We have been trying for 50 years. We can let the outside world know, that we do not approve and how we judge therefore this current UDP government. They have had three years to show their mettle. The first two years were difficult financial years and we kept quiet. That honeymoon is now over. BEFORE the next election we want meaningful building of a better fair democratic society.
What we have decided is to use our REPORT CARD APPROVAL RATING TO JUDGE THIS UDP GOVERNMENT AND THEIR ACTIONS. The current approval rating of the REPORT CARD is 54%.
What we are going to do is start today, with taking off 5% for the smell and perception CORRUPTION in the UDP. This particular 5% reflects our opinion of the bus permit stealing of business, the stealing of an import permit, the wholesale nepotism by the Prime Minister and the backing of the Prime Minister as GANG LEADER of his Cabinet Members using the facilities of office to steal businesses by permit cancellations.
What we want to see is along the lines outlined by Audry Matura Shepherd in her article RIGHT TO THE POINT in the Amandala newspaper of July 3rd., 2011.
In essence we do not want business as usual. We agree with Audry we want the UDP to improve our democracy by making amendments to our legislation, to advance the style of governance we desire. What we will do, is JUDGE THIS UDP GOVERNMENT EACH QUARTER ( 3 MONTHS ) UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTION.. If any quarter passes without corrective, or new legislation for the improvment of our democracry, we will deduct 10 points from the UDP Report Card, as a penalty.

Audry Matura Shepherd has given us a beginning list of things this society needs to make a better place to live for ALL Belizeans.

a) She says that if she had to choose between a government of pirates that steal from the treasury and her RIGHTS OF FREEDOM. She would choose FREEDOM. Her first complaint was to do with petroleum rights. In which the government passed an amendment Section 17 of the Constitution, to remove the RIGHT of a landholder, to go to court to challenge the level of compensation if petroleum is found under their land. FIX IT UDP before the NEXT ELECTION.

b) More recently, Section 5 of the Constitution which seeks to take away the difference between SUSPICION and GUILT. This is called a PREVENTATIVE DETENTION LAW and is but the first step in a DICTATORSHIP ruled by fear, persecution and terror and false imprisonment, which ultimately will lead to rape, torture, false imprisonment on the whim of politicians, or the political controlled police. In India, today on the news, they were saying on an INDIAN broadcast, the most FEARED apparatus of their government was their police. I would not like to live that way. This proposed law says they can disappear you in Belize for 21 days and nobody will know where you are, or what is happening to you. This can be extended for another month. And if current 72 hours police detention law is any guide, will simply mean you get released and re-arrested and disappeared again to comply with the law indefinitely. SCRAP any idea of passing such a set of laws, it will only be the start of a violent guerilla war in Belize. This law is simply a failure of poor leadership.

c) Audry talks about the emphasis of laws to regulate, take away rights, but we are lacking laws implemented by this UDP to protect us from misuse of government. Mentioned are laws needed to make it a criminal act for government to make secret agreements, or a law that does not permit a guarantee of profits, or use Social Security money to bail out cronies bad business deals, failed businesses or bad business judgement. We need laws to protect us from the criminals and swindlers in political office.

d) Audry asks for laws that would criminalize and penalize bad decisions made by Cabinet Ministers. Or prevent contracts in perpetuity. Or government making loans from private banks.

e) Instead Audry asks for laws give us rights to clean drinking water, right to an education, right to health care, right to a clean pristine environment, right to clean air, or to housing.

Audry says in her article it is time our UDP government start giving us back some HOPE.

e) Additional improvements can be made legislatively for proportional representation, an elected police Commissoner INDEPENDENT of political control. If you have other legislative recommendations write me and I will put them on here, to make our society better. Can we change the UDP around? Won´t know until the next election.

f) Contribution by Trevor. If a voter in one district does not like any of his candidates, he should be able to vote in another district for someone he does like.

g) Recent bullying and rowdiness in the Parliament offends voters. We obviously need a different political system and proportional representation has been the best idea yet put forward. Time to change the status quo. This is only constant stagnation as a country.