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Personality of the Month Archives

The personality of the month for November 2011 is Mr Darius Avila of the month Nov 2011 Mr Darius Avila.docx

The personality of the month for October 2011 is Dr Bernard Bulwer, MD

Personality of the Month October 2011 Dr Bernard Bulwer.doc

 The personality of the month for September 2011 is Ms Gertrude Daniels

Personality of the month September 2011 Ms Gertrude Daniels.doc 

The personality of the month for August 2011 is Mr. Kelsie Clinton Henry Buller Esq.

 Personality of the month August 2011 Kelsie Clinton Henry Buller.doc

The personality of the month for July 2011 is Mr Ivan Duran

Personality of the Month July 2011 Mr Ivan Duran.doc

The personality of the month for May and June 2011 is Ms Raquel Battle

Personality of the month for May and June 2011Raquel Battle.doc

The personality of the month April 2011 is Mr Harold Lindsay Hughbert Usher

 Personality of the Month Harold Lindsay Hughbert Usher.doc

The personality of the month March 2011 is Ms Trish St Hill

Personality of the month March 2011 Ms Trish St Hill.doc


The personality of the month February 2011 is Mrs Erica Zuniga Chapman and Weyu Le

 ERICA ZUNIGA CHIPMAN Personality of February 2011.doc

The personality of the month December 2010 and January 2011 Rt Hon. George Cadle Price

The Personality of the Month for December 2010 is Hon George Cadle Price.doc


The personalities of the month November 2010 are Ted and Bridget

Personality of the month Ted and Bridget Palacio.doc

The personality of the month October 2010 Deacon Nieves Hernandez

 Deacon Nieves Hernandez Personality of the Month October 2010.doc

 The personality of the month September 2010 Attorney Sharron Williams Gelobter

Personality of the Month Sharron Williams Gelobter.doc

The Personality of the month August 2010 Dame Elaine Middleton


The personality of the month for the month of July 2010 is Mrs Felicia Hernandez

Mrs Felicia Hernandez personality of the month.doc

The personality of the month for the month of June 2010 is Dr. Ellsworth Grant MD

Ellsworth Grant Personality June 2010

The personality of the month for the month of May 2010 is Mr Jose Francisco Avila

 Jose Francisco Avila Personality of the month May final.doc

The personality of the month for the month of April 2010 is Mr James Lovell

James Lovell personality of the month April 10.doc 

The personality of the month for the month of March 2010 is Dr Yvonne Goff

March 2010 DR Yvonne Goff DDS.doc

The personality of the month for the month of February 2010 is Mr Martin Bermudez February 2010 Mr Martin Bermudez.doc

The personality of the month for the month of January 2010 is Mr Ruben Reyes

Mr Ruben Reyes Personality of the month January 2010.doc

The personality of the month for the month of December is Ms. Lina Martinez and Wabagari Distribution

Ms Lina Martinez and Wabagari Distribution Personality of the month Dec 09.doc  

The personality of the month for the month of November is Mr Delvin (Pen) Cayetano

 Pen Cayetano Personality of the month November 09.doc

The personality of the month for the month of October, breast cancer month, is Ms Frances Arzu, who is a breast cancer survivor.  Below is a copy of the document.

 Frances Arzu Personality October.doc

The personality of the month for the month of September was Bishop Martin.  Below is a copy of the document.

Bishop OP Martin Personality of the Month.doc

The personality of the month for the month of August was Ms Cheryl Noralez.  She is the president of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation, Inc.  Below is a copy of the document.

Cheryl Noralez Personality of the month August 09.doc

The personality of the month for the month of July 09 was Mr. Francis Palacio co-author of the book "Middle Schoolin"  Below is a copy of the document Francis Palacio Personality of the Month July 09 final.doc

The personality of the month for the month of June 09 was Dr. Isidora Arzu.  Below is a copy of the document for Dr. Arzu

 Dr Isidora Arzu Personality of the Month June 09

The personality of the month for the month of May 09 was Mr. Isaiah Nicholas.

Below is a copy of the document for Isaiah.

Isaiah Nicholas.doc 

The personality of the month for the month of April 09 was Dr Ludwig Palacio.  Below is a copy of the document for Dr Ludwig Palacio

Ludwig Palacio Personality of the month April 09.pdf

Belize Times Online

The police are "the hostile face of the state"

Posted: 27/07/2010 - 09:43 AM
Author: Adele Ramos -

The police are "the hostile face of the state"
Young males in urban Belize are facing a spiraling crisis, as violence in their homes and in the streets of their communities, deteriorating relations with police, abuse, sexual violence, gang-related attacks, and the out-of-control drug trade—added to pervasive hardships such as hunger, poor housing and lack of opportunities—leave a substantial amount of them so despondent that many contemplate taking their own lives.
This sense of hopelessness, the loss of value and respect for life, cannot be quantitatively framed; however, the results of an extensive violence research dubbed, “Male Social Participation and Violence in Urban Belize” give a clear picture of why so many thousands of our youth in this small population of 330,000 have been having an uphill battle trying to travel such a rough road in life.
According to the research findings, 91% of urban boys, mostly between the ages of 9 and 13, have been exposed to gun violence. Thirty percent (30%) of another group, mostly ages 16 to 18, have contemplated killing themselves.
The research findings were unveiled this morning, by a team led by Dr. Herbert Gayle, Anthropologist of Social Violence, the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.
Nelma Mortis, local manager of the project, attached to the Ministry of Education, invited Gayle to undertake the study, after the fatal May 2008 grenade incident on Mayflower Street.
“One boy spoke about his father killing his mother and then proceeding to kill himself while he hid under the table and waited for the police to come,” said Nelma Mortis, local manager of the research team, in recounting their findings.
Only quarter of the children have good emotional support; no wonder our society is so violent, exclaimed Mortis. Domestic violence is the biggest of all of this violence, she observed.
A survey of secondary school students revealed that 54% had hurled a stone at a cop; 25% had been beaten by one.
“It is these kinds of data that tell us that we can go no further with this kind of relationship. We have to stop, genuflect for just a few seconds... and begin to move in the opposite direction of creating a unity between the police and young people,” said Gayle.
Dr. Gayle described the police as “the hostile face of the state” – the face that most young people encounter day in and day out: “There is a war going on between the youth and the police, and I’ll tell you literally that young men told me, when Operation Jaguar started, they said, ‘Dads, let me tell you straight up, long, long time me begging them to carry a full war, because we ready’.… We have no international rule that says our Chinese AK can’t bark and people need to understand the little thing called policing. It’s muy importante.”
Those officers who have their heart set on doing their jobs with honesty and integrity also have their jobs “cut out for them,” as Belizeans say. As the research team noted, there is also a problem with “untouchables” in society—people who law enforcement officers are forbidden to touch because of their political connections.
“If you hold particular people, the phone calls come within 15 minutes,” Gayle said, noting that people in the judiciary have said that they know when they can anticipate the phone calls demanding that they let certain suspects go.
“We have to begin to create a professional system and that is where the problem is,” he underscored.
Around 2007, Belize entered the top murder fields in the world. Why? “There has been a switch in the Caribbean, in the Caribbean vis-à-vis Central American corridor. We know that by the time we got to 2000, 2001, 2002, the Caribbean was so heavily policed in terms of checks for cocaine that the business people began to switch their business to the Central American corridor. Now Central American corridor ends here,” said Gayle.
From Mexico it goes to the US; from the US, it ends up in Europe, where the cocaine fetches five times the price.
“Seventy-five percent of every 5-pound [monetary] note tested had cocaine residue on it,” said Gayle. “That’s how heavily Europeans use cocaine.”
That cocaine that will end up in the US at $30 million will end up in London at $120 million. If they slice and mix and harden the product, the price goes as high as 7 times that cost.
Belizeans, said Gayle, have to step back from the moralist point of view: “I have worked with Nigerians that will tell you that oil kill the people. Now oil is not illegal... Whatever you distribute that goes through an area that has people who are extremely poor, you are going to have violence.”
Ninety-five percent of all cocaine goes just like regular packages, said Gayle. “The other 5% destroys little tiny communities where the people are not necessarily using it, but are actually competing in order to be able to sell a little bit of it. That’s our problem and that is where Belize sits – right on the whole corridor leading, coming down through the mountains....sliding along this corridor, ending up into the Big North and then heading off to Europe.
“You are right in that passage; the Caribbean has had one of the most powerful police groups called Kingfish. The Caribbean can no longer distribute cocaine the way they used to do, sliding it through the Mona Passage and having fun in the go-fast boats. These things are now being picked up much easier. Welcome to the road in which Belize sits.”
This is the international backdrop; local problems complicate matters. The problem of absentee fathers is also a tremendous one for Southside young men: Only about 1 in 3 Southside youth could find their father; 30% know their father and also know what he does for a living.
The study revealed that two-thirds of the fathers are missing in the lives of the children studied. This problem, compounded by large family sizes and poverty, makes life very hard and painful for a significant number of young people. In 14% of the homes, children are faced with extreme abuse; one in five was exposed to either extreme or moderate abuse.
One of the biggest problems that we found is the large family size, above 6 persons in the household, said Raymond Mossiah, statistician on the research team, adding that families are at a major risk of fracturing.
Youth in unstable families are likely to seek emotional support outside — including in the streets. “There is where we have one of the root causes of the problem,” Mossiah noted.
He also pointed to another problematic trend: “Mothers have aggressively replaced many of the biological fathers with step-fathers. And we have seen in cases where it is stepfather after stepfather after stepfather, and those are not necessarily good relationships either.”
This has been an ongoing problem and government has a lot to do to empower families, he urged.
“The poorest 20% of people do not have children in school unless somebody’s helping that child; so we slice the better 80% of the country and that produced a family size of 6.26. We found 39% below the poverty line that we drew based on both a philosophical and real frame,” Gayle detailed.
Violence-related problems are not just facing out-of-school youth; they haunt very many children enrolled in school as well. Schools are forced to operate as welfare centers: The school is carrying the load and teacher is carrying the burden, explained Mortis.
A mass of Belizean children are being left behind by an outdated and structurally flawed system. The team used the metaphor of carrying water in a basket.
The extremely high exclusion rate from school, said Mortis, has to be treated as a core contributing factor to the gang violence in Belize and other urban centers.
“The current situation is that Belize is far behind the rest of Caribbean and Latin America, which in 2007 had only 7.2% of its children ages 6 to 12 out of school, and that was the UNESCO report 2008. The problem becomes even more alarming at secondary level,” Mortis said.
The data reveal that 11,374 children are excluded from primary school. That’s a rate of 16.3%. At the secondary school level, 60% of youth are not in school that should be. The statistics for the tertiary level are “choking” – 4% quoted in 2008 UNESCO data.
“Belize might have one of the worst rates in the region,” said Mortis. “On what foundation will a government build a country if the tertiary enrollment is unmentionable? Where will Belize get the technical and social skills to solve its problem and chart its way forward in this global whirlpool? “
Belize has had an enormous amount of plans; but the problem is, there is a “disconnect” between formulation of the plans and their implementation, Gayle pointed out.
Close to 1% of Belize’s population—roughly 3,000 people—live in morass. Governances need to have arm and teeth; this cannot continue, said Dr. Gayle, focusing on what he described as a “fragile” Central Political Authority.
There are 4 blocks responsible for discipline, and the frame and operation for the country: Parliament, the Police Department, the Judiciary, and Civil Society. Gayle described the police as “the hostile face of the state” – that part of the state that young people see each day.
“I say this with tremendous love for the police, but they need prayers,” said Gayle, who said that within 15 minutes of talking with a group of youth on a block, he had a police officer jam an M-16 in his face. “It allowed me to experience what they experience, and so there was a bit of danger in the research, but that’s part of life.”
One core problem, said Gayle, is that there is no social distance between the police and criminal – the police recreate in the same places where the criminals do.
He also had a chance to interact with over 70 police in the study, and found that they too were facing dire financial stresses, which force them to hustle to make ends meet.
“They had no money; they were broke, they were taking the bus. They were driving vehicles in the nights without lights and without brakes,” Gayle recounted.
When he asked whether they hustle, they said, “Yeah.” He was not surprised.
Gayle furthermore noted that he has had the chance to visit 7 prisons, including ones in the US, Europe, St. Lucia, and Belize, and he has observed that the Kolbe Foundation runs the best prison he has seen in his life. “There has to be a question - the question is: Is Kolbe too good for Belize?”
Belize has what is described as “a celebrated prison,” Gayle noted. “If these kids [who are living in dog-sit-down and house made from crates] tell you that Kolbe is the best place they’ve ever been, should we change Kolbe into a rat’s nest or change the society?”
Almost three-fourths of boys had complained of life’s economic hardships. From among the 92 children interviewed, 58 boys and 34 girls mostly ages 9 to 13, major issues of sexual exposure were also unearthed.
Mortis noted that a fourth of the boys said they had been exposed to sex; only one by choice. “The others were either fondled by stepfather or a boy without consent,” she reported.
Melvin Hewlett, another member of the research team, reviewed information taken from PEER youth analysis. Their #1 concern, he said, is police-youth relations (88% of youth); second was drug use and supply; third was gang violence.
Seventy out of eighty describe relations with police as poor, horrible, bad, or non-existent at times, and some think that the police are corrupt and associated with criminals.
One of the striking secondary findings was on youth depression and suicide. According to Hewlett, 40% had knowledge of one who had a suicide. A total of 23 of 80 (almost 30%) had themselves contemplated killing themselves for various reasons – many due to the hardships in life. These are youth between the ages of 16 and 18.
Urging for this unveiling to mark a new era in Belize, Dr. Gayle said that Belize now needs to find ways to dovetail this research into the life-stream of Belize. The research is being financed mostly with private funds from donors. With such a major investment, he said, there needs to be public accountability.
Belize needs to begin to reflect on a spaceship philosophy, said Gayle: “If you hear a crackle, everybody concerned, because after the crackle comes the boom and we are saying, ‘Let this be the day when all of us have heard a crackle and we know there is hole in this thing... Yah bless you - let’s plug it!”
(Other members of the core research team were Jamuna Vasquez, Alindy (Marisol) Amaya, and Miguel Segura.)


Body discovered at Miami Hotel  Where Belize PM was

Honduras Resists - Current Situation One Year After the Coup d'etat


Contacts: Celso Castro (917) 841-3643

María Inés Solano (914) 457-7981

 Rigoberto Ávila-Nativí (646) 924-5621


Honduras Resists - Current Situation One Year After the Coup d'état

New York, NY (June 27th, 2010) - The organization Resistance Honduras NY/NJ and the international community in solidarity with the People of Honduras, march from Times Square to the Honduran Embassy on 48th Street and 1st Ave., on Monday, June 28th, starting at 4:00PM. Participants will denounce before the world the impact of the June 28th, 2009’s coup d’état on the People of Honduras.

                One year ago, Honduras’ constitution and the will of the people were shaken by a civil-military Coup d'état. Today, the population continues living under a regime controlled by the Armed Forces of Honduras and a limited group of businessmen. Sadly, the media which is controlled by the oligarchy prevents that the world from finding out what really happens in this Central American country.

                Within one year, 34 people have been murdered for political reasons and more than 60 people have died violently for "strange" reasons. Ironically, as a common factor, each of these people had been affiliated with the popular resistance movement against the current regime. A total of 127 persons from the resistance have been denounced by the regime, accused and processed for political offenses.

Under Porfirio Lobo as the new head of the Regime, it is important to note that the political murders have become more violent as time progresses. Case in point was the death of Manuel Flores, a teacher who was sprayed with bullets in front of his students during an hour recess in the school where he taught. Furthermore, Oscar Flores, a 16-year-old boy was sprayed with bullets by a uniformed military person early this week.

The problem of femicide is a real issue in Honduras. Currently, a woman is killed almost every 48 hours without any notable response from the regime, or anyone with authority. Women and human rights organizations have presented before the District attorney's office 42 cases of human rights violations of various types, 43 resource protection, 26 habeas corpus, and 10 resources of unconstitutionality cases. Interestingly, not a single case has been followed up on by the appropriate regime legal institution.

Since the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo in January 2010, 310 cases of human rights violations have been identified; 21 persons of the resistance movement have been murdered; 53 unlawful arrests have been made, and more than 23 homes of people affiliated with the resistance have been searched by security forces. One of the most impacted sectors is that of lesbian, gay, transvestite, transsexual and Bisexual (LGTTB) community, with 26 of the most recognized activists murdered after receiving tortures. On the other hand, 12 women have been violated by one, or more, elements of the police while they were captured and detained.

The violation to human rights spreads in all of its expressions as the progressive mass media has been attacked by the regime in order to control the freedom of expression in Honduras. In two months, nine journalists have been murdered and neither the government, nor any safety and security organism (not even the College of Journalists) have said anything. It is known that if this had happened in any other part of the world, an enormous scandal and uproar would have been generated. However, these violations are not known to the world as very little (to no) balanced information comes from Honduras.  "The Honduran people fight bravely on the streets. In the beginning, a lot was said about human rights violations in our country, but little by little lies are being propagated to believe otherwise and diffuse the problem, when in fact more people from the resistance are being killed. Military forces continue to control the country while businessmen in the country plunder our wealth" said Gerardo Torres - in charge of relations with the People of the United States at the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP).

The state funds were plundered by the Coup d'état actors, leaving the country without national reserves and in debt of approximately 3,647.8 million dollars, registering the most intensive period of debt in the country’s history.

                The Supreme Court of Justice as being an active participant in the coup is now going through its worst crisis. Nine justices were dismissed for the simple reason of not wanting to sentence members of the resistance to prison while the coup actors remain free. These justices invoked a hunger strike as a protest; however, they suspended the strike as threats on their lives were publicized by assassins and paramilitary.

Currently, the National Congress legislates only for the interests of the oligarchy and it’s controlled completely by businessmen's organizations that seek to privatize all the institutions of the State and to deliver enormous quantities of land for private exploitation. The executive branch is controlled by the armed forces as Porfirio Lobo, upon assuming power, appointed the heads of the military who executed the coup as members of his cabinet. Now, from the telecommunication systems to the service of national migration are controlled by military personnel camouflaged as civilians.

All that and the support of the North American Embassy in Honduras, has sold a condition of exponential improvement in Honduras to the world. The US Ambassador, Hugo Llorens, other than being an international diplomat in Honduras, appears as another secretary to the Regime. As a result, Honduras’ population has become divided between “golpistas”(coup supporters) and resistance; thereby, deepening even more the crisis which has plagued the country over the years – the violence of poverty.

Although Honduras has suffered the impact of enormous violations this year, it has created a Popular Resistance that has turned out to be exemplary to the world. The resistance movement has managed to link regions and sectors within the country as it resists vulnerability to provocations while maintaining a peaceful democratic struggle from the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP)’s platform.

The FNRP initiates this new year with a very clear exposition based on five key points. 1 - To ignore and denounce Porfirio Lobo as the president of Honduras. 2 - To create a True Commission. 3 - To seek popular support for the National Constituent Assembly. 4 – To seek recognition for the FNRP as the political and social platform to oppose the regime. 5 - To proclaim June 28 as day of the resistance, and this year as the beginning of the refoundation of Honduras.

From New York and New Jersey, we support this position as we join the People of Honduras in support of the effort initiated by the Resistance in the refoundation of Honduras for a just and democratic society.



COMUNICADO DE PRENSA: Para su Divulgación Inmediata

Contactos: Celso Castro (917) 841-3643

María Inés Solano (914) 457-7981

 Rigoberto Ávila-Nativí (646) 924-5621


Honduras Resiste - Situación Actual a un Año Desde el Golpe de Estado


New York, NY (27 de Junio del 2010) - La organización Resistencia Honduras NY/NJ y la comunidad internacional solidaria con el Pueblo de Honduras, marcha hacia la embajada de Honduras ante la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), el Lunes 28 de Junio, 2010, a la 4:00PM, para denunciar ante el mundo los efectos del golpe del estado después de un año.

Hace un año en Honduras se realizó un Golpe de Estado, la población sigue viviendo bajo un régimen coordinado entre las Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras y un reducido grupo de empresarios pero lastimosamente un cerco mediático impide que el mundo se entere de lo que realmente sucede en ese país centroamericano.

A un año del crimen contra la democracia es necesario denunciar la violación contra los derechos humanos que viven los hondureños y las hondureñas, y a la vez desmentir con cifras puntuales el espejismo que se ha querido montar desde las elecciones de noviembre del año pasado.

En un año 34 personas han sido asesinadas por razones políticas y más de 60 personas han muerto violentamente por razones “extrañas”, todos y todas parte de la Resistencia Popular contra el Régimen actual. Un total de 127 personas han sido denunciadas, acusadas y procesadas por delitos políticos.

Siendo Porfirio Lobo la nueva cabeza del Régimen, los asesinatos políticos se han vuelto más violentos registrando el caso del maestro Manuel Flores quien fue acribillado durante la hora del recreo en el Colegio donde trabajaba, Oscar Flores un muchacho de 16 años que a inicios de esta misma semana fue acribillado por un elemento militar completamente uniformado.

Los femicidios son un problema grave y actualmente en Honduras una mujer es asesinada cada 48 horas sin que la autoridad haya hecho nada. Las organizaciones de mujeres y de derechos humanos han presentado 42 denuncias ante la Fiscalía por distintas violaciones a los derechos humanos; 43 recursos de amparo, 26 recursos de habeas corpus, y 10 recursos de inconstitucionalidad. A ninguna se le ha dado trámite.

Desde la toma de Posesión de Porfirio Lobo se han denunciado al menos 310 casos de violaciones a los derechos humanos. 21 personas de la resistencia han sido asesinadas, se han producido 53 detenciones ilegales, y casas en 23 barrios y colonias considerados como de La Resistencia han sido objetos de cateo por fuerzas de seguridad. Uno de los sectores más impactados es la comunidad lésbico, Gay, Travesti, Transexual Bisexual (LGTTB) con 26 de sus más reconocidos activistas asesinados luego de recibir tortura. Por otra parte 12 mujeres han sido violadas por uno o más elementos de la policía mientras estaban capturadas.

La violación a los derechos humanos se extiende en todas sus expresiones y se ha atacado fuertemente a los medios de comunicación para controlar la libertad de expresión. En dos meses nueve periodistas han sido asesinados y ni el gobierno, ni los organismos de seguridad, ni siquiera el Colegio de Periodistas han dicho nada. Bien se sabe que si esto hubiera pasado en cualquier otra parte del mundo se hubiera generado un enorme escandalo pero con la información controlada que sale de Honduras pocas personas lo saben. “El pueblo hondureño lucha valientemente en las calles.  Al inicio, mucho se decía de las violaciones a los derechos humanos en nuestro país pero poco a poco esto se fue olvidando, y ahora las personas escuchan muchas mentiras y creen que las cosas están mejorando cuando en realidad están matando a las personas de la resistencia y los militares controlan el país para que los empresarios continúen con su saqueo de nuestras riquezas” menciono Gerardo Torres quien es el responsable de las relaciones con el Pueblo de los Estados Unidos del Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP).

También luego del Golpe de Estado los fondos estatales fueron saqueados dejando el país sin reservas y aumentando el endeudamiento del Estado a unos 3,647.8 millones de dólares, registrando el periodo más acelerado de endeudamiento en la historia del país.  

La Corte Suprema de Justicia también es parte del Golpe y actualmente vive su peor crisis, nueve magistrados fueron despedidos por la simple razón de no querer sentenciar a prisión a miembros de la resistencia. Los magistrados entraron a una huelga de hambre y la suspendieron por las amenazas a su vida de parte de sicarios y paramilitares.

Congreso Nacional por su parte legisla únicamente para los intereses de la oligarquía y es controlada completamente por las organizaciones de empresarios que buscan privatizar todas las instituciones del Estado y entregar enormes cantidades de tierra para la explotación privada. Por su parte el ejecutivo está controlado por las fuerzas armadas ya que Porfirio Lobo al asumir cargo nombro como parte de su gabinete a las cabezas del Estado Mayor Conjunto que ejecutaron el Golpe y que ahora disfrazados de civiles controlan desde las telecomunicaciones hasta el servicio de migración nacional.

Todo esto con el apoyo y la tutoría de la Embajada Norteamericana en Honduras que ha servido principalmente para vender al mundo la idea de que las cosas al interno del país mejoran exponencialmente. El Embajador Hugo Llorens más que un diplomático internacional más parece en Honduras un ministro más del Régimen, todo esto ha llevado a que la población hondureña viva fraccionada entre golpistas y resistencia, profundizando aún más la crisis que ya se vivía en el país que es víctima de la violencia y de la pobreza.

Honduras ha sufrido grandes atropellos en este año pero también ha creado una Resistencia Popular que se ha vuelto ejemplar para el mundo pues ha logrado vincular a los diferente sectores y regiones del país, sin caer en la provocación y manteniendo una lucha pacífica y verdaderamente democrática dirigida desde la plataforma unitaria del Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP).

El FNRP inicia este nuevo año con un planteamiento muy claro que se expone en cinco puntos clave: 1. El desconocimiento a Porfirio Lobo como presidente 2. La creación de la Comisión de Verdad 3. La convocatoria popular de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente 4. El reconocimiento del FNRP como la plataforma política y social que se antepone al régimen y 5. Decretar el 28 junio como día de la resistencia y este año como el inicio del camino hacia la refundación de Honduras.

Desde Nueva York y Nueva Jersey acuerpamos esta posición y nos sumamos a la denuncia que el pueblo hondureño hace al mundo y nos unimos al esfuerzo que ha iniciado la Resistencia hacia la Refundación de Honduras como sociedad de Justicia y verdaderamente Democrática. 



Alex weakens to tropical depression over Mexico


Alex weakens to tropical depression over Mexico


MIAMI – Forecasters say Alex has weakened to a tropical depression, but the cyclone is expected to regain strength in the coming days as it moves out over warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that Alex could eventually become a hurricane. Its current track has it making landfall again later in the week over Mexico, well away from the area in the Gulf of Mexico where BP PLC is trying to stop a massive oil leak.

On Saturday, Alex swept through the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize with torrential downpours.

Alex is centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) south of Campeche, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of about 35 mph (55 kph).

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BELIZE CITY (AP) — Tropical Storm Alex headed overland toward the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, drenching Belize, northern Guatemala and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with torrential rains.

Meteorologists project Alex, which made landfall on Belize's coast late Saturday, will weaken as it passes over the Yucatan Peninsula but will regain strength once it emerges Sunday afternoon over the Gulf of Mexico, where warm waters could fuel its growth into a hurricane.

According to the most recent predictions, Alex is expected to make a second landfall midweek on the Mexican Gulf coast — far south and west of the region where a deep-sea oil spill is slicking the U.S. coastline.

Hundreds of tourists and residents fled low-lying islands off Belize on Saturday as Alex swept in with torrential downpours. Winds were at 60 mph (95 kph) when the storm made landfall but had decreased to about 40 mph (65 kph) by Sunday morning. Many stocked up on gasoline, water, canned food and other emergency supplies.

Belize officials opened storm shelters in the island tourist resort of San Pedro, as some 1,400 people fled for the mainland by plane and by boat.

Along Mexico's resort-studded Caribbean coast, officials warned tourists to stay out of rough surf kicked up by the storm. But there were no immediate reports of damage to popular beach destinations such as Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

State Public Safety director Miguel Ramos Real said 25 fisherman were evacuated and 17 navy personnel were brought to the mainland from a base on Banco Chinchorro, an atoll off the Mexican coast. Three shelters were opened, and ports were closed to small craft.

Now all eyes turn to the Gulf of Mexico.

When Alex became the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, officials immediately worried what effect it could have on the millions of gallons of crude spilled in the Gulf — and on efforts to clean up the slick and cap the leak deep below the waves.

A cap has been placed over the blown-out undersea well and it is carrying some of the oil to a surface ship where it is being collected. Some of the oil is being brought to the surface and burned. Other ships are drilling two relief wells, projected to be done by August, and are the best hope to stop the leak.

For the time being, the storm appears likely to miss the oil-slicked region and make landfall in Mexico, somewhere near the border of Tamaulipas and Veracruz states — but meteorologists warned that a storm's track can quickly change.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said early Sunday that Alex was centered about 105 miles (170 kilometers) west of Chetumal, Mexico. It was speeding to the west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

Meanwhile in the Pacific, two storms were far offshore late Saturday night and did not pose an immediate threat to land.

Once-powerful Celia weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph), the hurricane center said. The storm should fall apart by Sunday.

Darby, which was also a powerful hurricane, has also weakened to a tropical storm. Its center is about 310 miles (500 kilometers) south-southwest of Zihuatanejo, Mexico.


Associated Press writer Gabriel Alcocer in Cancun, Mexico, contributed to this report.



Consulate News March -April


Dangriga Cable Vision Limited plagued by consistent sabotage

Dangriga Cable Vision Limited plagued by consistent sabotage

Rating: 5 / 5 (1 votes)  Printable version Email to a friend Discuss this article
Posted: 23/04/2010 - 10:13 AM
Author: Daniel Ortiz

On Monday, the management and staff of Dangriga Cable Vision Limited sent out a press release with this information:
“Dangriga Cable Vision is hereby informing the public that we are experiencing several cases of sabotage. The most recent case was on April 17, 2010, on the corner of Pen Road and Sainsbury Street in the Benguche area in Dangriga Town. The BEL meter was broken, causing interruption in the cable service in the said area. We want to encourage the public to please inform our office whenever anyone witnesses any such act.
“Dangriga Cable Vision will ensure all customers that we will continue to provide the best of service to you all.”
Amandala spoke with Frank Arzu, Jr., via phone; Arzu is the Director of Operations at Dangriga Cable Vision. He informed us that these alleged acts of vandalism and sabotage have been taking place since as far back as 2005. There have been many areas affected including Hopkins; the Stann Creek River Valley; Alta Vista Village, Stann Creek; the Hopkins Junction; Benguche, Dangriga Town; the outskirts of Dangriga Town, and Hope Creek Village, which is eight miles outside of Dangriga Town.
Arzu said that the vandalism to the wiring and equipment ranged from nails being driven into Cable Vision wires, drilling of the wires, cutting of the wires, bending of the wires to break the internal parts, using pliers to partially cut through the wires, damaging equipment to interrupt signal, and even the cutting of the wires all the way through, then taping the ends together to mask the damage from employees, thus ensuring the problem is hard to spot.
Arzu said that on Easter Monday of this year, someone went as far as to climb up a lamp post, take a hammer (or some similar type of object) and break the wire that feeds their service tap up in Hope Creek Village.
According to the press release, the most recent sabotage attempt was this Saturday with the BEL meter being broken.
Arzu said that these sabotage attempts are an inconvenience to the employees, the company and to the customers, who demand and deserve the best service from Dangriga Cable Vision. He finished off by saying that these damages seem deliberate because there are three or four company wires that run alongside Dangriga Cable Vision’s wires, and somehow, it is always their wires that get damaged.


Consulate News Edition 2





Businessman Barry Bowen Dies in Tragic Plane Crash


Businessman Barry Bowen dies in tragic plane crash on San Pedro

Barry Bowen

Barry Bowen

We begin tonight’s Newscast with the story of the tragic and untimely death of one Belize’s biggest investors, Sir Barry Bowen.  Bowen was piloting his private plane and just before six this evening, as he headed to San Pedro where he resides, his plane crashed in the San Pablo area of the Island.  Along with Bowen in the plane were about four or five persons, who reports are saying, have also died. They are believed to be teacher’s from Gallon Jug.  There is one report that Bowen’s grandchildren were also on the plane.  According to eyewitnesses, the plane crashed into a building which is under construction in the DFC area of San Pedro Town.  One eyewitness says that over two thousand people are in the area, mourning the passing of Bowen, who is well liked on the island.  Bowen was knighted by the queen. He is the owner of many successful businesses in Belize including the soft drink company Bowen and Bowen, which sells coca cola and Fanta; Crystal bottled water; Gallon Jug Coffee; and a shrimp farm.  Here’s an eyewitness account.

Via Phone: Milo Paz, Witness

“At around five-thirty this afternoon, a modified Cessna 206, piloted by Barry Bowen had an accident about half a mile from the runway 06 in San Pedro. Up to now, I can only give you unconfirmed reports because the police have to give you the confirmed reports. Four people died and it’s alleged that the pilot was Mr. Barry Bowen.”

Marion Ali

“And do you know the status of Mr. Bowen himself?”

Via Phone: Milo Pazbowen plane

“Like I told you Marion, I cannot confirm because that is for the authorities to do that.”

Marion Ali

“Yes, but you said four people died.”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“Everybody died in there.”

Marion Ali

“Wow. Can you tell us what might have caused the crash?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“That has to be investigated, Marion. The authorities; Civil Aviation and the authorities will have to come and investigate that. But from eyewitness reports, he was trying to land but he was approaching the runway very violently and he crashed into a house before they crashed completely on the ground.”

Marion AliBarry Bowen Crash

“You said he was approaching violently, does that mean that you have strong air turbulence right now in San Pedro?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“No, it looks like he was having engine problems. That’s unconfirmed reports okay.”

Marion Ali

“So he was flying very low.”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“Really low, yes. He was really trying to get to the runway.”

Marion Ali

“Can you tell us the status of the people inside the home?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“They are okay and no damage to the house. It was one of the landing gears that touched the house and it catapulted to the final destination where the airplane crashed.”

Marion Ali

“Where is—can you paint a scene as to what the wreckage looks like right now and what the rescue efforts are or what they entail?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“Okay, the wreckage is completely—you cannot even identify it’s an aircraft. It’s badly damaged and a couple of the passengers were flung outside of the airplane. I can see from here right now four bodies on the ground just beside the airplane and the police are taking pictures; I guess taking evidence of the scene.”

Marion Ali

“Is there absolutely no sign of life at all?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“Negative, no sign of life; only death”

Marion Ali

“Do you know who the other passengers of the plane were?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“That, no I don’t know.”

Marion Ali

“Do you have any idea of what Mr. Bowen was…”

Via Phone: Milo PazBarry 2

“It is speculated that it’s Mr. Bowen, two more adults and a child who is his grandchild.”

Marion Ali

“We got reports that a teacher or a couple teachers were on the flight with him.”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“I could not tell you, Marion. I don’t know the people.”

Marion Ali

“Have any of the relatives been informed as yet?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“Yes, there’s over a thousand people here by the wreckage and all the family are here right now.”

Marion Ali

“So the relatives of those other passengers might be out there as well?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz


Marion Ali

“Can you get any kind of names or confirmation as to who?

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“No, I could not. It’s so much people at the moment. I can tell you that Ms. Dixie Bowen has been escorted out of the area by family and friends.”

Marion Ali

“That is what relation to Mr. Bowen?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“That’s Mr. Bowen’s wife. She’s being escorted right now by friends and family out of the crash area.”

Marion Ali

“Are his children there as well?”

Via Phone: Milo Paz

“Yes, the older ones, yes.”

VIP Celebrates it's 10 years anniversary

VIP is celebrating it's 10 years anniversary.  Click below to read the newsletter

 V1 Issue1 February(10) Ecopy.pdf

 VISION Subscription Form.doc


Cabinet Release

Cabinet Release

Cabinet endorses proposed West Landivar zoning by-laws

Cabinet endorsed proposed zoning by-laws declaring West Landivar as a Residential Zone, and setting out the requirements needed for building in the zone.  These requirements include, besides getting permission from the appropriate authority, the positioning of buildings on lots, soak-aways and septic tanks, demolition of buildings, filling of lots and the preservation of the shoreline.   Cabinet agreed that legislation be taken to the House of Representatives at its next sitting. 

Ministry of Health receives World Bank grant

Cabinet was briefed on a US$501,744.00 grant to the Ministry of Health from the World Bank.  The funds will be used to help the Ministry address issues related to H1N1.  Specifically, the funds will support the training of workers at various “ports of entry,” improve surveillance country-wide, public education efforts, and provide essential laboratory and protective supplies for healthcare workers.

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to receive Food Security grant

Cabinet was informed that on 19th November, 2009, a new project entitled “Reinforcement of seed production for grains in support of Rural Agriculture for Food Security in member countries of the Central American Council for Agriculture (C.A.C.),” was signed at FAO headquarters in Rome.  The project is for four years for a total value of US$11.9 million.  It has seven components and one regional component.  Belize is a part of C.A.C., therefore one of the projects, valued at BZ$1.2 million, will be implemented in Belize.  Grant funds will be provided with the support of the Government of Spain.

Next Cabinet meeting

Cabinet is next scheduled to meet on Tuesday, December 8th

House meeting

The House of Representatives will meet on Friday, December 11th.


Improved access to Belize machine readable passports

Cabinet was briefed on the consular problems experienced by Belizean passport holders at overseas missions relating to the issuance of machine-readable passports.   In order to comply with new international standards for the issuance of travel documents, Belize introduced its machine-readable passport system domestically in 2005, and at our overseas missions (London, Taipei, Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles) throughout 2005 and 2006.  The system requires applicants to appear in person.  This is a problem for nationals who have lost their passports or whose passports are expired.  Cabinet asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Ministry of National Security (which has responsibility for Immigration) to work out a system that makes it easier for nationals abroad to access machine readable passports.


Proposed meeting of Belize, Guatemala Foreign Ministers

Cabinet was briefed on a proposed meeting in December, at OAS headquarters, Washington, DC, of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala, to review and strengthen confidence building measures between Belize and Guatemala.

Dr. Bernard Bulwer appointment

Cabinet was briefed on the appointment of Dr. Bernard Bulwer as Chief of Staff at the KHMH.

Director, National Sports Council

Cabinet endorsed the proposed reappointment for one year of Mr. Anthony Michael as director of the National Sports Council.

Janine Sylvestre
Honorary Consul
Honorary Consulate of Belize
370 Minorca Avenue
Coral Gables, Florida 33134

Main Number: 305.755.0276
Fax: 305.755.0277

Three Proclamation from City of Houston

The Mayor and Chief Executive Officer of the City of Houston today issued three important proclamations recognizing the contributions of the Garifuna community to the diversity of the city of Houston and the United States of America. The proclamations, a result of a community-wide effort, highlights the role Garifuna culture plays in the diversity of the fourth largest city in the United States. 

Finally, a much awaited and well-deserve recognition was given to the late Garifuna pioneer, William Henry Brown as the Father of Black Theater in the United States. Furthermore declaring December 2nd as "Andy Palacio Day" in the City of Houston. This makes three cities (Atlanta and New York, 2008) that have taken such a measure. 

Many thanks to the National Garifuna-American Day Parade Committee Members who have met with United States House of Representatives Black Congressional Caucus Members seeking their support for the First Annual National Garifuna-American Day Parade scheduled for Saturday April 10, 2010 in downtown Houston.

Aba Isieni
Jerry Castro

andypalacioday.jpg picture by garifunaday



Channel 7 News Archives

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James Bus Line owner, James williams, Sr., dead at 57

James Bus Line owner, James Williams, Sr., dead at 57 from heart attack

Rating: 5 / 5 (4 votes)  Printable version Email to a friend Discuss this article
Posted: 24/11/2009 - 09:55 AM
Author: Adele Ramos -

Belize has lost one of its greatest and most resilient entrepreneurs. Reports reaching Amandala this morning are that James Williams, Sr., 57, proprietor of James Bus Line of Punta Gorda, Toledo, passed away suddenly this morning.
His wife, Joan Williams, 50, told Amandala that they were shocked when they heard the news, because Williams had gotten up this morning and done his usual routine, including taking their young son to school.
However, at about 8:50 this morning, while James Williams, Sr., was sitting inside his truck and speaking with his son, James, Jr., he suddenly collapsed.
Doctors say he died from a heart attack, his wife told us.
Williams had been active up to the time of his death, his wife explained. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes. He ate well, but did not like to walk, though his doctor recommended that he do so. He was, however, on medical treatment until his death, said his wife, Joan.
The couple, together for 32 years, has six children: Evan, Loretta, Bryan, James, Laura and Alex; and 7 grandchildren.
James Williams, Sr., is also survived by siblings, including those abroad in the US and Jamaica.
Because they will travel to Belize for the funeral, final burial arrangements remain pending but should be set by Thursday, said Mrs. Williams.
She thanks all those supporters and friends who have stood by their side in the business, as well as those who have called personally today to convey their condolences.
James Williams, Sr., will be sadly missed. He started out working for Ramclam Bus Service 34 years ago, and at the age of 29, ventured into his own enterprise – James Bus Line, which he had been operating for 28 years.
Many other operators have come and gone, crushed by a system that actively supported, financed and promoted a bus monopoly. James weathered the storm and survived against the odds. His wife told us that the family intends to keep the enterprise going strong, while continuing to serve their faithful patrons of south and central Belize.
Even though the Punta Gorda office is closed today due to the sudden and untimely passing, the buses are still servicing the roads, said his wife, who said she will continue to run the business along with their three sons: Evan, James and Bryan.
James Williams is predeceased by his parents, Henry and Beatrice Williams, of Punta Gorda.



UGA Press Release


531 Sutter Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11213

Telephone: (718) 210-7841


                                                                                                 November 5th, 2009

                                                            PRESS RELEASE

 Dear Officers, Members and Friends,

                       The Officers and Members of the United Garifuna Association Inc. hereby express their condolences to the families of the following individuals who died recently The Late Mrs Elorene Martinez-Castillo, The Late Sonia Mendez and the Late Ida Partis-Castillo the wife of Former Dangriga Mayor Frankie Castillo and the Aunt of our former Treasurer Mrs Marion Norales-Miller and current Public Relations Officer Mr. Wellington C. Ramos. Funeral arrangements are currently in progress for these individuals. Please call the number posted above for further information.

                     For The Late Sonia Mendez please attend a HOMEGOING SERVICE to be held this Friday November the 6th at he New Open Door Church Of God In Christ located at 999 Greene Avenue Between Patchen and Broadway From:4:00 P.M. To: 7:00 P.M.

Directions: J-Train to Gates Avenue and walk to Green Avenue

Buses-46 and 47 To Green Avenue For further information please call:(718) 455-3545


Yours Truly,

Wellington C. Ramos

Director of Public Relations.



Dr Luther Castillo, voice of the voiceless in Honduras gets rousing reception in San Francisco


November 3, 2009

Dr. Luther Castillo, voice of the voiceless in Honduras, gets rousing reception in San Francisco

by Willie Thompson

Dr. Luther Castillo - Photo: Gail A. Reed
Dr. Luther Castillo - Photo: Gail A. Reed
“Doctor Luther! Doctor Luther, give it to the Honduras oligarchy hard!” Dr. Luther Castillo, who represents the National Resistance Front against the Military Coup in Honduras, brought to San Francisco the echoes of Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro on Thursday night at the Centro del Pueblo. He spoke for almost two hours with passion, conviction and a keen understanding of the savage rule of the minority oligarchic coup government in Honduras.

“More than 40 people have been shot down in the street and many women have been raped by the coup government. Ten families who control 90 percent of the wealth have closed the Garifuna hospital. They have expelled the Cuban doctors and teachers who treat the sick in isolated communities and eliminated illiteracy in six months.

“These oligarchs haven’t paid taxes or utilities for 38 years. They live in big houses and refuse to pay minimum wages to the workers. How can we be at the side of these rapists and assassins?” he asked rhetorically in response to a questioner who said she and her Honduran family represent the minority who support he coup government in Honduras. The audience of more than 100 Hispanic-, African-, Asian- and European-Americans shouted their enthusiastic support for Dr. Luther.

The National Resistance Front against the Military Coup in Honduras has been demonstrating in the streets of Honduras for more than four months and has absorbed the repression of the coup government. The Resistance is now asking for the support of the international community.

“Companeros y companeras, it’s time to raise our voices and to call on the heroic people of the United States in order to stop the barbarity of the coup government in Honduras. Where are the voices of humanity? Where is the solidarity? Where is the Nobel Peace Prize?” Dr. Castillo asked finally with sarcasm.

Dr. Luther Castillo treats a young patient at the Garifuna Community Hospital, which he led the community to build. It was shut down by the coup government on Oct. 7.
Dr. Luther Castillo treats a young patient at the Garifuna Community Hospital, which he led the community to build. It was shut down by the coup government on Oct. 7.
“We are not in agreement with the compromise of San Jose, Costa Rica,” he said. “The oligarchy cannot name their family members to lead us. We have decided to be the voice of the voiceless and the poor because no clean election can be held under the present conditions in Honduras.” The Honduran oligarchy must now answer to the Honduran Resistance Front and its international allies.

“Honduras is only a laboratory, an experiment. If it succeeds it will be repeated in other countries in Latin America. ‘Patria o muerto. Venceremos!’” Luther concluded with the same words Fidel Castro frequently used to conclude his speeches to the Cuban people. “We haven’t heard such a speech in San Francisco for a long time,” Gloria La Riva said as she asked the audience for financial support, before beginning the question and answer period.

Dr. Castillo is founder of the Garifuna hospital in Ciriboya and was named director of international cooperation in the Honduran Foreign Ministry by the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya before he was overthrown by the military this year on June 28. The hospital is supported by the Sacramento Labor Council, Global Links, The Birthing Project, MEDICC and others.

Dr. Luther spoke at a fundraising event for the National Resistance Front Against the Military Coup in Honduras. The event was sponsored by the Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition, (415) 821-6545. Dr. Castillo may be reached at or

Dr. Luther Castillo of the Resistance Front Against the Honduran Coup

The announcement of this event, which was held at Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia St. at 16th in San Francisco on Thursday, Oct. 29, casts more light on the revolutionary work of Dr. Castillo:

Dr. Luther Castillo is a young Garifuna doctor and community organizer who is the founder and director of the hospital that bears the name “For the Health of Our People” (“Luaga Hatuadi Waduheno” in the Garifuna language). On Oct. 7 at 6 a.m., three army patrols broke down the doors and stormed the Garifuna hospital.

The hospital and clinic is dedicated to providing the most important health services to the indigenous communities isolated on the Atlantic Coast. After graduating from the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba in 2005, Dr. Castillo returned to the coast of Honduras and led the construction of the first Garifuna hospital, which now serves 20,000 people in the area. The hospital opened in December 2007 and Dr. Castillo was named Honduran Doctor of the Year for 2007 by the International Rotary Clubs of Tegucigalpa.

Since the military coup on June 28, 2009, Dr. Castillo and the hospital have been subject to many threats of closure and other attacks by the military.

The event is a fundraiser for the National Resistance Front against the military coup in Honduras. It is sponsored by Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition, of which the ANSWER Coalition is a member. Call (415) 821-6545 or visit for more information.

Before taking advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to meet a great young leader whose name is sure to become a household word, read these stories: “Takeover imminent of Honduras’ Garifuna Community Hospital” and “The implications of the coup in Honduras on Afro-descendants.”

Willie Thompson, president of the Organization of African North Americans, is professor emeritus of sociology, City College of San Francisco. Email him at

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GAHFU Donates the Belize Cancer Center

GARIFUNA AMERICAN HERITAGE FOUNDATION united, inc.                         GAHFU, iNC.

Long Beach, CA

Phone (323) 898-6841

Phone (562) 366-9396

Press Release

Contact: Cheryl L. Noralez


1P.M. EDT, October 23, 2009


LONG BEACH, CA , OCTOBOER 23, 2009:  GAHFU’s staff and its board of directors are proud to be part of the celebration of progress in Belize by donating 25 boxes full of medical supplies to the benefit of Belize ’s Cancer Center , Dangriga. The donations were picked up from our Community Liaison Helen Laurie’s residence by The Blissfulsage Foundation representative Ms. Raquel Battle last week.


The donated medical supplies are just a small part of the real need to help run this project.  GAHFU continues to be dedicated to the betterment of our communities inCentral America .  We urge you to contact The Office of The Consulate General of Belize And Blissfulsage Foundation to donate to this worthy cause and help our brothers and sisters who are suffering from prostate, lung, breast and other types of cancer in Belize . Consulate of Belize (323) 634-9900.  The Blissfulsage Foundation (626) 940-7879. Consortium for Belizean Development, Inc. (323) 292-4706 and Belizean American Nursing Community (213) 248-2901.


TAB Toledo Association of Businesses Press Release


For immediate Release: October 19, 2009


The thirty-three member delegation comprising of members of The Toledo Association of Businesses and the Punta Gorda Sister City Committee returned to Belize on Sunday, October 18, 2009 after a successful and historic five-day Trade Mission to the Cities of Houston and Prairie View, Texas, U.S.A.  The purpose of the Trade Mission was twofold: one, to attend and participate in an International Trade and Commerce Symposium and Exchange and two, to participate in the official signing of a Sister City relationship between the City of Prairie View, Texas and the Town of Punta Gorda, Belize. 

The International Trade and Commerce Symposium was held under the theme, “Bridging International Borders” and included three important events. Firstly, participants were given presentations by notables such as the Texas Secretary of State, Hope Andrade, Members of the U.S. Congress, Hon. Alexander Green and Hon. Shiela Jackson Lee, State Senator, Hon. Rodney Ellis and Houston City Councilman, Ronald Green.  Presentations were also made by international resource partners from U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Export and Import Bank of the United States, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and United States Small Business Administration Office.  The international resource partners’ presentations gave valuable information and tips for the facilitation of trade and commerce between the U.S. and Belize as well as opportunities available to obtain financing and credit support for the promotion of such trade and commerce.

The second event was the inauguration of the Tri-County International Chamber of Commerce.  The guest speaker for this event was Belize’s Minister of Human Development and Social Transformation, Hon. Peter Eden Martinez.  During the inauguration, the Board of Directors of the Tri-County International Chamber of Commerce was sworn in by Judge Clarease Rankin-Yates of the U.S. Department of Justice.  Among those appointed to the Board of Directors of the Tri-County International Chamber of Commerce was Mr. Darius Avila, President of the Toledo Association of Businesses.  The third event of the International Symposium was the business match meetings where members of the Toledo Association of Businesses met U.S. based businesspersons, investors and representatives of financial institutions who are interested in doing business in Toledo and Belize.  During the match meetings, members of TAB discussed viable business concepts and initiatives and joint-venture possibilities with their U.S. counterparts.  This resulted in various investors taking keen interest in business opportunities and partnerships in Toledo.

The official signing of the Sister City agreement between the City of Prairie View, Texas and the town of Punta Gorda, Belize was also a major milestone accomplished during the five-day visit.  The agreement is one that was brokered by the Toledo Association of Businesses.  Its official signing concretizes a relationship that will bring significant benefits to both municipalities.  Mayor Floyd Lino signed on behalf of Punta Gorda Town and Mayor Frank Jackson signed on behalf of the City of Prairie View.  To commence the building of the Sister City relationship members of the Sister City committee of both municipalities met and started discussions on bilateral and mutually beneficial projects and activities.  The Sister City Committee of Punta Gorda is comprised of Dr. Ludwig Palacio, Chairman, Mr. Jack Nightingale representing business, Mr. Stanley Nicholas representing Education, Ms. Martha Woodye representing Health, Nurse Hazel Cayetano representing culture, Ms. Fern Gutierrez representing youth, Mr. Allen Zuniga representing Sports, Ms. Jasmin Tzul-Faber representing Development and Mr. Barry Palacio representing Agriculture. Mr. Darius Avila serves as Advisor and Mayor Floyd Lino is Honorary Chair. At Prairie View, the delegation was hosted by the City Council and Mayor Frank Jackson who personally gave the delegation a guided tour of the city and Prairie View A and M University and pledged to work hard at realizing the objectives of the Sister City Relationship.

All in all, the delegation was well received and recognized in Texas.  As part of the official recognition and appreciation, all members of the delegation were awarded honorary citizens of Texas by State Senator Rodney Ellis.   Also, Mayor Bill White of the City of Houston proclaimed Thursday, October 15, 2009 as Toledo Association of Businesses Day.  Darius Avila, President of the Toledo Association of Businesses comments that “this initiative (the Trade Mission and resulting accomplishments) is unprecedented and as such it is of historical significance.  It paves the way for the pursuance of bilateral trade and partnerships between the state of Texas and the District of Toledo in particular and Belize in general.  We have created significant strategic alliances and linkages that can potentially bring great economic and social benefits to our area during these economically challenging times”.

For more information regarding the above release kindly contact Darius Avila at above telephone number.

Dr. Luther Castillo Blazes Through Dallas


Dr. Castillo Blazes Through Dallas !

      What a weekend of building solidarity and awareness in Dallas !  On Saturday, October 17th,  North Americans joined hands with Chicanos, Mexicans and Central Americans, (especially Hondurans, Belizeans, Guatemalans, Costa Ricans and El Salvadorians) to welcome and embrace Dr. Luther Castillo’s factual and inspiring message of resistance to the military/elitist strong arm takeover in Honduras at the First Presbyterian Church in Plano. Dr. Castillo is the Communications Secretary for the National Resistance Front Against the Coup in Honduras . Dallas is one of the many stops being conducted to organize public support for the restoration of democracy and generate strong and for crafting effective sanctions by the US Government against the illegal regime. He presented a call for action, listing ways we could help. One way is through post cards to the Obama administration demanding stronger sanctions be placed against the illegal Micheletti regime. (See attached.)

        Continuing on Sunday, October 18th, Dr. Castillo moved throughout the Metroplex conducting interviews and presenting the people’s case for restoring democracy in Honduras . He spoke before the United Auto Workers Local 848’s Executive Council. There a unanimous resolution of support was passed. Dr. Castillo also conducted two radio interviews and one televised report, getting out a clear report on what is occurring in his homeland and presenting a comprehensive message that is not being reported in the US media. The local radio interviews were for KNON FM’s “Workers Beat” hosted by Gene Lanz, and with Tunde Kobazee on Rational Radio/1360 AM.  Univision TV Channel 23’s news person Marisol conducted the news coverage to be aired today Monday, 10/19.      

For an opportunity to experience his message, you may check out the following links:

·                             Go to to view Gene Lanz’ ten minute interview.

·                             Go to to view the UAW’s resolution in response to Dr. Castillo’s appeal.

·                             Go to to view Lantz’s article.

·                             Visit or to experience Tunde’s in-depth conversation with Dr. Castillo

·                             For the Univision report, you may visit


The work continues. The crisis in Honduras is intensifying. Our support is crucial to curtailing the military violence and so vital to reversing the power stealing actions and schemes of the oligarchy. Get involved. Join the Dallas Peace Center ’s Committee for the Restoration of Democracy in Honduras . Meet with us on Tuesday, at 7 PM at the Dallas Peace center, 5910 Cedar Springs at Inwood Road . 


International Business Symposium Houston and PG

On October 14th, a group of close to 40 businessmen and politicians from the Toledo Association of Businesses and other political representatives from the Toledo District will be in Houston. They will remain in Houston until Sunday, October 18th.

The group's mission is two-fold:

1. To participate in a trade symposium in collaboration with the Tri-County Black Chamber of Commerce (Houston).

2. To make official sister-city relations between Prairie View, Texas and Punta Gorda Town.

I will forward information on the Tri-County's one-day International Trade Symposium in a separate message. In a nutshell, the BELIZE trade delegation will have a booth emphasizing exports from the Toldeo District. Trading with BELIZE is the primary focus of the symposium.

All Belizeans in the area are encouraged to drop by and lend moral support. If any Houston-area Belizean(s) would like to participate, booths are also available for a fee of US$200.

Anyone interested in joining the Belizean delegation in Prairie View for the official signing of the sister-city relations are also enthusiastically encouraged to do so.

The Toledo Association of Businesses would like to schedule a social with Belizeans in the area for Saturday, October 17th. We are still working out the details at this time, but will continue to keep you updated.

In the meantime, here is a current schedule for the visiting Belizean delegation.

October 14, 2009 – Arrive in Houston (arrival time is yet to be finalized)

October 14, 2009 – Arrival Reception at 6:30 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Hotel Reliant Park – 8686 Kirby Drive – Houston, Texas 77054

October 15, 2009 – International Symposium (7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Hotel Reliant Park – 8686 Kirby Drive – Houston, Texas 77054)

October 16, 2009 – Travel to Prairie View, Texas for official signing of the PG-PV Sister City Relationship.

October 17, 2009 – Belize social at a venue and time to be announced.

October 18, 2009 – Return to Belize (time yet to be determined


Press Conference Fact Finding US Delegation to Honduras


**Media Advisory** Contact: Teresa Gutierrez 917.328.6470


Press Conference Oct. 5 to announce

fact-finding U.S. Delegation to Honduras




WHAT: A press conference featuring representatives of the U.S. Delegation to Honduras, who will announce their intention to travel to Honduras from Oct. 7-11 on a fact-finding mission. The delegation calls on elected officials, the Obama administration and the State Department to assure our safety.

 The delegation planned to attend the “First International Conference Against the Coup D’Etat and for the Constituent National Assembly in Honduras,” scheduled to take place Oct. 8-10. However given the political and social crisis in the country the conference has been postponed.

 The U.S. Delegation is nevertheless continuing its trip to Honduras and will conduct a fact-finding investigation of the situation. It will meet with students, labor, women, youth, representatives of the resistance to the coup and others to find the truth about the situation in Honduras.

 WHO: The U.S. Delegation to Honduras, which was initiated by theInternational Action Center, will include the following participants:

·         Berta Joubert-Ceci—Co-Director, IAC, Philadelphia chapter; Women’s Fightback Network

·         Heather Cottin—Freeport Workplace Project; Professor,LaGuardia Community College

·         LeiLani Dowell—National Co-Coordinator, FIST youth group; Managing Editor, Workers World Newspaper

·         Wellington Echegaray—Cuba Solidarity New York

·         Michael Gimbel—Central Labor Council Delegate; AFSCME local

·         Teresa Gutierrez—Director of Latin America and Immigration Projects, International Action Center; Co-Coordinator, May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights, International Migrant Alliance Depty. Secty. General

·         Manolo de los Santos- San Romero de Las Américas Church-UCC/Pastors for Peace

·         Michael Kramer—Veterans for Peace

·         Danilo Lachapel—Director of Community Relations, Evangelical Church of the Bronx

·         Lucy Pagoada—Honduran Resistance U.S.A.

·         Jennifer Waller—International Action Center, FIST youth group

·         Dave Welsh—Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council


·         Ambassador of Honduras to the United Nations

·         New York State Assembly Member Jose Rivera

·         Roger Wareham, National Lawyers Guild

·         Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General



WHERE:         Center for Constitutional Rights

                                    666 Broadway, 7th Floor
                                    Between Bond & Bleeker, Take Trains F, V, or D to Broadway Lafayette, two block walk


WHEN: Monday, October 5, 2009 at 1pm


WHY: The repression against the Honduran people’s resistance movementhas intensified since President Manuel Zelaya’s return to his country, where he has found refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. Violating international law, the Micheletti coup government has consistently attacked the Brazilian embassy, dropping chemical gas, shutting off the water and electricity, and using Long-Range Acoustic Devices that can result in permanent hearing loss.


Throughout the capital city, the coup regime’s repression against Zelaya’s supporters and all Honduran people has reached a new peak. Individual liberties and Constitutional rights have been suspended; journalists and radio broadcasters are being severely punished for doing their jobs; and people everywhere are being detained, abused, and tortured by soldiers and police. Wounded demonstrators are being picked up from hospitals and then detained without medical treatment; people are undernourished as a result of the coup regime’s curfews.


Nevertheless, three months of constant resistance, and determination to restore their democratically elected President has earned the Honduran people the title Los Incansables (the tireless ones). The U.S. delegation to Honduras will not only gather facts from the resistance, but also express its solidarity with the people and resistance of Honduras.


We are calling on our elected officials, Members of Congress, the State Department and representatives of the press to assure the success and safety of the U.S. delegation by aggressively declaring the illegitimacy of the Michelleti government, by condemning the repression on the Honduran people and by demanding the immediate restoration of Honduras’ democratically elected President, Manuel Zelaya.



Teresa Gutierrez
IAC National Co-Director
National IAC Coordinator Immigrant and Latin American Projects
Build May Day 2010
Bail out the People, not the Banks
Si Se Puede!

Garifuna Forum 09 Great Success


 Monday, September 28, 2009

The 5th Annual Garifuna Community Forum had a record-breaking attendance in Los Angeles .  Cal State University Los Angeles hosted this year's event whose theme was "Preserving the Garifuna Legacy: Past, Present and Future".  Students, in a university praised for being one of the most ethnically diverse, had a chance to have a close encounter with the Garifuna people of Central America . 

"It's good to be part of history" said Jose who traveled all the way from Las Vegas, NV with his family and his sister who came from Atlanta and who booked his hotel room nearby; Jose is originally from the village of Cristales , Trujillo Honduras .

"We are only two days into the new quarter here at CSULA and we had a good turn out" commented Wuendy Zavala, Garifuna Forum Chairperson and a graduate student at this college.  “We went from class to class to advertise the forum” she added.  But the large majority of people who attended the forum were proud and concerned Garinagu who came with their families wearing their traditional clothes.  Some came from as far north as Sacramento and even from New York .

The Honorable Vice Consul of Belize, Ms. Pascasio, came to address the audience and she also presented the keynote speakers and presenters with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Belize Government for keeping the culture alive.  

The Latin American Society, CSULA Chapter, also presented a Certificate of Appreciation to all keynote speakers including performers and organizers.  Then it was the California State University Los Angeles' turn to present its own recognition awards.

The garifuna forum was an event that offered everything that it had advertised.  The Wanaragua Dancers delighted young and old, Ali Allie's movie screening was highly acclaimed "El Espiritu De Mi Mama".  He also announced his new project, a Garifuna trilogy series of movies to be shot on location in Honduras , Belize , Guatemala and Los Angeles . Greg Palacio presented 9 beautiful oil paintings and delighted the audience with his PowerPoint presentation on the present and past work of other Garifuna artists from the Diaspora like Mr. Nicholas, Pen Cayetano and Mr. Browne from St. Vincent .  

The Honorable Consul General of Yurumein, Dr. Cadrin E. Gill came to the forum with a powerful message from the Motherland and the vivid pictures of the "Vincy Homecoming 2009".  He delighted the public with the enchanting scenery of St. Vincent 's mountains and luscious beaches.  We were able to appreciate the delegation which traveled from New York led by Mr. Jose Avila and The Garifuna Coalition.

Keynote speaker Professor Enita Lambey Barrett and her sister Ms. Anita Martinez made a powerful presentation; one on the Structure and Usage of the Garifuna Language and the other on the Garifuna Oral History from the Woman's Perspective.  Professor Lambey shined as the forum kept going as she presented her research and she encouraged the Garifuna academia to come together and put all different works on the Garifuna language together.  Ms. Martinez emphasized the importance that the oral history plays in the life of the Garinagu.  

The history of the Garifuna could not be better presented to the audience than what Mr. Ruben Reyes did.  He illustrated his recount of how Garinagu came about with a number of black and white and colored portraits of not only the Middle Passage, pre-garifuna history, to the actual wars sustained between the Garinagu and the British and consequently with the French.  He introduced his version of the Garifuna Flag's Emblem as well as the breakdown on the interpretation of the Garifuna clock and the names used to describe a particular time of the day and night.  

Sharron Williams Gelobter from Yurumein Law Firm made an informative presentation to a number of people who took advantage of her services as an immigration lawyer. Master drummer Carlos Domingo Alvarez led the Wanaragua Dancers with his drummers to a moving performance of a centuries old tradition.  He also spoke about the need to "take matters into our own hands"; as Garinagu, he said "we need to take pride of who we are and what we do". 

The Garifuna Writers Group led by Sidney Mejia and Brother Charles enchanted the audience with the reciting of a poem to the sound of the Garifuna drum.  Angela Palacio shared information on nutrition and health and she put word out about her social network through her was represented by Stamina who took the opportunity to give away Wanaragua posters as well as CD's and DVD's produced by his label.  Frank Palacio and Jacques Rallion presented their book "Middle Schoolin'" which was number 11 on last week.  Buck Pastor and Ben Flores showcased Garifuna arts and crafts as well as cd and DVD’s.  The former Consul General of Nicaragua Dr. Abaunza came as representative of Mass Mutual Financial Services and donated 10 cases of bottled water for all the people in attendance.  

The live performances were the life of the forum because they came to reassure that the oral history, the music and the dance are still alive and well in the Garifuna community not only in the United States but also in Honduras, Belize and Guatemala and there is a lot of work to do in Nicaragua to bring it back.  

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to our ancestors to make it happen.  We want to thank our keynote speakers, presenters, exhibitors, Vice Consul General of Belize, Cal State LA, Student Organizations, the GAHFU board of directors and staff; Helen Laurie and Nichole Martinez, as well as  Wuendy Zavala, Garifuna Forum's Chairperson,  for a very successful and well-managed 5th Annual Garifuna Community Forum.  

The DVD will be available through GAHFU's website and the celebrity pictures will be made available through the Garifuna Forum's official media personality Mr. Francis Estrada.  GAHFU would like to congratulate Mr. Estrada for such terrific and important job of recording our history through film and pictures.  

Yours truly; 

GAHFU management

Government takes over Telemedia

Government Passes Law to Takeover Telemedia


There was a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives today but the term “special” doesn’t do it justice – it was historic, epochal, seismic. The Prime Minister introduced and the House passed the Belize Telecommunications Act of 2009 which allows government to acquire Belize Telemedia Limited. It is the most dramatic, consequential and bold piece of legislations ever taken to the legislature – and it changes everything. Government did it to resolve what had become an intractable and costly series of legal battles with Ashcroft affiliated interests which own BTL. The central basis for those battles was the Accommodation Agreement secretly signed by the Musa Administration in 2006. The Prime Minister gave a detailed rationale.

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
“Let me once say that the long title is quite clear and what the government is doing by way of introducing this measure is preparing to take control of the company formerly known as Belize Telecommunications Limited and currently going by the name of Telemedia. I must also say immediately Mr. Speaker that government intends to take the bill through all its stages today. The Senate will then meet tomorrow and we expect that the Bill will be signed into law by Tuesday or Wednesday morning at the latest. At that time, the new government appointed board of directors will assume operational control over Telemedia and the re-Belizeanation of the company will be complete.

The infamous secret Accommodation Agreement in which the PUP government guaranteed the Ashcroft group a minimum rate of return of 15%. According to that agreement and under that guarantee, Ashcroft could in any year declare that BTL had not made that 15%, entirely a matter for him, declare under a formula that did not give the government any opportunity to seriously dispute what he was saying, Ashcroft could declare that BTL had not made that minimum 15%, declare how much the supposed short fall was and simply not pay his taxes until the so-called shortfall had been recovered. That Mr. Speaker s exactly what happened in 2007 so that thereafter Ashcroft’s Telemedia ended up paying no business tax, no Customs duties, no impress of any kind. In addition the Accommodation Agreement stipulated that the Public Utilities Commission, which is there to regulate all utility services providers, that Accommodation Agreement stipulated that the PUC, could not regulate Telemedia’s rates, just leaving the consumers at the complete mercy of the company.

The UDP Cabinet voted in the name of the Belizean people to resist this treasonerous Accommodation Agreement. Belizean law and Belizean dignity would be upheld, Belizean pride and Belizean patriotism and Belizean patrimony vindicated. And of course resisted we have.

Now no one can doubt the justice of our stance but as we always knew it would, it has been costly. Michael Ashcroft had Telemedia invoke a arbitration in London, arbitration which the PUP administration and in particular the then Prime Minister and the then Attorney General had provided for in that Accommodation Agreement, Michael Ashcroft had Telemedia invoke arbitration in London to enforce the Accommodation Agreement and as we all know, he obtained a judgement of $38.5 million and an LCIA mandated requirement that this government now begin to honour this Accommodation Agreement. Well Mr. Speaker, I have said that as God is my witness I will never pay that award.

But it doesn’t stop there, in April of 2009 Telemedia informed the government of further claims they will make to the London Court of International Arbitration and that the size of the new award they hope to get, and I am quoting now, could pale the current award of $38 million into insignificance, end of quotation. Mr. Speaker, Members, fellow Belizeans, this is intolerable. I and the United Democratic Party government in the name of the people will put up with it no longer. That an agreement, so patently illegal, so patently immoral, so patently anti-Belize should continue to torture us, to bleed us, to subject us to this death by a thousand cuts cannot for one second more be countenance.

This is our House, this is our country. Here we are masters. Here we are sovereign. And with the full weight of that sovereignty, we must now put an end to this disrespect, to this chance taking, to this new age slavery. There will thus be no more Telemedia awards against us, no more Telemedia court battles, no more debilitating waste of government’s energy and resources, and there will be no more suffering of this one man’s campaign to subjugate an entire nation to his will. After long and sufficient consideration and in the exercise of that national power that is ours by constitution and inalienable right, this government will now acquire Telemedia.

This is no ideology, this is not triumphalism, this is a country in particular circumstances reaching the end of its patience and doing a singular necessary righteous thing to protect its national interest. It is not part of any pattern, part of no new philosophy, it is plain and simple, a special measure for a special case.

No one need feel any sympathy for Lord Ashcroft. This is not an ad hominem move. It is to deal with a structural problem. Indeed, apart from his compensation, Lord Ashcroft’s interests will remain profit making participants in Belize’s telecommunications sector because those interests own Speednet and Speednet will be left free to fly.

This I repeat then is only about Telemedia and no more and no less than a case of the Belizean national interests trumping any other consideration. Thank you Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the debate.”

As we said, it is historic. The Government of Belize has never - to our knowledge acquired a private company by an act of parliament – particularly one of the most profitable, essential and ubiquitous companies in the country. It is a bold manoeuvre, but beyond the broad stokes there are the details, the practical considerations that will operationalise such an acquisition. The Prime Minister also listed those today.

Hon. Dean Barrow,
“That the Bill makes every provision for fair and proper compensation to be paid to the owners of the shares that we will acquire. This is not, I repeat, some cowboy action but something done in the full plenitude of and compliance with our constitution. As well, we are only acquiring the 94 percent or so of Telemedia that is controlled by the Ashcroft interests. The shareholding owned by Belizeans will be left intact. The actual acquisition will be done by an order made by the Minister of Telecommunications who will in that same order appoint a new Board of Directors.

As soon as practicable after, an extraordinary general meeting will be held and new Articles of Association adopted. The new Articles will essentially be the articles of the successful BTL that was launched in 1988. In other words the safeguards to protect Belizean shareholders will be re-established including protection of the special share and the limitations on the amount of single ownership.

As well and perhaps most important, the Articles will guarantee that dividends will be paid annually to the shareholders at the rate of 40% of the company’s yearly profits. I also want to say that the new Board of Directors will be chaired in an executive capacity by Mr. Nestor Vasquez and it will have as one of its members the Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel.

Telemedia’s current employees will of course all keep their jobs. Indeed we expect a greatly improved industrial relations climate and the quick resolution of any current outstanding worker grievances. I think particularly of the arbitration case of the dismissed workers, a case that the current owners of Telemedia have utterly frustrated. I am positive therefore that Telemedia’s staff like all other right thinking Belizeans will completely support the government’s move and cooperate to make the transition as seamless as possible.

For consumers, we expect services to continue uninterrupted. We do not believe that the present operators of the company will try any kind of sabotage. If they do, we will have to use already existing provisions of the law to move and take control even before the passage of this bill.”

The timeline is as follows, the Senate meets in its own special sitting tomorrow to consider the act, approval is expected to be forthcoming and thereafter, either on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, the governor General is expected to sign it into law. The Minister of Public Utilities will then sign an order activating the new board of directors, which should go into BTL on Wednesday. And while that’s the plan – it is expected that BTL’s Ashcroft-controlled ownership may throw a series of legal obstacles to undermine that plan.


Telemedia Transfers Ownership of Channel 5

Telemedia Transfers Ownership of Channel 5
posted (August 24, 2009)

Here’s what they are saying today. First a release was issued announcing that the Telemedia Board of Directors held an emergency meeting today to transfer the ownership of Channel 5 from under BTL’s corporate umbrella to individual BTL shareholders – the principal shareholder being Ashcroft-controlled entities which administer 94% of BTL’s shares. A release says this is because, “the Telemedia Board felt it was important that the television broadcasting company not form part of the nationalized assets.... (so that shareholders) continue to have an unbiased voice in the media to stand up against the hostile and illegal acts of the government.”

The official BTL position on those acts was elaborated upon in quite heated evening release which described government’s acquisitioning as, quote “an outrageous abuse of executive power, which is both unconstitutional and unlawful.” The release characterizes government’s decision as a, "heavy handed and draconian attempt to tackle the commercial dispute....which has already been resolved in Telemedia’s favour.”

The release notes that the Prime Minister also did not mention that the Accommodation Agreement had aldready been terminated by Telemedia. That’s an interesting statement as the notice of that termination came from the law firm of Allen and Overy in the UK only this morning. According to the Prime Minister It simply accepts government’s repudiation the accommodation agreement – to make the point that with the repudiation government can’t justifiably acquire BTL because of the accommodation agreement, since it has been repudiated. Clever, but it would have been a more convincing gesture if it had been repudiated months ago.

And while those are tactical manuvour, in terms of money, according to Telemedia, in 2008 it had been offered US$300 million from a company that wanted to buy them out – suggesting that’s what government will have to pay for it.

Petition to halt draft amendments to Education Act

Subject: Petition to halt draft amendments to Education Act and Rules of Belize

This is a serious issue facing the Belizean school system.  Please read about it then sign the petition if you agree. 
I have added this as a forum item.  Please add your opinion to the discussion in the forum.

Dual Citizenship and Political Office

Dual Citizenship and Political Office – Pros and Cons


Albert Williams Ph.D.


July 28, 2009


This debate of dual citizenship in political office is ‘hot’ throughout Belize AND among Belizeans in other countries.  This is a sensitive issue with emotions running high on both sides.  Should we allow a Belizean living in Florida or New York to return home to run for public office, whether local or national?   Should the Prime Minister appoint someone with dual citizenship to his Cabinet? 

A decision to the question will affect all Belizeans living in Belize and abroad.  Presently, there is no accurate count as to how many Belizeans and their children are living abroad but a popular estimate is that that number is equal to the population living in Belize, which is estimated at 301,000 in 2008.  Hence, about half of all Belizeans live outside of Belize!  This is huge but not uncommon for small countries.  People move primarily for economic reason.

This dual citizenship debate is not unique to Belize.  Many countries in the world are dealing with this issue. For example, dual citizenship is becoming more common in today's increasingly interconnected global economies. Countries such as India, the Philippines and Mexico are utilizing the advantages of dual citizenship by liberalizing their citizenship laws. These countries have realized that dual citizenship has the advantages of broadening a country's economic base, and fostering trade and investment between the dual citizen's two respective countries. This is one way to turn the brain drain into a brain gain. (Belizeans living abroad will want to do even more in Belize.)  One of the benefits of dual citizenship is the ability of dual citizens to influence economic and political decisions in the country of descent. 


Having dual citizenship AND serving in political office is what is stirring the heated debate.

We are at a crossroad to decide if we want people with dual citizenship to run for political office.  I will present supporting arguments for dual citizenship and political office in Belize, followed by points against it.  Next, I will present some other issues of concern, followed by my position on the whole situation.  


Arguments for Belizean with Dual Citizenship to Run for Political Office

First, a person with dual citizenship may have gathered a different set of expertise, skill, knowledge, experience and exposure to bring to the table.  This could enhance better decision making at the public policy level, which could lead to a better standard of living for ALL Belizeans.  For example, a Belizean who is part of the leadership team of a large corporation may have acquired decision making abilities and experiences that could help him/her in public life, as a representative or minister of government.  Note that many Belizeans abroad have excelled in their fields.  For example, if talented Belizeans who are passionate about Belize were to return home and run for political office, it would seem like a great idea as they bring a different set of talents and exposure to the table.

A second reason for allowing a person with dual citizenship to run for public office is the potential benefit of networking that he/she has developed over time. This network, most likely global, can be utilized to provide grants for projects, generate investments, and provide human resource development for Belizeans. These Belizeans can mobilize additional resources to assist Belize.

A third reason is that just having this right to political office will stimulate more  Belizeans to expand his/her interest and appreciation for Belize.  This can lead to more Belizean in other countries wanting to invest more in Belize. Note that many homes in Belize have been built with funds from families living abroad. This has generated income for builders, unskilled laborers, building supplies stores, and food vendors, etc. There might be an increase in gifts and funds to care for children and parents - a big part of Belizeans caring for Belizeans.

Fourth, Belizeans living abroad are patriotic and could serve Belize well.  Having dual citizenship does NOT imply that Belizeans living abroad hate Belize and are traitors. In fact, Belizeans living abroad are very in-tuned with the happenings in Belize. They visit Belize regularly.  They regularly read news at Channel 5 and Channel 7.  They read the online newspapers and listen to the radio stations.  They are concerned about the Belizean politics, crime, corruption, poverty, and education, etc. They celebrate all the national holidays in their communities.  They entertain Belizean political missions in their cities. They care. When there are natural disasters in Belize, they mobilize their resources to assist. They are patriotic and could make great political leaders, regardless of dual citizenship. 

I am sure that there are other arguments to support dual citizenship in political office.

Arguments against Belizean with Dual Citizenship to Run for Political Office

First, it appears unfair for a Belizean coming from a country like the U.S. to ‘take’ a prestigious political position.   He/she has been living the ‘good life’ in the U.S. and is now coming to ‘takeover.’  The perception is that he/she left and should not come back and take political leadership positions.  That is, he/she is a traitor for leaving and is unpatriotic.  He/she can return and enjoy Belize and invest, etc. but he/she must not take political office.  Many Belizeans living in Belize hold this position. 

Second, Belizeans with dual citizenship may not fully serve the interest of Belize.  Their allegiance might be two-fold and can use their political offices to promote the objectives of the other country.  That is, a Belizean with dual citizenship with Guatemala (a whole major issue) may serve the interest of Guatemala rather than the interest of Belize.  This is a major concern for most Belizeans.  Note that India developed laws with exception clauses for holding dual citizenship.  For example, an Indian cannot by law have dual citizenship with Pakistan or Bangladesh.  Note that India and Pakistan are politically unfriendly neighbors.

Third, Belizeans with dual citizenship may not use their network for the benefit of Belizeans.  They could focus on creating the majority of gains to their network parties.  For example, a Chinese Belizean may have a strong network with a real estate business person.  Hence, when he/she gets into political office, he will help his/her ‘friend.’ This can reduce the economic and social benefits to most Belizeans.  (I am sure that you are aware that regular local politicians are accused of doing this too – a global political issue.)

Fourth, local Belizeans fear that these Belizeans living abroad will come back and ‘look down’ on them.  The local Belizeans are tired of hearing, “This is how we do it in America.”  Hence, if one of the Belizeans from abroad becomes a Cabinet member, he will want adopt American ways of doing things – which is questionable these days.

Again these four points against dual citizenship and political office is not exhaustive.

Other Issues of Major Concern

First, will there be an order of citizenship?  Should Belize be the country of first citizenship and the other country be second for a person to be eligible to run for political office?  A worst case scenario is you can have Guatemalans who got Belizean citizenships running for political office.  If they were to win the majority of seats, Belize might then be operating like a district of Guatemala.  Also, if U.S. citizens who got Belizean citizenships were to run and win the majority of seats, you might have the equivalent of another state added to the U.S.  These scenarios, regardless of how unlikely, should not be allowed to occur so exception clauses must be added to the law.

Second, how do you deal with children of Belizeans living abroad?  Will they qualify for dual citizenship and will they be allowed to take political office in Belize?  We were so proud to see Ms. Marion Jones, with dual citizenship, taking her victory walks with our Belizean flag and the U.S. flag.  Do her children qualify for dual citizenship and will they be allowed to take political office in Belize?  These are questions that must be addressed?

Third, will dual citizenship be treated equally across all countries?  Will the Central American countries (who generally support Guatemala) be treated differently from Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, U.K. etc.?   Again, this question must be addressed.

Fourth, the demographics (change in characteristics of the population) of Belize are changing to an even bigger Hispanic majority, including many from the neighboring countries.  How WILL this influence the dual citizenship policy?  Also, the Chinese community is expanding and controls the retail industry in many cities, towns, and villages.  WILL this influence the dual citizenship policy for running for political office?  Presently, all these naturalized Belizeans CAN hold political positions.  However, those living Belizeans living abroad CANNOT – unless the law is amended.

Please note that if the law is amended, it does NOT mean that a person will come from abroad and win a constituency easily.  He or she is at a major disadvantage.  You, the local Belizeans, have to support that person for him or her to win.  Also, for Cabinet appointed positions, there should be a cap as to how many Belizeans living abroad can be included. 

My Position on this Issue

I have looked at the arguments for both sides.  I do respect the arguments against a person with dual citizenship running for political office.  I understand the feelings of Belizeans living at home.  However, I believe that a person with dual citizenship should be allowed to hold political office provided that all major concerns are included in exception clauses of the law.  I believe that the benefit of dual citizenship in political office in Belize is much greater than the cost.  We live in a global world and ALL Belizeans and their children should be given the opportunity to assist Belize to grow and prosper. This includes serving in political office. Please look deep within yourself and try to understand the two sides.  I believe that this proposed amendment is a great idea if done properly. 

I presently reside in Florida but I visit Belize two to three times per year. I love Belize.  I love my people.  When I am in Belize, I feel free and not have to be deal with racial discrimination.  Belize is miles ahead of the U.S. when it comes to race relations.  Presently, I am an assistant professor of economics and finance at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.  However, I have given most of my life to Belize.  I was a mathematics teacher at Claver College in Punta Gorda Town and at the Belmopan Comprehensive School.  I was a project officer at the Development Finance Corporation.  Next, I was an agricultural economist at the Ministry of Agriculture and then I became the general manager of the Belize Marketing Board.  In addition, I taught economics and finance, on a part time basis, at the University College of Belize (UCB) and at the Belize College of Agriculture (BCA), now a part of the University of Belize.  I played my guitar for years at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Belmopan.

Appeal for Dual Citizenship


By: Wellington C. Ramos

             Beginning next week throughout our country of Belize, our government is going to commence consultations with our people on two important constitutional amendments to Article-7 of our constitution. One of these proposed amendment is to give Belizean citizens who possess Dual Citizenships the right to be eligible to run for the National Assembly while retaining their Dual Citizenships. The other amendment is to discontinue having the Privy Council in London England as our final court for appeals and to transfer this authority to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in the Caribbean countries. Many Belizeans living abroad including myself, are strongly in support of these two amendments because one will reaffirm the constitutional rights of Belizeans who possess Dual Citizenships and the other will have a major impact on the reduction of murders in Belize by resuming Capital Punishment which the Privy Council Court in London seems to be ruling against persistently over the years.

                 Almost all the Belizeans who left Belize and came to the United States did so for one of the following reasons; to join their family, to avoid political persecution, to advance their education or to improve their economic situation. If it was not for one of these factors, most Belizeans living in the United States will still be living in Belize. Now that they live in the United States, their contributions to the survival and growth of Belize is extremely significant economically, socially, politically and in many other ways. In a recent study conducted by the United States Government, it was reported that most developing countries in the Caribbean including Belize, would endure serious economic hardships if it was not for the financial contributions made weekly by the Belizeans living in the United States.

              The Constitution of Belize have a Dual Citizenship Clause that gives Belizeans who possess Dual Citizenships the right to vote. However, Belizeans who possess Dual Citizenships have not been given that right by neither of their governments over the years in allowing them to vote through Proxy Voting. The denial of this right is a violation of their constitutional right. While this right exist, it is contradictory to say that they can vote but cannot run for office. In a democracy if a person can vote then the person should also be qualified to run for office as a citizen of that country if he or she meets the requirements set forth in the Elections and Boundaries Law or in the People’s Representation Ordinance. Great nations are built by citizens who have been exposed to other industrialized and technological countries because they will bring their experiences and expertise back home to build their own country. China is now one of the richest countries in the world after it came out of the Dark Ages. When Peter The Great took Russia out of the Dark Ages Russia became a great power also. He sent Russian citizens abroad to see what other European countries were doing to become industrialized.

          There are some Belizeans who show resentment towards their fellow Belizeans when they go home to visit them. Most of this resentment is due to jealousy and ignorance because some did not get the opportunity to come and live in the United States or foster that false belief that Belizeans who live in the United States do not care about their country and people. For the few who think that way, I would like to make it clear that I have lived in  Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City throughout all my thirty-one years living in the United States. These are three of the biggest cities that have the largest concentration of Belizeans. Most Belizeans that I have met are longing to go back home, love their native country and would do anything for their beloved country including to fight and die for it. When anything occur in Belize such as; hurricanes, earthquakes, other disasters or the Guatemalan claim to our country, Belizeans living in the United States cannot sleep and are tuned in to the news with their relatives and friends on the telephones constantly to get updates.

          Since Capital Punishment was discontinued in Belize, the amount of murders in the country of Belize has skyrocketed tremendously. Belize City is so unsafe, that many Belizeans try to avoid going to Belize City. This is bad for the economy because tourist will avoid coming into our country and that will lower the amount of revenue our people and government could earn to institute social programs for the needy and poor. When Belize enforced capital punishment years ago, the amount of murders throughout the whole country of Belize was far less than today. There are some Belizeans who would argue, that the re-institution of Capital Punishment will not lead to the reduction of murders in our country. I would counter that argument by saying to them, then let us do it and then examine the impact it is having on the reduction of murders and if it is not then we can abandon it forever.

         The issue is; How long are we as a people going to stand idly by while our family members continue to see their love ones being killed innocently and senselessly in our country by these heartless murderers? These people do not value a person’s life and that is the reason why they are taking it for no justifiable reason. Some of us have been spending too much time being concerned about the rights of the accused. It is now time for us to be concerned about the rights of the victims, their families and the Belizean citizens at large. The longer we wait to correct these insane actions, each and every one of us as Belizeans will end up loosing one of our love ones. The time is now right for us to approve these two constitutional amendments because they are just and right for our country and the citizens of Belize. I hereby urge my fellow Belizean citizens that throughout the consultations to be held next week, we attend them and present these justifiable reasons to make a strong case for the passage of these fundamental amendments to our constitution.

Roman Catholic Press Release on Teaching Service Commission

Subject: Managing Authorities of Roman Catholic Schools Press Release on Proposed Teaching Service Commission
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 2009 20:51:55 -0600

Managing Authorities of Roman Catholic Schools

Press Release on Proposed Teaching Service Commission

7th August 2009

Contact:  Catholic Public Schools, 227-2122

The Roman Catholic School System strongly agrees that the goals of accountability, efficiency and transparency as stated by the Ministry of Education can be achieved in the Belize educational system. Achievement of these goals will lead to the delivery of quality education at all levels in Belize. A body responsible for setting standards for entrance into the teaching profession as both classroom teacher and school administrator, setting minimum employment requirements and developing criteria for earning and maintaining teacher licensing would definitely contribute to the achievement of these goals. This body would also have other important functions to perform such as ensuring that there is a national teacher’s examination, that professional development opportunities and resources for teachers and Managing Authorities are available and accessible to all, and that teaching is promoted as a distinguished profession.

Under the current Education Act, managing authorities have full employment rights pertaining to their employees.  Managing authorities decide, within the licensing parameters of the Education Act and Rules, who will staff their schools. This arrangement allows Catholic and other denominational schools to ensure both the academic quality of the education delivered as well as faithfulness to the distinctive values and philosophies that are an integral part of Catholic education. Through employing its teachers Catholic schools are therefore able to assure a learning environment that goes beyond academics and nurtures the growth of each student in mind, body and spirit. This does not mean, however, that the appointment of teaching staff is carried out by means of a rigid adherence to the principle of selecting only practicing Catholics. In common with other schools, Catholic schools recognize the importance of effective, professional teaching – as the attainment of pupils testifies.

The Roman Catholic School System strongly believes that the right of managing authorities and proprietors to employment of teachers with full authority to appoint, transfer, release, suspend or dismiss members of staff of its respective schools or institutions must remain firmly intact as is provided for in section XVI of the Education Act 1991, Revised 2000. The system which provides for appeals by teachers to a functioning and impartial appeals body in the current Education Act is appropriate and effective and should be maintained.

The proposed Teaching Service Commission which forms a part of the proposed amendments to the Education Act and Rules would remove the rights of managing authorities to employ teachers. The Roman Catholic School System views this as a breach of our rights as proprietors and managing authorities of our Catholic institutions.

The Roman Catholic School System, therefore, supports the creation of a body which would support the delivery of quality education to all students in our educational system. We cannot support the Teaching Service Commission as proposed.

Dianne Lindo

Provost and Chief Academic Officer

St. John's College


Princess Margaret Drive

Belize City


Central America

Phone:  501-223-3732

Fax:      501-223-2752



Website: rfo

Editor of Reporters supports Dual Citizenship

Weekly Editorial
Editorial (09.08.09)
Friday, 07.08.2009, 09:32am (GMT-6)

By Harry Lawrence - Publisher

From her earliest years, Belize has always marched to the beat of her own drum. Cut off by distance from the rest of the  Engish-speaking Caribbean, our country learned  from  very  early days to take its own decisions.

We did so at the Public Meeting in June  1797 when we decided that we would not run any more from the Spanish invading forces. We did so on September  8th., and 9th. when we engaged a superior Spanish naval Force from Bacalar, and we did so again in 1869 when we petitioned the British Monarch (Queen Victoria) to accept Belize as a Crown Colony. We  showed courage and resourcefulnesss when  we opted for independence in  1969, not knowing how the Guatemalans were likely to react, and we have been running our affairs ever  since.

We don’t know, and we don’t much care, what’s  happening in the other Caribbean jurisdictions or  in Central America for that matter. We evolve our own brand of politics,  our own  institutions - our culture, our  education, our sports - are, for better or for worse - Belizean!.

The great debate today, over whether we should admit Belizeans with dual nationality to our House of Representatives and Senate will be decided not by what Jamaica has done or what Trinidad proposes to do. It will be decided by the preponderance of good sense.

The questions we have to ask ourselves:

Is it fair?

Fair to whom?

To Belizeans at home?

To Belizeans  abroad ?

In what way is it unfair?

Who, if anybody,  will be hurt by extending the franchise to Belizeans living abroad? What, if any, are the risks?  

On the  other hand, are there benefits for our country in terms of pooled experience, contacts with the outside world, technical expertise, new capital, investments, goodwill?

Are we better off including our Belizean countrymen abroad, or should we exclude them?

From the deluge of letters coming in, we know how Belizeans abroad feel about this subject. They are overwhelmingly  in favour of inclusion. They want to be a part of Belize’s future.

Do we have a right to deny them this request?  On what grounds are we going to deny them?

We are acutely aware that some of our sincere and  patriotic Belizeans are deeply troubled by the movement towards  inclusion. They make a sharp distinction between Belizeans living at home and those living abroad  who have pledged their allegiance to another country.

When Belize started out as an independent nation in  1969, she did not even recognize such people as Belizean. Over time however we came to understand that we can, without any loss of sovereignty, recognize people with dual citizenship.

The question today is whether we should leave them out   there at  the periphery,  or invite them into  our family of full citizenship.

Our view here at this newspaper is that we should invite them in.  They have a lot to offer, and we have a lot to gain by sharing all our heritage with them.

A few years ago Belize was selling her citizenship to anybody who could pay  the $50,000 fee. That was a scandalous and immoral thing to do, but if we recall correctly, there was no anguished and patriotic  outcry  against this practice.

Today the government is proposing a course of action which is authentically Belizean, intrinsically decent and open-handed, which  seeks to lift the Belizean dispora to a level of intimacy and sharing with Belizeans at home. With the greatest of respect towards those  who say otherwise, we say: “Let’s do it! ” 


Rising Above I.Q.

Op-Ed Columnist

Rising Above I.Q.

Published: June 6, 2009

In the mosaic of America, three groups that have been unusually successful are Asian-Americans, Jews and West Indian blacks — and in that there may be some lessons for the rest of us.

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Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Nicholas D. Kristof

On the Ground

Ask Nicholas Kristof about China since 1989 or share your stories about dissent in China on his blog.

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Times Topics: Intelligence

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Asian-Americans are renowned — or notorious — for ruining grade curves in schools across the land, and as a result they constitute about 20 percent of students at Harvard College.

As for Jews, they have received about one-third of all Nobel Prizes in science received by Americans. One survey found that a quarter of Jewish adults in the United States have earned a graduate degree, compared with 6 percent of the population as a whole.

West Indian blacks, those like Colin Powell whose roots are in the Caribbean, are one-third more likely to graduate from college than African-Americans as a whole, and their median household income is almost one-third higher.

These three groups may help debunk the myth of success as a simple product of intrinsic intellect, for they represent three different races and histories. In the debate over nature and nurture, they suggest the importance of improved nurture — which, from a public policy perspective, means a focus on education. Their success may also offer some lessons for you, me, our children — and for the broader effort to chip away at poverty in this country.

Richard Nisbett cites each of these groups in his superb recent book, “Intelligence and How to Get It.” Dr. Nisbett, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, argues that what we think of as intelligence is quite malleable and owes little or nothing to genetics.

“I think the evidence is very good that there is no genetic contribution to the black-white difference on I.Q.,” he said, adding that there also seems to be no genetic difference in intelligence between whites and Asians. As for Jews, some not-very-rigorous studies have found modestly above-average I.Q. for Ashkenazi Jews, though not for Sephardic Jews. Dr. Nisbett is somewhat skeptical, noting that these results emerge from samples that may not be representative.

In any case, he says, the evidence is overwhelming that what is distinctive about these three groups is not innate advantage but rather a tendency to get the most out of the firepower they have.

One large study followed a group of Chinese-Americans who initially did slightly worse on the verbal portion of I.Q. tests than other Americans and the same on math portions. But beginning in grade school, the Chinese outperformed their peers, apparently because they worked harder.

The Chinese-Americans were only half as likely as other children to repeat a grade in school, and by high school they were doing much better than European-Americans with the same I.Q.

As adults, 55 percent of the Chinese-American sample entered high-status occupations, compared with one-third of whites. To succeed in a profession or as managers, whites needed an average I.Q. of about 100, while Chinese-Americans needed an I.Q. of just 93. In short, Chinese-Americans managed to achieve more than whites who on paper had the same intellect.

A common thread among these three groups may be an emphasis on diligence or education, perhaps linked in part to an immigrant drive. Jews and Chinese have a particularly strong tradition of respect for scholarship, with Jews said to have achieved complete adult male literacy — the better to read the Talmud — some 1,700 years before any other group.

The parallel force in China was Confucianism and its reverence for education. You can still sometimes see in rural China the remains of a monument to a villager who triumphed in the imperial exams. In contrast, if an American town has someone who earns a Ph.D., the impulse is not to build a monument but to pass a hat.

Among West Indians, the crucial factors for success seem twofold: the classic diligence and hard work associated with immigrants, and intact families. The upshot is higher family incomes and fathers more involved in child-rearing.

What’s the policy lesson from these three success stories?

It’s that the most decisive weapons in the war on poverty aren’t transfer payments but education, education, education. For at-risk households, that starts with social workers making visits to encourage such basic practices as talking to children. One study found that a child of professionals (disproportionately white) has heard about 30 million words spoken by age 3; a black child raised on welfare has heard only 10 million words, leaving that child at a disadvantage in school.

The next step is intensive early childhood programs, followed by improved elementary and high schools, and programs to defray college costs.

Perhaps the larger lesson is a very empowering one: success depends less on intellectual endowment than on perseverance and drive. As Professor Nisbett puts it, “Intelligence and academic achievement are very much under people’s control.”

The link to the article

Urgent Message about Dual Citizenship

Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2009 18:22:48 +0000





of The Belizean Cultural Society

of New York/Belize

Belizeans need to be aware of the “Hot, Contentious, Passionate etc." debate raging throughout Belize about the proposed change of the constitution by Government to allow Belizeans with Dual citizenship to run for public office.

Belize recognizes Dual citizenship, but there are discriminatory restrictions.  People who are allowed to run for office fall into the following categories:

1.       Belizeans who hold ONLY Belizean citizenship;

2.       Belizeans who were born in a foreign country of     Belizean parentage and  acquire Belizean citizenship through birth;

3.       Belizeans who were born in a foreign country and acquire Belizean Citizenship through naturalization.


The present law cannot be justified by legal principles - it fosters inequality and is discriminatory.  Let us be reminded that the United States of America is NOT  opposed  to Dual citizenship; the US  accepts thousands of people every year as immigrants and citizens, and there are perhaps few, (if any) instances of disloyalty.  In Belize, one of the primary arguments by the opponents is that potential legislators with dual citizenship are likely to become traitors to Belize.

The government in Belize has begun holding consultation meetings in the districts.  The consensus so far is a ruthless opposition to the pending change - there have even been threats that the law will not be changed over the opponents’ "dead bodies."   The opponents have declared that the ONLY way they will allow a Belizean American ("Belam" is  the  Belizean  name for a Belizean American) to run for office is if a Belizean American renounces his/her US citizenship ( and of course all the relevant benefits- financial and otherwise)

Despite the fact that Belizeans in the US for decades have magnanimously contributed to the welfare of Belize and Belizeans (millions and millions of US dollars in remittances; thousands upon thousands of barrels with clothing, food etc., financing costs of building of homes throughout the country, payment of education costs etc., etc.), those opposed seem not to regard such generous acts

as acts of true patriotism , loyalty or love of country.

 It is imperative that Belizeans throughout the United States voice their dismay and disappointment. 

Contact Belizean newspapers/ radio /tv stations.  Organizations should send letters/petitions to support the government. 




E MAIL -  OR  

P.O.Box 707-Belize City,Belize=

Phone:501-227-2503 - Fax:501-227-8278                            


P.O. Box 15 - Belize City,Belize -- e mail :

Tel: 501-202-4703- FAX-501-222-4702e mail:: the foll:


P.O. Box 1898- Belize City.Belize

Tel 501-207-5346 - Fax:501-227-5343

e mail:


(Call or e mail the morning talk show: 501-202-4409. 502-202-4469 - e mail:   

(7am - 9am Belize time)      


(Call  0r  e mail  morning talk show - 501-202-5360  or 501-202-5361- e mail

(7am - 9am Belize time)


(Call or e mail morning talk show- 501-203-2098 or 501-203-0528 - e mail:

(7am - 9am Belize time)


TEL: 501-822-03999 (BELMOPAN)







Proposing Amendments to Constitution 

Residents throw tough remarks at public consultations
The government is proposing amendments to the constitution. Last night they held the first in a series of countrywide consultations regarding whether or not a person may be appointed as attorney general though he or she is not an elected member of the House of National Assembly. The other two amendments dealt with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final appellate court. And the most controversial was the Dual citizenship amendment. This is how it went at the Bishop Sylvestre Memorial Centre where about a hundred persons attended.

John Saldivar, Minister of Public Service
“We are simply saying that we need to widen the scope of persons who can serve as Attorney General. That is all we’re saying and this is not to say that once the law is passed, we have to. It is simply widening the opportunity for us to choose persons who may not want to get into politics.”

Citizen #1
“One, do we have a current attorney general? It seems that we are advertising the post of the current attorney general because he is not doing his job? I just wanted to ask that question first. The second question I wanted to ask is there some way of opening the door possibly for us to now have someone with a degree in medicine to be the minister of health, which may be needed with all that’s happening at the K.H.M.H., an engineer as the minister of works, someone with a degree as the minister of natural resources. I just wanted to ask the question honourable John Saldivar.”

John Saldivar
“Your conjecture was based on one, formation. The attorney general is already required to be a lawyer.”

Citizen #2
“If this is supposed to be a consultation, then I didn’t come here to get any kind of what the old administration did or what the new one is going to do. I want to know where you gonna take us.”

Citizen #3
“We’re so close to bloody revolution, it’s not funny and all it will take is a half dozen of those misguided boys in the streets to suddenly realize who di hell we di shoot each other fah? Why we noh go shot down wah three, four ah dehn big bwai? And an innocent man, like yourself, doing a great job, comes under the hammer. So I beg of you, the changes that you’re putting forward, make sure that everything is in place to swiftly change nolle prosequi back to Sub Umbra Floreo.”

Citizen #4
“The objective you told us, I don’t think nobody buys it. So what is the real objective, who is it that you guys want to elect and appoint or whatever that you don’t want to say because that’s what it is and I think a lotta people know the name but you know dehn wah sue we if we do day, so we no gwein deh.”

Citizen #5
“Ih no fair fi tell people Monday fi come to something like dis Wednesday. So noh think dat dis dah lee bit a people count wah hundred more person weh deh yah, ih noh fair; unnu wrong. Numba two; unnu seh dat how being in di Senate too political because yoh appoint six from di U.D.P. or current government and so much form di other one. But what dah di guarantee now dat one man or woman, di prime minister, no want appoint ih own political? To me dat dah even more leeway fi dah person appoint just political. So dah reason noh mek no sense to me.”

Citizen #6
“This will give opportunities to other foreigners to come into the country and make decisions on our behalf and sir we just can't have that happen and I hope my fellow Belizeans really listen to what we’re saying here. We just can’t serve two masters; one or the other thank you.”

Citizen #7
“If a person gets into—they run for office and they have citizenship for someplace else and if they win then I think they have to give it up.”

Citizen #8
“I have a choice, I could be anywhere else; but this is where I choose to stay and I am saying that if you heard what was just read as far as what you all have sworn as far as your oath of allegiance to Belize, it leaves no room. As far as I am concerned, that is treason and I think that is done.”

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
“It is my plea to all of you to let us be very respectful. We have heard people cast aspersions, we have heard people say all kinds of mean things about government officials and ministers and that is not the spirit in which we have asked you to be here this evening. While my skin is… but we do respect you.”

Citizen #9
“Logic says that an argument is when two people have opposing opinions. I think it’s obvious that we’re having an argument because some people have a different opinion than most of the people here. So just to clarify that, we are having an argument and get that straight. We are having an argument. This dah wah quarrel Belizean style.”

Citizen #10
“My parents moved to the US in the fifties and as a result I was born in the US. I am a Belizean by decent and from what you’re saying there, at best I should be able to run but I am in support of everyone else who has gotten up to this mic and I really support that I should not be able to run.”

Citizen #11
“I no kay what because I, ova my dead body, dis would ah happen unless of course di people agree. So tek it to di referendum like dehn di seh.”

Contentious Consultation Over Constitutional Amendments

Contentious Consultation Over Constitutional Amendments

7:40 PM TO 11:05 PM – That’s the three hours and twenty five minutes that it took to held the first public consultation on the 7th Amendment to the Constitution Bill. As we’ve been tell you, the amendment proposes to do three things: first, make the Caribbean Court of Justice Belize’s final appellate court, second, make it so that the Attorney General does not have to be a member of either the House or Senate and third make it so that holders of dual nationality can become members of the National Assembly. And it’s that third one that generated all the heat last night. It took three hours plus, but it was entertaining, feisty and spirited. We’ve compressed it down to ten minutes.

Jules Vasquez Reporting,
It was a full house at the undersized Bishop Sylvester Memorial Center – and the howls of protest resounded off the walls.

Lincoln Gillett, Opposed
“Dual nationality is out of the question. You want to be citizen kane, dual nationality, that’s alright. Whenever you get up there and think you can have dual nationality up there, you’re going to have me to deal with.”

Woman #1,
“We go to the hospital, me the lady, and me can’t understand what the doctors are telling me. I like listening to the House of Representatives and I don’t want someone to get in there who I can’t understand whe deh the seh.”

Roy Bullit Craig, Opposed
“We are not going to attend a dual citizen in our House of Representatives.”

Anthony Sylvestre, Opposed
“With this amendment in its present form you could have a situation where one day the Prime Minister of the country of Belize has two citizenships. You could imagine that man who would be making decisions on every aspect of life for all Belizeans having two citizenships and the situation may arise where we might be in war with that the country of his other nationality.”

Jihad Mclaren, US Citizen
“If you have served the military then you would not have wanted two citizenships to represent you. Any person who has citizenships sitting in a position of making decisions for a nation, for one nation, two citizenships make you automatically a traitor.”

Jason Guerrero, US Citizen
“I should not be able to run. If I want to run, I would have to renounce my citizenship in the US.”

Rufus X, Opposed
“You cannot serve two nations and like the lady said America that all of us so seem to hinge our future on certainly does not accept dual citizenship. You see what happened to little Marion Jones for holding up the Belizean flag. What is wrong with us, why are we discussing this? We want to be American, go and live in America. This is Belize.”

Sylvana Woods was the only person who had submitted her objection in writing and she made a passionate plea:

Sylvana Woods, Opposed
“How can I as a teach try and instil patriotism and swear to the Belizean flag and allegiance if my government is saying it is okay to have dual citizenship to represent people. It will be a contradictory thing for the children. We will be saying one thing and living a next thing. Also you need to avoid putting people in a position of conflict of interest. I take what the Hon. Saldivar said that you can’t legislate the heart but you certainly can legislate the law, you can set the law. So why bother have laws then, I mean we have laws that we are a monogamous country and all the man they fool around so I take what you say, you can’t legislate the heart but you can provide enabling conditions. You can provide the enabling condition and that is what we look to our government to do, to enable us to love the country even more and I am not seeing that happen with this thing unu di push pon we.

To tell the truth, if unu do this, I would do anything it takes to nuh mek it pass, anything it takes. I don’t care what because I over my dead body, this woulda happen.

And where it comes from, what is the urgency? So many other things deh fi do like the Commission of Inquiry, like the Integrity Commission and things like that. So much things deh fi do sah. Why you have wi di drag ourselves through this when we don’t have the energy to do what we have to do? You are forcing us to do something which isn’t necessary.”

And while most of the opposition was emotional – it got tactical when Committee Member john Saldivar discussed a provision in the existing law.

Hon. John Saldivar, Committee Member
“That a person born in a foreign state who has come to live in Belize and has never came or has never sworn allegiance to that country in which he was born is currently not barred from running; currently not barred. And so the attempt here is to even the playing field for the Belizean who was born in Belize who is now disqualified from running because that person has claimed another nationality.”

Lisa Shoman, Opposed
“That in Jamaica this precise point has been litigated. And the question that the court was asked was to interpret this situation where what does it mean by your own act. The court held that any positive act of renewing and holding and travelling upon that citizenship, whether it is by using the passport, whether it is by getting the passport used, whether it is by calling a consular officer, whether it is by saying I am an American citizen as well, is your act and demonstrates that there is allegiance, obedience, or adherence. I think what you are hearing people here say is that if we give you the honour and the responsibility of serving in the National Assembly, be good enough to acknowledge that you have one master and that that master is Belize.

And I serve you notice Mr. Chairman, pass this law and I will line up to be first in line to challenge anybody who thinks they can get themselves elected and will not run afoul of the people of Belize.”

Hon. Francis Fonseca, Committee Member
“For persons who have made a decision that they want to serve at the highest levels of government, they want to serve in the legislature or perhaps become members of the executive of this country, they must have allegiance and obedience to one country, Belize. That must be absolutely clear. I think that is the point, that is the point. If somebody, we want to widen the talent base, we want to widen the talent pool, we want Belizeans to come home from abroad and contribute, but if they come home, and there are many ways to contribute, please, politics is perhaps one of the most limiting ways to contribute to the growth and development of your country, you can do a lot but there are many many other opportunities.”

Hon. John Saldivar,
“At the end of the day it is the electorate that decide who gets elected and if the electorate doesn’t want somebody to have dual citizenship, the electorate will reject that person at the polls. Why should we think that we have more wisdom than the electorate to say to them that we will not even allow that person to offer themselves to you as a choice?”

But those who controlled the emotional pitch on this night had already made their choice, and the crowd was so spirited, the issue so contentious the room so small, that chair of the session Patrick Faber had a hard time maintaining order.

Hon. Patrick Faber, Chair
“As I am speaking now people are being disrespectful…we will have order…we will have order please.”

But the heckling continued for most of the three hour plus meeting and it turned into an uproar when Muriel Laing Arthurs spoke in support of the amendment:

Murial Laing Arthurs, In Support
“I’d like to say very sadly what has happened to this. As I’ve listened to you all I think about my Belizean brothers and sisters struggling in the US; people who migrated to the US, people who are there unable to return, people who are patriotic, more patriotic than many of you here and I say and I mean it. In New York where I resided for many years, the patriotic events, the singing of patriotic songs, some of them I don’t even hear here. But to conclude, I call this total ingratitude to our Belizean Americans. Yes, I say it again and I mean it. You can boo all you want but that is how I feel.”

Vernon Terry, In Support
“The lady used the word Belizeans and you all disagreed against Belizeans running to represent and help this country. You all are being crazy mean because many of your family members live in the United States and they have been supplying you with funds so that you can become adults and you are demeaning them, telling them that they cannot come back to Belize. They are Belizeans. They acquired another citizenship but they choose to come back here and help to administrate, legislate, and run this country based upon their skills and education etc. and you all other Belizeans, because you never travelled out or choose to acquire another citizenship, you are denying another Belizean.”

Moses Sulph, Been in Belize Since Age 12
“Anybody can bawl that they are patriotic but show how you are patriotic and I believe that I have shown and will continue to show regardless of what position I have in this country, not red or blue, but I am solely patriotic to the development of this country and I think that makes me a Belizean.”

And this debate will rage for some time – but the question is at what cost to government –they say they have no hidden agenda and if that’s right then this seems hardly worth the trouble.

In total the proposed package of amendments would make changes to 8 sections of the constitution.

Umalali tours Canada


July 4, 2009

For immediate release

_*Umalali Singers Lead Garifuna Collective on Canadian Tour*_

The Garifuna Collective is about to embark on a 3-week tour of Canada

where the group will perform at a number of concerts and festivals,

including dates in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver.

This will mark the Collective’s first return to Canada since the death

of Andy Palacio. Fronting the Collective in Andy’s absence will be the

Umalali Singers; Desiree Diego, Sofia Blanco, and Marsella Aranda.

According to producer, Ivan Duran, the focus of these shows will be the

women. “For the first few years the Umalali Singers were sort of guest

artists who would occasionally join Andy and the Collective on stage.

Now they have grown as performers to the point where they are the front

people for the group. It creates a whole new dynamic for the Collective

and it is very exciting.” The trio will be performing selections from

both /Umalali/ and the Garifuna Collective’s breakthrough album /Watina./


The return of the Collective, along with the Umalali singers, has

already been creating a buzz in the Canadian media as the women have

been busy doing pre-publicity radio interviews. Two concerts on the tour

will be broadcast live on radio; CIUT in Toronto and CBC in Montreal.

 Following the upcoming Canadian tour The Garifuna Collective and Umalali

Singers look forward to performing a series of concerts in Belize. The

group returns home on July 28.

The Garifuna Collective/Umalali Singers continue to be Belize’s most

recognized international music ambassadors. To date they have performed

in over 20 countries on 3 continents. The women recently completed a

one-month tour of Germany and have been back in studio recording new

material with the Garifuna Collective. The forth coming album will be a

tribute to Andy Palacio and will also feature Lloyd Augustine. That

project should be released in early 2010.


CARIBBEAN-POPULATION-US report critical of Caribbean countries (BELIZE)
Subject: CARIBBEAN-POPULATION-US report critical of Caribbean countries (BELIZE)

CARIBBEAN-POPULATION-US report critical of Caribbean countries

Thu, 18 Jun 2009 10:40:00

WASHINGTON, CMC - The United States has placed three Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries on its “Tier 2 Watch List” and one on its “Special Case” in its ninth Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.
The State Department has also placed six CARICOM nations on its “Tier 2” list.
The report, released here Wednesday, listed Belize, Guyana, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the “Tier 2 Watch List” category, and Haiti as the “Special Case.”
Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago are listed in the “Tier 2” category.
Tier 2 applies to countries considered to be making minimal efforts to satisfy the US anti-Trafficking in persons' requirement, while "Tier 2 Watch List" is when their efforts are not enough, according to US standards. 
Washington said that Belize is a “source, transit, and destination country” for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour.
It said the most common form of trafficking in Belize is the internal sex trafficking of minors, particularly situations in which “poor families push their school-aged daughters to provide sexual favours to wealthy older men=2 0in exchange for school fees, money, and gifts.”
This ‘sugar daddy’ phenomenon occurs in Belize and other Caribbean countries, but often it is not recognised as a form of human trafficking by local communities or law enforcement personnel,” the report said.
It said the Belize government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
“Despite these overall significant efforts, the government did not show evidence of progress in convicting and sentencing trafficking offenders last year,” the report said, adding “therefore, Belize is placed on Tier 2 Watch List”.
The US said Guyana is also a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour.
It said Guyanese trafficking victims have been identified within the country, as well as in Barbados, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname.
It said the majority of victims are trafficked internally for sexual and labour exploitation in the more heavily populated coastal areas and in the remote areas of the country’s interiors.
“In coastal areas, traffickers promise rural women and girls jobs as domestic servants, then coerce them into working in shops or homes for little or no pay, or sell them to brothels,” the report said, stating, too, that the Bharrat Jagdeo administration does not fully comply with the20minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so.
But, despite its overall efforts, the US said the government did not show evidence of progress in prosecuting and punishing acts of trafficking.
The Guyana government has already criticised the US report.
Washington said St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a “potential source country for children trafficked internally for the purposes of sexual exploitation,” adding it may also be a destination country for women trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation.
“Anecdotal reporting suggests the number of victims trafficked in, to, or through St. Vincent and the Gren adines is small.
“Information on the full extent of human trafficking in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, however, is lacking, as neither the government nor NGOs have conducted any related investigations, studies, or surveys,” it said noting that “reports indicate that a traditional practice of sending children away from home to live with another family is sometimes misused for the purpose of coercing children into commercial sexual exploitation”.
Despite overall significant efforts, it said the Ralph Gonsalves’ administration also did not provide “evidence of vigorous law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking by investigating reports of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and of women who may be forced to engage in prostitution.”
The State Department said Haiti remains a “Special20Case” for the fourth consecutive year as the new government, formed in September 2008, has not yet been able to address the significant challenges facing the country, including human trafficking.
“The US government, however, notes the progress of Haiti’s government, and urges the Government of Haiti to take immediate action to address its serious trafficking-in-persons problems,” the report said.

Letter to the US Secretary State Ms. Hillary Clinton

Wellington C. Ramos
Director of Public Relations
United Garifuna Association Inc.
New York State Chapter
531 Sutter Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11207
Telephone: (718) 513-3556 or (347)-312-2563
Email: or
To: Honorable Wilfred Elringtron
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Government of Belize
Belmopan City
Belize Central America
Through: Honorable Nestor Mendez
Belize's Ambassador to the United States
Washington D.C.
United States of America
Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
Department of State
Washington D.C.
United States of America
Honorable Janet Napolitano
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
Washington D.C.
United States of America
    Dear Honorable Wilfred Elrington,
                     It has been brought to my attention that a fellow Veteran, Garifuna and Belizean/American citizen comrade of mine by the name of Rennison Castillo was  unlawfully imprisoned at a Federal Immigration Facility in Tacoma Washington some months ago. This occured to him despite the fact that he served in Iraq and is a bonafide American Citizen.
                    On behalf of our association and as a Belizean/American Citizen, we would like for you to file a protest with the US Scretary of State Hillary Clinton concerning this unlawful act. For any American Citizen to be unlawfully imprisoned due to descrepancies and negligence in the Department of Homeland Security, is unacceptable and requires an explanation or an apology. Concerned Belizean/American Citizens, have been trying to get an explanation from this Department of Homeland Security but their response is that they cannot comment because a law suit is pending against them. Kindly look into this complaint on our behalf and give us a response from the US State Department. We will be looking forward to your prompt and swift response in dealing with this matter. We are committed to advocate on behalf of the Garifuna and Belizean Citizens living in the United States whenever their rights and privileges are being violated.
Respectfully submitted,
Wellington C. Ramos
Director of Public Relations
United Garifuna Association Inc.
cc Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Honorable Janet Napolitano
Wellington and the United Garifuna Association Inc. thanks for bringing this important issue to the Secretary of State.  Below is additional information on this case.  Kindly click on the link below.

US Soldier with Belizean Heritage Victimized as Illegal


Earthquake Experience by Dr Ludwig Palacio

Very nice account of the earthquake experience.  Click below to read the story.

An Earthquake Story

Director of Grants and Contracts

United Nations Yak

New Email Blast

Think this email is off topic?
Tell the Manager

Director of Grants & Contracts
NYC Headquarters

Contact Claudia Kidder

The Director of Grants & Contracts (G&C) leads a team of four G&C professionals that provide grants and contracts management and technical support for all of EngenderHealth's global programs. This position is located at EngenderHealth's NYC headquarters and reports directly to the VP of Operations & CFO.

•Build and maintain good relationships with all Program Management leaders, internal staff, donors and others.
•Take the lead in reviewing and revising G&C SOPs, support documents, templates, and where necessary devise improvements that continue to adhere to the donor's requirements
•Identify grants and contracts management needs in various regions, including bilateral projects and globally-oriented programs. Ensure that project field staff receives needed support.
•Provide management oversight and technical assistance for agency and proposal budget development and oversight of grants, contracts, and subagreements.
•Ensure that the G&C team is effectively working with project directors to facilitate all processes.
•Lead or delegate the management oversight and technical assistance of grants, subcontracts, and subagreements throughout the organization.
•Oversee pre-signature review of contracts and agreements, modifications and amendments to ensure compliance with EngenderHealth and donor requirements.
•Lead or delegate the negotiation of terms and revisions of agreements with donors.
•Work with staff and others to assess and manage risk for subawards with partner and subrecipient organizations.
•Ensure prompt and effective handling of all G&C management requests to ensure a reasonable turn-around and low G&C backlog.
•Work across the organization on competitive cost proposal bid submissions and offer G&C management oversight and technical assistance.
•Handle all people management responsibilities including: performance management process, coaching, employee development, morale, conflict resolution
•Communicate organization's G & C training needs and, at times, provide G& C and proposal development training. Work closely with regional and country staff to identify skill or knowledge gaps and seek out training remedies.


Bachelor's degree with preference for a Master's degree
•10+ years of grants management and negotiation experience with USAID, other grantors, subgrantees or subcontractors
•Must have demonstrated people management experience
•Demonstrated relationship building and management skills in both headquarters and remote location settings.


•Sophisticated interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to build effective relations in a multicultural agency with staff in multiple worldwide locations.
•Demonstrated ability to creatively handle problems or issues while remaining in compliance or adhering to strict guidelines.
•Effective listening and oral communication skills; excellent written communication skills
•Ability to delegate and prioritize work to ensure smooth workflow processes and excellent customer service.
•Knowledgeable of the rules and regulations for cooperative agreements and contracting environments (i.e. assistance and acquisition).
•Extensive knowledge of USAID rules and regulations including 22 CFR 226 and OMB Circular A-10
•Basic knowledge of accounting terms and procedure

 Powered by CollectiveX

Real Estate Project Assistant Position

Real Estate Project Assistant

Contact email
Date posted May 29, 2009

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP seeks a motivated and high achieving recent college graduate as a Project Assistant for our transactional Real Estate team in downtown Los Angeles. We are looking for a proactive "team player" with attention to detail and the desire to work in a fast paced environment. The ability to multitask and to prioritize assignments to meet deadlines is a must. Strong communication skills are required to interact with paralegals, attorneys and clients. This is an excellent position for an individual considering law school in the future. No prior legal experience is required, but an interest in business and/or the real estate field is a plus.

Duties include:

  • Organization of documents for real estate closings.
  • Preparation of real estate documents, such as leases and purchase agreements.
  • Draft basic correspondence.
  • Obtain and organize information from internal and external sources .
  • Perform administrative and support tasks as needed.


  • Undergraduate degree with strong academic performance
  • Proficiency in Word; knowledge of Excel preferred.
  • Ability and willingness to work overtime to meet client needs.
  • Willingness to commit to working in the position for 2 years.

Please email cover letter and resume to
Alicia Gibbs
Tel: 323-308-0862

2009 Tylenol Scholarship Program

2009 Tylenol Scholarship Program

Building a better future

<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->As a company dedicated to helping people feel better, we’re proud to support the future of healthcare with our annual TYLENOL® Scholarship program. Now in its 17th year, the program helps students who are pursuing careers in the healthcare, life sciences, or related fields manage the rising costs of education.

This year, we’ll be awarding $250,000 in scholarships based on leadership qualities and academic performance, including ten $10,000 and thirty $5,000 grants.

Additional scholarship details:

  • Scholarships awarded to students pursuing healthcare-related education at an accredited institution.
  • Ten students will be awarded $10,000 scholarships.
  • Thirty students will receive $5,000 grants.
  • Applications must be received by May 15, 2009. Winners will be selected by July 15, 2009. Funds delivered by August 2009.


Here is the link Tylenol Scholarship

Channel 7 May 29 Earthquake Rocks Belize

Channel 7 News for May 29.  Kindly click on the link below. Channel 7 News May 28.doc

Earthquake Hits Belize and Honduras on May 28

Earthquake News on yahoo.  Earthquake rocks Belize and Honduras on May 28, 2009.  Click on the link below.

Earth quake News May 28

Two Fantastic Scholarship Opportunities


May 2009

Two FANTASTIC Scholarship Opportunities!

- Brought to you by TATI, Inc. 

Dear Ray,

Transforming America Through Interaction ("TATI"), Inc. is announcing two FANTASTIC scholarship opportunities that are being made available to students in 2009. 

The first scholarship, the National Caribbean American Heritage Month Youth Essay Competition is available to 11th and 12th grade high school students of Caribbean Heritage; the second scholarship, the Tatiana McIntosh Memorial Scholarship is available to ANY incoming Freshman or Sophomore student enrolled on a full-time basis in a Bachelors degree program, who is in need of financial assistance.  

As member or friend of the Caribbean American community, we are counting on you to help us spread the word.  It is important that all eligible applicants receive an opportunity to apply.  TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

Caribbean American Heritage Month Youth Essay Competition

Picrture shows (l-r):

Tanya Ragbeer (TATI, Inc.), Andrew Azebeokhai (GCA Cultural Coalition), Ryan Murray (2008 Essay Winner), Albert Lettman (GCACC), Majella Deane (TATI, Inc.) 

Youth Essay Competition

National Caribbean American Heritage Month
Youth Essay Competition

The Institute of Caribbean Studies announces the fourth Annual, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month Youth Essay Competition.  The competition is designed to commemorate the historic passage of a Congressional Resolution declaring June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.  The Institute is partnering with area schools and colleges and organizations such as Transforming America Through Interaction ("TATI"), Inc., the Greater Caribbean American Cultural Coalition ("GCA Cultural Coalition"), the Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce ("GCACC"), and others across the country to organize regional/local competitions. 
The essay title is "The Role of Caribbean Americans in American History" and the competition is open to 11th and 12th grade students who reside in Broward and Miami-Dade counties and are of Caribbean heritage as defined by the competition rules.  The closing date for the competition is Friday, May 22, 2009 and winning entries in the local/regional competition will be announced at UNIFEST in Lauderdale Lakes, on May 31, 2009. Information about the Institute and national Caribbean-American Heritage month activities may be obtained at

Prizes: 1st place:  $500.00;   2nd place:  $250.00; 3rd place: $100.00; 4th and 5th place: honorable mention: $50.00

CLICK HERE to view eligibility and other requirements: 

Essay Competition Criteia

Tatiana McIntosh Memorial Scholarship

Picture shows: Tatiana Renee McIntosh


Financial Hardship Scholarship

Tatiana McIntosh Memorial Scholarship
Many students experience difficulty with the costs of living and studying.  In memory of Tatiana Renee McIntosh, TATI, Inc. is awarding their 3rd annual Memorial Scholarship which aims to assist students who experience financial difficulty arising from having limited income.
Scholarship value
The scholarship has a value of $500.   The allocation will be available for the purchase of prescribed textbooks, or for dormitory housing expenses, or as a contribution towards tuition and fees.  There will be no cash allocation.  *Up to two (2) students per year can qualify for this award.

Closing date
Applications for this scholarship must be received by July 31, 2009.

CLICK HERE to view eligibility and other requirements:

Memorial Scholarship Eligibility Requiremen

Death of Robert Garcia

Angie, let your Grigana crew know that Robert Garcia -aka - Ra-bu passed away today. He may be known by others but he was the Griga guy who ran our Water System Office way back when. He was a good football player too. May he rest in peace!

Computer Labs in Midway and Barranco

May 18, 2009

CH-x Oil Exploration Company in collaboration with the Ministry of Education on Sunday inaugurated two new computer labs in the Toledo District. Midway Government School received twenty five computers while the Saint Joseph R.C Primary School in Barranco received fifteen computers. The computers and lab projects was completed at a cost of one hundred and ninety four thousand dollars. Guest speakers at both opening ceremonies included Education Minister Patrick Faber, Human Transformation Minister Peter Martinez and CH-x Representative Kevin Herrera.

News From Barranco

My Fellow Barangunas:
We have reached another milestone toward the social and economic development of Barranco.  Today, Sunday, May 17, 2009 officially marks the date when the computer lab/internet cafe was inagurated at Barranco St. Joseph R.C. School.  In attendance were Minister Eden Martinez and his wife, Minister Faber along with his wife and children, Mr. Oscar Reyes (Education Officer), Stanley Nicholas (Campus Administrator, UB, Toledo), Mr. Allister King (U.S. Capital Representative, Belize) and his wife; also in attendance were the school's principal, Mrs. Loma Rodriguez, the teachers, Mr. Kevin Zuniga and Ms. Reyes, along with the students, the Barranco community at large, and select individuals from Midway (the neighboring village).  Mr. Alvin Loredo was the Master of Ceremonies.  The ceremony itself was quite lively, especially with the few cultural presentations by the school children which included the singing of the national anthem in Garifuna, dancing punta, and the performance of a skit.   Both Ms. Loma Rodriguez and Ms. Irma Gonzalez gave impressive presentations which highlighted all of the key points that everyone listening, including Barangunas in the audience,  would like to hear.  We are pushing our agenda forward with a quiet persistence; I stand behind the scene ensuring that all goes well... 
Secondly, Vinland is proud to have the privilege to host the oil company as they conduct their oil exploration in the Toledo District.  Whereas there is legitimacy in the call for a national debate regarding whether or not such activity should have been approved by the Government, or whether we should rather accept the position/s taken by the environmental groups/agencies such as SATIIM, the dynamics have been such that though we should perhaps question first and foremost whether the oil exploration (including the drilling) is in our national interest, as the "Fogotten District" and a long neglected community, it is imperative that we rather stand for what is in the best interest of BARRANCO!!!   Brothers and Sisters this is the time to yell loudly at these relatively influential entities (The Government, SATIIM, the oil companies, etc.) to demand that the problem of the rapid erosion of our beach is addressed.  This is the perfect opportunity to raise the matter and to get everyone's attention since they have all somewhat failed us in lending their support to the problem, while they falsely stand as protectors of the environment, and merely offer lip service to the problem.  I voiced this position loudly and clearly at a community meeting in Barranco, and I have also repeatedly  tried to coach those among us who are strategically positioned to make a difference.   Irma did a very good job highlighting the 
problem in her presentation today, and I was proud to see Hon. Eden Martinez taking time to visit the beach in order to get a first-hand glimpse of the problem.  Brothers and Sisters, the neglect of our beach must not continue, while the Government, SATIIM and the oil companies are all fully aware, and the oil companies are using the wharf on a daily basis.  I will continue to be instrumental in alerting their attention to the very serious problem of our beach erosion; let's all push this forward!!!!
Having the oil company in Barranco has meant getting jobs for our people.  As I informed our folks during the community meeting a couple of weeks ago, there will be so many jobs available that we will not be able to satisfy the demand.  Well, on Friday, the gentleman responsible for recruiting workers needed 80 workers to work with their drilling crew and they could not find one additional man in Barranco who was ready, willing, and able to work!!!  All of the men are working.  At Vinland I am responsible for providing accommodations, laundry services, and food services.  I have also hired a few of the women from Barranco to provide the services.  The demand for me to hire workers corresponds with the number of oil company workers residing at Vinland.  There is also a heliport across the street (adjacent to Vinland).  Today was the first day that the helicopter did a few flights in and out of Barranco.   It is expected that flights will become routine at least for the rest of this month.  It is uncertain how long their operations will last, especially since the weather conditions have been unpredictable.  Anyway, the interests of our village shall not be compromised. 
Vinland also has internet services.  For the moment I am restricting its use exclusively for the oil company, but I do plan to make it available to the public in the future. 
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge those who are building their homes in Barranco, or even just merely doing home improvement projects.  Thanks to Don Trigueno, Evan Cayetano, Aurelie Alvarez, Dr. Joe, Rita Enriquez (expansion project), Doreen Castillo, Greg
and Sheridan, Jenny and "Spoon",  Dale and Steve Guiterrez, Alvin Loredo, etc. 
I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowlege the very good work done by Alvin Loredo and his team with the old school building, and Augusto Castillo and his team with the police station.  Awesome job guys!!!!
Lastly, The Minister of Works, the Hon. "Boots" Martinez, had promised us that a few months ago that they would provide us with enough material for our roadway to the cemetery.  Well, they still have not yet delivered.  Hon. Eden Martinez has again taken note of it, and has promised that he will personally look after it.  I'll keep you all updated on the matter. 
Best wishes to you all.  God Bless.
Colin Nicholas 

Students from Arkansas Conducts Projects in Dangriga

May 18, 2009

The Dangriga Town Council in collaboration with a group of students and teachers from Arkansas are working on a number of projects in the Stann Creek District this week. Public Relations Officer at the Dangriga Town Council is Kenrick Francisco.

Kenrick Francisco; Public Relations Officer, Dangriga Town Council

“The objectives of the group’s visit include partnering in various identified areas of need and allowing student participants to acquire experience in field. The business group will be engaged in community beautification projects at the people’s park in new sight; Construction of bar-b-q pits along the beach, painting of bridges and marking of schools zones. The literacy group will be assisting at the Kids First after School Remedial Program at Epworth Methodist School, conduct workshops at schools, assist in the adult literacy program and a story telling project with the elderly. The agriculture group will be engaging in gardening at the St. Mathews School in Pomona, career day at Ecumenical and consultation with farmers. The ecology group will be engaged in park maintenance, study at the Backadeer and a study on beach erosion and prevention. A veterinarian will join the group next week and will offer veterinary services to residents. The small business group will conduct business education seminars at schools and small business workshop with Productive Organization with Women in Action (POWA). The relationship the Dangriga Town Council has with the University of Arkansas and others continues to yield dividends with for the residents of Dangriga. Mayor Gongora believes that we have not lived a perfect day unless we have done something for someone or the community.”

Thirty six students and five lecturers from the University of Arkansas are carrying out the various activities over the next couple of weeks.

Garifuna Language Class in LA

From: Cheryl L. Noralez, President
GAHFU, Inc. Garifuna Culture & Language School
1517 West 48th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90062
To: All Students
RE: Last 3 weeks of Garifuna classes for this 8-week-session
Mabuiga! Wishing you the best during these trying times (economically speaking).  This is just a reminder about Saturday's class;  we will be starting at the usual time 10 am and we hope to see you there with an open mind and the eagerness to learn Garifuna.
The school is gearing up for the upcoming 8-week-session which is scheduled to start on Saturday, June 13, 2009 at the same time and in the same place.  Tell your friends and relatives because GAHFU and the school staff are planning to offer Garifuna Drumming and Conversational Garifuna classes.  These classes will be taught by Arufudahati Carlos Domingo Alvarez at a time which will be announced soon.
We are also planning to have Garifuna Dance classes for children, teenagers and adults.  Classes will be offered by qualified teachers and with special appearances by Ms. Georgette Lambey.  The time for the Garifuna Dance classes will be announced soon.  So hurry to inquire and to enroll in these exciting, newly added classes.
See you then on Saturday at 10:00 am at the Blazer Learning Center.  Don't forget that the Blazer Learning Center is also offering free after-school tutoring and a variety of courses.  For more information, please go on line at
Darí Samudi!

Port of Oakland Internship Application due May 8

Subject: FW: Port of Oakland Internship: Application Due Friday, May 08, 2009, 4:00p.m.

Good Afternoon All,
Attached find opportunity for (high school and college students).  Please thoroughly review eligibility requirements before completing application.  
If interested print the document below

2009_SummerIntern Port of Oakland

Latest Glessima Research

An invitation to view the latest update on

                      INDEPENDENT BELIZE"

Garifuna Culture and Language Class in LA

Garifuna Culture & Language
announces that its courses begin every 8 weeks from
10am to 1pm at The Blazer Learning Center 1517 West 48th
Street LA (corner of Denker and 48th St.) Call to register
323 898-6841 and to find out when the next course starts!

*This project has been made possible by a grant from the
Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in partnership
with the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the
William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation
, and the James Irvine Foundtion.

Check me out!

Saturdays between 10 am - 1 pm PST listen to the Garifuna class on

See the latest Flyer on the Belize Garifuna page.  Thanks to Rony and Cheryl for the great job that GAHFU is doing.


Channel 7 News for May 1 2009


JUST IN: Closure of Corozal Free Zone
After a late evening meeting with the Ministry of Health and their counterparts in Mexico, the Board of Directors of the Corozal Free Zone decided to close down the Zone as of midday...

PSE & CXC Exams Still On for Monday
At news time tonight, no cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Belize. There are 9 cases of interest – those are cases that present symptoms that could be swine flu ̵...

The Swine Flu Situation
And while that’s the position from the Education Ministry this evening, most folks want to know the details. Who are those 9 cases of interest and where are they from? This m...

9 Tissue Samples Sent to CAREC
Dr. Edwards also responded to an article that appeared today in the Trinidad Express newspaper in which Trinidad and Tobago’s Medical Association stated that there is no swin...

MOH Discouraging Public Events
Meanwhile all mass public gatherings are being discouraged and public events have also been put on hold. According to Edwards for the next six weeks there should not be any mass gath...

What About the Cruise Ships?
There is also the concern that any case of swine flu confirmed for Belize will have some effect on the tourism industry in particular cruise tourism. Today however it was business ...

Commissioner of Police Crispin Jeffries Assumes Command
Gerald Westby, private citizen, Crispin Jeffries, Commissioner of Police….that’s what it is tonight after a handing over ceremony this afternoon at the Police Training ...

Former COMPOL Gerald Westby's Gracious Exit
And what about his predecessor, Gerald Westby. Westby is being sent home before his retirement by an administration that has grown impatient with spiralling crime. It’s hard ...

Labourer Knocked Down & Killed at Mile 11
He was heading home to Benque after a hard day’s work near Hattieville but Eduardo Flores didn’t make it home because he was knocked down and killed this afternoon on t...

Mass Sickout by Teachers at Sadie Vernon High
There were no classes at Sadie Vernon High School today – and it is not because of the flu scare – it was because of a mass sickout. That’s right – the scho...

ACB Scores Big Legal Victory
There was a significant ruling handed down in the Belize Supreme Court and the judgment could have far reaching effects in the battle between Michael Ashcroft and the government of ...

SATIIM Lays Out Its Case
The board of SATIIM, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management met today with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. That means that Prime ...

Signs of the Swine
There are still no confirmed cases of swine flu in Belize but just the talk of a possible pandemic is causing a panic. Belize Elementary School cancelled classes today because of t...

Belizean Illegally and Wrongfully Detained

 We and Team,

Just wanted to share this very interesting article with you all that came out yesterday 14th April 2009, here in Kuwait Stars and Stripes Newspaper. Very often we hear about the deportation of our Belizeans for doing wrong but how about this case.......being the victim of wrongful immigration detention and was about to be deported. I am not a lawyer and the case is pending so no judgment on my part but what you see here are the facts listed in the military newspaper. Sad story and my heart goes out to our Mr. Rennison Castillo and his wonderful family.

I know of one Belizean currently at home who was also deported for some unknown reasons. He is still in Belize and left his wonderful family behind. I served in the military with him, had his proper immigration status, and did not have any felony. I personally know him and he is still battling the system. Hopefully a landmark case will be ruled soon and he will be able to rejoin his family.

It is my hope that he continues his lawsuit in quest for justice, a huge compensation and that they fix this for others who may have been illegally deported or wrongfully detained in the immigration system.

If you all need the full page and article please send me your address so that I may forward the original to you all.

Sad story


Clive Flores

To read the article click on the link below.  Also, I will post a couple comments on this on the forum.  You may also do a Google search for Rennison Castillo.


PM Barrow Says Greg Choq Betrayed Him

PM Barrow says Greg Choq Betrayed Him
posted (April 22, 2009)

And moving unto to another confrontation, the Prime Minister today made it clear that he had no apologies to make to Greg Choq and SATIIM. As we’ve been reporting, SATIIM has raised the alarm because government has granted US Capital Energy approval to conduct seismic testing in the Sarstun Temash National Park. Government yesterday issued a release saying it duly informed SATIIM and that group today sent out a release disputing that claim, saying that claim is, “completely false and baseless....and a total disregard for the truth.” SATIIM has stated previously that it has been betrayed by the Prime Minister who as their attorney in 2006 got the Supreme Court to declare that an EIA has to be conducted before seismic tests are performed. Well, today the PM said he’s the one who’s been betrayed.

Hon. Dean Barrow,
“If I wanted to respond in kind, I would say I feel that Greg Choq has betrayed me. When he leads a charge that wants to see the entirety of the Toledo District be placed under Mayan communal ownership without reference to other ethnic groups in the area, I am going to say straight out that he and I part ways. So I am afraid that that’s opened up a divide that in my view is irreparable. But it’s not a question of my personal feelings or Mr. Choq’s personal feeling, it is a question of the law and of national interests. The SATIIM case was previced as you said on several arguments. In effect at the time the brief was that government had no right and could not properly under law allow seismic operations, allow later on drilling in a national park. The Supreme Court of this country completely disagreed. We only won the case because as you pointed out an EIA had not been done. As I understand it, that EIA has now been done so that the one condition that the court required has been satisfied.

The court did say that SATIIM and the people in the area have a right to consultation. I believe the public officers, I believe that they have sent out the proper notices to SATIIM because there would have been no reason not to.”

And while the PM says he believes the public officers, SATIIM says it is ready to disclose every attempt it has made to engage the Department of the Environment and the Forest Department on concerns relating to seismic testing. It is also of note that SATIIM claims a Forestry Department official today visited their office to deliver two letters informing them that they had been relieved of all responsibilities, obligations, rights and privileges as it relates to the co-management agreement for the national park. That agreement expired last year.

Garifuna Settlement Celebration in La Ceiba


Rollicking Garifuna Settlement Celebration in La Ceiba

While you were frolicking in the cayes, chilling at home, or worshipping in church, resident of the Garifuna-Honduran community of La Ceiba were dancing in the street. Its part of that city’s month long celebration of Garifuna settlement – so while we do it in November, they do it in April, and from the looks of this footage, they do it in style.

Keith Swift Reporting,
With bright colours and a few provocatively dressed women it may have had the look of a street carnival. But instead of soca, they were chanting and beating beats as they marched though the main street of La Ceiba Honduras as part of the month long celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day. Front and center was Belize’s official delegation led by Toledo East Area Representative and Minister of Human Development and Social Transformation Peter Eden Martinez.

From a street parade – to a street celebration and they later took that celebration to the stage. And who was better to cap it off than Aurelio Martinez.

Mr Philip Nicasio

It is with deep regret we announce the death of a highly respected and regarded retired teacher and principal from Dangriga.  Mr Philip Nicasio died suddenly at his home in Dangriga around noon on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009.  To the community this is a great loss.  Philip Nicasio was a pillar in Dangriga and will be missed by a whole lot of people, Adults and children alike.  He really has touched a whole lot of lives. Our condolence goes to his family, friends and the whole community.


Free Glasses Program at Target

There are no income guidelines. Any child 12 or under is eligible. 

You can find stores with optical departments at
<>  or to confirm they are
participating before making a trip to their store.


Please pass this information on to anyone who can benefit from thisPlease share with those who may benefit...Thanks (Resource forwarded from
the Health Law Partnership)

In case you have a child or know of someone who does (ages 12 and under),
they can get a FREE pair of eyeglasses from Target: 

Target is doing a special promotion for their optical service. It could end
any time but will definitely end no later than April 29th. Children 12 and
under can get a free pair of glasses. 

They need to bring in a valid prescription for glasses from their doctor and
Target will let the child pick from about 40 different frames. They will
place their best lenses in the frames which are non-glare and scratch
resistant and normally sell for $200.00. 

promotional offer. If you know someone with lost or broken glasses please
share this information with them ASAP, as the promotion could end at any
time. They would like families to come in as soon as they can.  

Feel free to forward this information to others!

Belize Politicians Community Forum in LA

Belizean politicians, including representative Eden Martinez and Wilfred Elrington, will be in LA on April 25 and 26 at Holy Name of Jesus School.  Please see the attached flyer.


2009 Summer Teaching Program

Job Announcement: Full-time Summer Teaching Opportunities

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

The Institute of Reading Development is seeking candidates for summer 2009 teaching positions. We seek applicants with an undergraduate degree or higher from any discipline.  We provide a paid training program and comprehensive on-going support.

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    your artical is very good ,thanks for ur sharing and i have learn many things from it .