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#143353 05/06/02 09:46 AM
Article that appeared in the Caye Caulker Conch Chronicle of this week. I
applaud the writer for trying to give Ms. Arceo the sense.

(Poor Cayo Hicaco residents need not apply to live here!

It has always been tradition that every five years or so a certain amount of
lots are distributed to Caye Caulker residents, mostly to give opportunity
to the young generation of Caye Caulker residents to be able to stay and
work close to their families here on the island. Since an island is limited
with real estate, we have always cherished the opportunity our children can
have when lots are distributed before elections. No longer a reality!
Patty Arceo is selling us out FAST!


So, while Bahia Puesta del Sol was never put to the public, we thought we
were stuck with the idea. Now, the calamity of all calamities is that she
is advertising our precious few Caye Caulker land that remain to any Tom,
Dick and Harry to move here, whoever has the necessary funds to fill her
campaign fund quota. She says she is trying to bring investment to the
island. What makes her think that we want to expand this island so fast and
bring in a whole lot of Chinese or the like who are the ones with money who
will end up snaping up this deal (cause you know Belizeans are poor. When
you talk investors, you mostly talking foreigners, Patty).

Patty does not want to give us Belizeans the chance to crawl before we can
walk. So, bring in the ivestors, walk or run all over us, as evident in San
Pedro. The Belizeans end up working in the kitchen while the "investors"
make all the money off our land.

Patty needs to know that Caye Caulker does not aspire to be like San Pedro!
We don't want traffic jam or high rises. We want to see th original
families have an opportunity to prosper before the "BIS INVESTORS" run us
out of town. The only people that want to see the island grow fast are the
ones waiting to line their pockets and rape our island dry for the almighty
dollar. They certainly don't have the interest of the local families at
heart, and don't be kidded if theysay so. We want to take our time and grow
without too much pressure from government. We like our laid back lifestyle,
our young friendly backpackers. If she sells away by the bulk all of the
remaining government land on the Caye, how will our children ever afford to
live here? Then, we will end up being virtual slaves to the "investors" she
trucks in by the busload. WE NEED TO PUT A STOP TO THIS PROJECT NOW. LET US
SIGN A PETITION FOR A SPECIAL MEETING to ensure that Caye Caulker lots go to
the Caye Caulker residents and their children. Let us not sit back and let
her get away with selling us off!

So, Patty, try putting some infrastructure on the North side where locals
already have lots. Stop concentrating on selling us off. Concentrate
instead on the locals being able to access the lots already given.

Patty Arceo, shame on you to try and fool the people of Caye Caulker like
this and rape our island for your personal gain. IT MOST DEFINITELY IS NOT

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,262
Interesting article. The public lots for sale here in San Pedro is "supposed" to be accessed with a Belizian Social Security Card, as advertised in the local papers. I've been told that if I have the money, its a great investment (for me), a US citizen. I would like to see the "loopholes" closed, for Belizians irregardless of political "ties". Both parties have used this tactic of selling public lands for "political again". It seems that parties can make gains in lots of areas, not just selling lots.

Gone fishing!!
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,976
new election coming up.......i say "Cheri in 2003"!!!!!! LOL......get a petition going if you think it will have any impact. There's got to be someone, somewhere in gov't that is against this???!!! Got any email addresses???? We could flood them with protests???

[This message has been edited by rickcheri (edited 05-07-2002).]

Got two great e-mail addies to write to: [email protected] (Prime Minister's office) and [email protected] (Patty Arceo financed newspaper in San Pedro).

We have started a petition on the island to stop this sell-out of our local inheritance. Funny thing is, the money from the sales goes to Ms. Arceo's personal pocket (Belize Rural South PUP Committee). NOT IF WE CAN HELP IT!

So far, in two days of petition gathering, we have over two hundred signatures. We are aiming for five hundred signatures, and chances are very high we will get it.

Where there are only five hundred plus registered voters on Caye Caulker, it might make them do a double take on this issue. Maybe. Because sometimes you cannot make a donkey drink water.

We would appreciate all the e-mails to the PM on behalf of Caye Caulker.


Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,262
This same tactic has been used by BOTH parties! We got a "full town" sitting south to be opened. My guess: it will be opened just prior to the election.

Gone fishing!!
Thank you both for your well thought out messages.

The problem is not in the selling of land to foreigners. There are private lands available on the island for sale that anyone can purchase. Call any real estate agency and they will give you listings of property for sale on Caye Caulker.

The problem lies in the sale of PUBLIC lands (or to us - the village inheritance / village lands) to foreigners (meaning anyone not a resident of Caye Caulker).

Traditionally, these village lands are subdivided and leased out to up and coming families as part of the village inheritance. They are leased to the locals for an equitable sum of money, and when the lands have been built on, the locals can apply to purchase them. This works great in that it encourages the locals to build and it gives them an opportunity to build first instead of spending all their money on land purchases first.

However, what Ms. Arceo is wanting to do is to take the village lands and now sell them at a price that is way out of the reach of the local people, instead of leasing them to the local people. Local people with our level of revenues cannot afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars to purchase land here (as they cannot either in any part of the country I don't think). So, the leased land program works wonderfully to keep our young people at home and gives them a break to become something on the island.

The reason we believe Ms. Arceo is advertising our village lands for sale to the highest bidder, we believe (in the name of getting "investment" for the island) is because Ms. Arceo needs campaign funds for the next election. Because selling out the village lands is certainly not in the best-interest of the islanders or the villagers.

Thing is, she took this decision herself without consultation with the village people.

As a child growing up on CC, I can remember vividly CC being a poor fishing village at best. My mother was the principal at the elementary school here. She was the first native island woman to be sent away (read: leave her warm family behind and suffer incredible homesickness) to learn how to read and write and be able to impart that to the other local village children.

Slowly but surely, the island has continued to sacrifice its family life and its children sending the children away so that they can come back a little smarter and make Caye Caulker a little better with each succesive wave of graduates.

I believe that the island has prospered because of the collective sacrifices of the villagers on the island, and take offence that Ms. Arceo now wants to line her pocket with the collective sacrifice of the island people, at NO benefit to the island folks. In other words, after all the sacrifice, she will now yank our inheritance out from under us (to fill her pocket only, no less).

Wouldn't you be incensed if it were you town?

There are private lands for sale. People can feel free to go and purchase those. Leave the public lands to the villagers, please. You know not what we have sacrificed as a village to now be able to get here where we can inherit those.


Hi again Bill:

I have to say this: Ms. Arceo must have her head deep down in the sand indeed! Who does she think votes in this division? The new people she is trucking in by the busload to fill the new township she is building? Or the people that live here already?

If catering to mainland people is her agenda (I am assuming), then go to the mainland and run in a division there. Let someone who has the best interest of the island people at heart run in this division instead. It is obvious that SHE doesn't have the best interest of the island people at heart, only the best interest of her pocket.


Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 713
Yes, I am sure it has.
So long as the system is set up to place unbridled power and a blank check book in the hands of a small number of politicians, with no checks or balance, no independent civil or criminal justice system, no independent judiciary, no transparency, no security in property rights, no "freedom of information" law and no separation of powers, it would take moral fiber of a hurculean level on the part of those politicians to resist the urge to place ones fingers (elbows?) into the cookie jar.
The so called parliamentary (I think they called it "Westminster"??) system is an open invitation to steal the people's money, and steal they will until the Belizean people demand a change to that system.
Unfortunately, it is so easy to focus on the crook-of-the-day instead of the systems failure, thereby lulling the people into thinking that if they just change partners, the dance will stop. It won't.
The remedy is democracy, not merely a change of dance partners. Unless and until the current system of allocating power and authority is replaced by a democractic one, nothing will change, other than from time to time, you may, with enough hell raising, limit the extent of a particularly egregious incursion into the collective wallet.

(Of course, we in the US are much more sophisticated. Our politicians steal way more than the greediest Belizean honcho ever dreamed of but oh so subtly. We train our US politicians in the art of delayed gratification. They know they can't steal for their personal gain while still in office. They can only hoard "campaign contributions" and pass laws benefiting those who finance them, then wait til they retire (or are involuntarily retired) from public office and THEN reap the spoils from their masters via the revolving door.)

Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: [email protected]
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,262
Politicians have temptations, just like everyone else! Being non-partisan politically, I earnestly believe that money is the devil and that all public servants needs our collective prayers to not be corrupted! I do know some very fine political people from both parties here in Belize, for whom I'm proud to know. I really don't think all the money in the world would get me into politics. Anything that is done or not done is critized. I would understand if someday, I'm given a ballot with NO CANIDATES.

Gone fishing!!
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 476
One of the big problems with democracy is that people who want money and power are attracted to politics and those who would do good are scared off by the pit of snakes that the government becomes. The few good politicians are generally rendered powerless by the vipers....

I would like to see a country where the politicians are randomly selected from the population and forced to serve for a couple of years. Of course, you would have to set some minimum set of standards which would be tricky... Like only elementary school graduates are qualified for the drawing for president <G>.

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