Belly of the Beast


Funny Business

The Belize Times has been following the exploits of electrician Minister Pablo Marin and his wife Danini, the daughter of Pablo’s Cabinet colleague Erwin, for a long time now. We have heard the rumours that Pablo, Danini and Erwin are neck deep in the pharmaceutical supply business, using their political power and position to bring in cheap generic drugs for the unsuspecting public. Check this out, though. Danini is head of the Drug Inspectorate, which means she has all say over the pharmaceuticals entering the country. She has the power to push certain shipments and delay others, for months even. But it gets much worse. The Belize Times understands that Pablo, along with his good old friend Peter Allen, who is CEO in the Public Service, is in the process of merging the Drug Inspectorate and Pharmacy Units, with Danini as the overall head. That means, then, that Danini would also have the power to source and procure pharmaceuticals, and not only inspect and monitor. This is a win-win situation for Minister Pablo, Minister Erwin and their wife/daughter – one hell of a triangle there. Don’t take your eyes off this one. We hear that the Public Service is already in the process of approving the deal.

SSB Shenanigans

According to former CEO of the SSB, UDP campaign guru Colin Young, the SSB was running broke, so they had no choice but to tax Belizeans heavily – a 10% increase in contributions over a period of 18 months. Young looked very apologetic when he made that announcement, and stated that the SSB would also look to cut its own expenses just to be on board with the cause, you know. But last week, as he departed the SSB, Young didn’t look quite as apologetic as he drove off in the SSB’s fancy Prado, part of his exit package, apparently. That Prado was bought with the people’s money. That is the people’s Prado – except it is now Colin Young’s Prado. It simply means that even as they tax us, the SSB will have to fork out another $200,000 plus of the people’s money to buy another Prado for whoever becomes CEO next. If the SSB can explain that one, maybe it can also explain almost $3M in a computer contract allegedly given out to a member of the SSB Board. The UDP has a lot to answer for.

Medical Nastiness

Just this week, our good friend the dynamo from the Deep South, Oscar Requeña, was in the news protesting the burning of medical waste from the San Antonio Polyclinic at the San Antonio dump – a real environmental hazard. But it gets much worse. Sources from the Southern Regional Hospital have told the Belize Times that the SRH also dumps all its medical waste at the Dangriga dump, and we mean all its waste – so much that it has to be hauled to the dump by truck and trailer every Tuesday and Thursday. We are told that included in that medical waste which the SRH sends to the dump are the remains of unclaimed babies and also limbs and human tissue. This is a matter of extreme concern, and we demand an immediate investigation. Remember that this is the same UDP that can find $180 MILLION for a road to a Maya ruin that has 5,000 visitors a year, but can’t invest in an incinerator to burn hazardous medical waste. This is a shame and disgrace, but that’s nothing new for the UDP.

Dirty Dianne

At first we thought it was a Church revival, and then we said maybe Dianne was offering free doughnuts and coffee. But we were wrong. This morning there were nearly 200 people packed up in front of Dianne Finnegan’s Lake I UDP office, and they weren’t there because she’s cute. Apparently, Dianne has offered to ‘expedite’ the nationality process for immigrants in Lake I, promising them that they can become Beliceños en minutos if they vote for her when general elections are called soon. We’ve all seen this before so many different times – UDP Ministers and wannabes scurrying to push immigrants through the nationality process in a day so that they can secure their votes. We know too that the Immigration and Nationality Department has people who are only too happy to facilitate this process, after hours even, without the proper vetting of documents. We remember how Penner used to do it, except he got overly ambitious and decided that if he could get nationality for immigrants in minutes, why not get nationality for Wonhong Kim for a few dollars, or few hundred thousand, whatever the case was. Dianne can expedite nationality and give out coffee, doughnuts and even carrot cake. She is a dead duck in Lake I, and the UDP will be dead in the water whenever elections are called.