Letters — 05 November 2016
Chriss Roggema writes Prime Minister Barrow

Dear Editor,

Please publish this open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow for me.


Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I saw a video interview with you which made me feel very uncomfortable as a Caye Caulker resident, and that feeling won’t blow over as a lil’ breeze. Even if I am not a young man anymore, I feel I am obliged to participate in the democratic political process (even if I am not a lawyer) because of my four young sons who were born here on Caye Caulker, who love the sea and the reef and love to fish.

Most fishermen might not dare to address you or maybe can’t find the words allowed for publication when they express their feelings concerning the fact that GOB still might consider oil exploration in the waters outside our coast, even close to the Blue Hole.

Did our voices not reach your ears or your heart after the people’s “referendum” about oil exploration? Just because it was not arranged by the GOB? Since you say there is so little money to spend on the democratic process, maybe we should use that money on a referendum for more than only this question, at the same time.

The last month’s events involving the political heads of the GOB have most Belizeans asking themselves and each other a lot of questions about the integrity, transparency and accountability of our political elite. How much do the lawyers profit from all those deals made by the GOB? Is the Guatemalan question used by our politicians only to sow fear in the population so the people don’t see how much they enrich themselves? Are we becoming more aware and discerning? Has the “Time of Reckoning” arrived? Are all the hidden truths coming out? This is not only about a decapitated head in a bucket!

Look what is happening everywhere around us! In Guatemala they put the president and the vice president in jail for corruption and only last week a SWAT police team just shot and killed a former Minister of Finance in an anti-corruption raid. The election process in the USA is raking up so much dirt that if they are able to elect a president, he or she might be in a legal quagmire for years, unable to govern the country; and everybody is afraid they just might start a World War just to take away the people’s attention from the crimes against humanity they committed, while they are repeating shamelessly the Battle of Wounded Knee today in Dakota!

Maybe the time has come for our nation to address our leaders for once and for all about the many questions we are worried about so there won’t be any doubt what we like to see changed and done by the GOB in a democratic referendum. Most people feel the future of our nation and our children’s future are at stake!

Belizeans want to make clear to their leaders and the rest of the world that we are an independent nation and that we have no interest to become Guatemalans and do not want to be ruled by a racist regime that killed more than 200,000 of their own indigenous Maya people.

No more oil exploration in our sea and our National Reserves and Maya lands. Accountability and more transparency in GOB deals relating to financial gains for involved lawyers and politicians. We demand an inquiry into why Social Security and Minister of Education Patrick Faber did nothing, to support the only secondary school and to acquire a better suited property for our children in our ever-expanding society in Caye Caulker, where the school, at the end, had to bid and lost against foreign speculators!

This school has programs that are recommended to other schools in our country as examples. Now we are requested to lodge the police in our homes and pay for their new barrack and some of our elders recommending the transfer of the Social Security property to the school while others proposed that the former school be transformed into the police barracks. Now all parties involved, lost, and the foreign speculators and the people who got paid off, won. People in Caye Caulker do ask where our tax moneys are been paid to GOB by the Fishermen’s Coop and how the tourist business tax are going.

Pay the teachers what they deserve and stop the harassment of them because they question your policies! They always do so much more for our children than they get paid for.

Decriminalize marijuana now! Divert the Gang Suppression Unit and and other drug units of the military-equipped and trained police to work under the BDF to protect our borders in the areas of foreign infiltration in the South and West so as to serve and protect our people and our country. While different states in the USA rake in billions of tax money on marijuana yearly, the US drug intervention team stationed in Honduras flies in with their Chinook gunships yearly at harvest time to invite the BDF with them to burn down the weed plantations so we import weed from Guatemala and the Mexican cartels.

Who are the benefactors of that? Not Belize! How much money goes out of the country for that? People say that these things can’t be changed because there is too much money involved for the police and the politicians.

Legalization of marijuana will serve our country better economically, socially, and could create a lot of legal taxable jobs for a large group of young people who are now in fact excluded and shunned from society because of the gang violence. Let them grow and sell weed in controlled situations where the tax money can go to local development. We need to include and engage them inside their reality. We cannot afford to lose more of our youths, or do their lives not matter?

Other proposals by other socially engaged groups are to be voted on.

Hoping you are willing to continue a discussion about the referendum, like you mentioned in the video!

Thank you, with respect!

Chriss Roggema, Commentaries from the Garden, Cocoplum Gardens, Caye Caulker #2260226,
Email: [email protected]

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