Prime Minister Barrow was the first of his people to be elected in Belize. The country itself is nearly brand new. Sometimes, when people are struggling to achieve leadership they have to assimilate 'foreign' value systems in order to be less a threat to any existing 'fiscal' infrastructure, especially, where corruption has a stronghold to a region.
The alienation of the Garifuna people was nearly complete in order to carry out the planned exploitation of past corrupt value systems that have derailed aspects of the Belizean people, culture and land. No different than the American Indian, the native peoples were viewed as 'backward' and 'unimportant' to the 'modernization' of a New Belize. At least that was the forces at work in Belmopan, due to the strong ties between Prime Minister Barrow's party, the UDP, and Lord Ashcroft.
There is an annual celebration by the Garifuna people in Southern Belize. This past year, Prime Minister Barrow refused to attend, so the celebration was moved to northern Belize for it to take place. When it was moved to Northern Belize the Prime Minister consented to attend. The Garifuna were being demoralized from their culture. And they were being demoralized willingly.
Sometimes with a new government and an old fiscal infrastructure still in existence the Novices of Leadership feel threatened themselves to move away from any 'security' to their country's economic well being, no matter its manifestation. They may have hopes for things to change, but, at a loss to have that change occur.
I can't tell you how grateful I am to any and all that have moved to save these people, the Garifuna, their culture (which is completely joyful and unique to this Earth), the land, the protected forests and the protected species. It is a huge victory for the civilized world that values the wonderful diversity of life and the vibrant reality of a dynamic planet under huge stresses.
Just a word about the fauna of Southern Belize. It is some of the most endangered species on the plant, but, in that lies a victory. The Howler Monkeys, valued by the people there as well as the 'returning' fledglings of Harpy Eagle, are thriving within this population. While the species remains endangered on a global scale, this population is thriving. I have to state it is due to the harmony of the Garifuna and their land and the 'characteristics' of that land.
Thank you and valiant are shallow words, but, they are the only words I have to express the gratitude the people of Southern Belize feel and I hold dear to my heart.
One other thing. With demoralization and fear and survival it is easy to not only exploit people, but also turn them into 'mules' for the drug cartels. The absolute best outcome has occurred for the absolute best reasons.
The Garifuna People
“The main objective of the operation was to monitor compliance with the permit issued to Belize Hydroelectric Development and Management Company Limited by the Forestry Department to conduct research studies in the area. The team documented two archaeological sites that had been looted; two big holes were excavated on the site located about seventy five meters from where the BST main camp is located at Esperanza River. It was evident that these sites were excavated within the last two months. There were numerous pieces of pottery and carvings among other broken pieces of material archaeological material. All was photographed and a GPS reading recorded. It was observed that helicopters had landed at four separate locations within the Bladden Nature Reserve. At one main cleared camp site along the central river graffiti was written on a tree as well as on large rocks on the river bank. There was a general disregard for maintaining the environment of the area at several camp sites. There was thrash thrown about including the Espiranza main camp where pieces of PVC pipes were observed.”