REPORT #355 August 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

The legislature have been discussing, or may be it was the Cabinet. Don't think the legislature discuss much of anything, it being a one party rubber stamp body.

Anyway, there has been discussions in the PUP political party realm up there in the rarified air of Belmopan the capital, about the problems with contamination of the river flowing down through the Pomona Valley and through the coastal port of Dangriga.

At the town, they swim in the river. Way up the valley, 15 miles or so, they swim and wash clothes in the river. Also the Citrus business endeavors recently bought out by the CDC of England apparently has some waste citrus material storage ponds, that overflow into the river when it rains even a little bit extra.

To cap it all, the town of Dangriga gets it's main water supply from the river, but uses brackish water from wells, when they realize the river water is unhealthy. They apparently have the capacity to test for PH levels and recently during one contamination phase the river was noted to be acidic. So they switched to the well sources. They do not seem to have the capacity to test for e-coli bacteria though. Should! It is a simple enough test.

The gist of all the past few weeks public debating, has been the politicos in Belmopan discussing what to do about it? Apparently, the solution put forth has been to recommend a different source for the town of Dangriga water supply.

Now I would like to take the opposite viewpoint with this proposition put forth in the rarified realms of political policy making in Belmopan, if I may?

The short term solution, they feel in Belmopan is to change the source of the water supply. I personally think that is a cop out! It is not the solution.

If you decide on that solution, you are telling any industry, including mining and the citrus industry, that it is okay to pollute the river in the name of export products and incoming foreign exchange Euro dollars.

That is not the way I see Belize! I rather think that industry has to clean up it's own act and go to whatever expense it has to, in order to operate. The Stann Creek River running through Dangriga town, or any other river for that matter, is not a sewage canal. It should remain PRISTINE, clear and drinkable and swimmable. If population levels and new towns and villages and more industries are going to inhabit the Pomona Valley, or anywhere else in Belize, for that matter; keeping the environment clean is part of the social compact. Rather than seeking new water sources and allowing industry to pollute the Stann Creek river, better, you insist that effluent and industrial operations of any kind, only put into the ground water, or the river, a waste product that can pass pollution tests.

In other words, clean up the sewage before it goes anywhere! That is part of protecting the country for future generations and the price of development. I would think that would be logical and common sense, but when it comes to business, business people like to take shortcuts. Politicians too! Not so! It is the politicians responsible obligation to keep the rivers pristine, pure and clean, more than seeking any industrial activity that will bring in dollars but pollute same. That is just good stewardship!

There is a lot of hot air and political rhetoric in Belmopan about the AIDS epidemic. So far, I have seen nothing in the media about FREE AIDS TESTING! Considering that statistically speaking the number of persons infected are supposed to be five times the actual number of people actually known to be with the disease, this is alarming. I would think blood tests would be a legal requirement of the public health department and any licensed doctor in Belize that is suspicious of any associated complaints from persons visiting the doctor, or rural village nursing clinics.

You cannot fight what you do not know! To know what you actually have, you need reliable statistics. To get these, you need wide spread blood testing for HIV +. Then you need public awareness campaigns, and perhaps measures like Cuba uses, to identify such people infected and assume social responsibility for them in communities where they are aware. You cannot stop the sex drive, but you can perhaps create social living situations wherein they have sex with each other and not the uninfected. First you need genuine knowledge, testing and statistics.

There was a lot of hurrah recently about the SEX WORKERS of Raul's Rose Garden, I believe the place was called. These type of establishments in Belize have been around for a very long time. Under our law, it is alright for a private, adult to adult arrangement to trade the sex act for money. But you cannot legally solicit. The houses that cater to this trade are usually, night clubs, bars and other places. The girls are usually away from home in other countries where their reputations will not be sullied. The British Army doctors in the past used to have weekly testing of the girls in Belize City area, for sexually transmitted diseases. These girls come here from some other country where they are not known and can practice their profession, or career in anonymity. They are hired as waitresses and hostesses. They are for dancing, sharing companionship at a table and waitressing. If a man wants one for sex, he broaches the subject to the girl and they negotiate the going rate. The girl never solicits the man! That is against the law in Belize. It makes for a fairly refined trade and business.

The local media fuss recently was about these girls getting work permits. There are some girls of Belizean extraction who are in the trade. But very few on the local scene. Like the incoming Salvadoranean girls, or Honduran girls, the Belizean girls who sell service in the SEX act usually practice in another country, like Amsterdam, Holland, or Los Angeles in the USA.

The SEX trade is a proper business. With males of young age being stimulated and making semen several times a day and needing to ejaculate, a source of ready females who will accommodate them for a price is a proper thing. In countries where this is suppressed, you have an increase of all kinds of weird religious convictions, sects and wierdo crimes. Sex is healthy and normal. It is simple good health.

The protection of SEX WORKERS rights should be foremost in any new world order.

Women who enter the SEX TRADE CAREER field do so for a variety of reasons. Many in Belize have worked around the world, from Bangkok, to Japan to Amsterdam and London. The career gives a girl a chance to travel. It also gives one of low education, the opportunity to earn more than a clerk, or secretarial wage. The only place legal in the USA is the state of Nevada, but many married women and single women work there with children, who have Ph'ds believe it or not. As they can make plenty more money from the upper brackets of the gambling high rollers of Las Vegas. Plus they meet interesting men, get paid very well and enjoy sex as a recreational sport.

The problems around the world for SEX WORKERS are lack of union capability to get better working conditions. In countries where cultural attitudes are dominated by either criminal mafia or religious sects, they become subject to debt bondage, beatings, police thuggery and other hazards not faced by secretarial workers. At heart, is the male macho attitude based usually on either religious viewpoints ( e.g. Moslem, Catholic, etc.) for control of WOMEN'S LABOR.

The media in England for instance, has announced statistics that around 2000 girls are being imported per year from the wars in the Balkans in conditions of white slavery and artificial debt bondage, beatings and kidnappings to serve the criminal gangs of London and other big cities in the U.K. Yet the U.K. Police force is here in Belize presuming to teach locals how to police. They can't do it at home, but they are going to do it here?

There are SEX WORKERS who are millionaires. There have been articles in magazines about California girls working in Brunai, hired to look decorative as hostesses and getting upward of $50,000 per assignment. ( Oil rich Moslem kingdom.) Some girls in Belize working are Mexicans and have bought more than five houses in Mexico, which they collect rents from and support extended families. Many girls love to travel and enjoy sex with clean clientele. The rub for female SEX WORKERS are the working conditions! Health programs, non-abusive conditions, protection from the police and immigration officers by having legal working permits and other such things, should be the right of SEX WORKERS. Many girls simply enter the trade for two or three years away from home where they can be anonymous, so they can go home, buy a house and marry the childhood sweetheart. She lies and tells him and the family, she is working as a secretary. But cannot make this kind of money at home in Tegucigalpa to make a start in marrying and raising a family.

Belize has fairly enlightened policies for SEX WORKERS, but more could be done and put into legislation to protect the girls in these careers. We simply have to put aside a lot of the religious created CONTROL FREAKS that have subjegated such workers in the past. A SEX WORKER should be able to work legally and with all the safeguards and protections of any other labor worker.

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