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Belize Recieves Leadership Training for Social and Environmental Justice

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The Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO) held its first Leadership Training for Social and Environmental Justice for young adults from August 15-17, 2014. 
BELPO partnered with the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) and the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) to create a leadership program to act as a beginning for a non-partisan and non-sectarian way forward for striving for social justice and protecting the natural resources of Belize for present and future generations.


The training program sought to encourage 15 future leaders to work for social and environmental justice issues by helping them see their own potential for change in Belize.  This involved demonstrating that they can choose to make a difference based upon their own ideas and plans. 
These dedicated young adults spent 2½ days at duPlooys Jungle Lodge and Resort (Cayo) increasing their leadership capacity by developing more self-awareness, creativity, problem-solving and collaboration skills.
O…

Fiji’s Elections 2014: From “Fiji for Fijians” to “We are all Fijians”

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Introduction

The use of the term “Fijian” as a label for national identification remains a significant ideological frame in the run up for elections to be held on September 17, 2014.
By ideological frame, I refer to the fact that phrase “We are all Fijians” is represented by an array of inter-related set of stories, symbols, images, as well as rhetoric in an attempt  to define and provide reasons as to why the public should or should not vote for a political party. This ideology is represented as the highest maxim of social equality. It is used to justify, maintain, and increase popular support for the Fiji First Party.
This is visible in the media, where political candidates are often asked to take a position on this issue. The premise is that if we know the candidate’s position on this, we will know their core political values and vision for Fiji. Those who are hesitant to support ‘Fijian’ as a common-term or ‘national identity’ are explicitly and implicitly cued to be proponents …

Perspectives on the Belizean Status Quo: A commentary on “Stasis in Belize”

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During my study of Belizean history at the University of Belize, we often talked about “why are things the way they are? And how can we make a change?
In our history sessions, Professor Iyo would often make reference to “stasis” as a way of understanding the Belizean status quo (i.e. the existing state of affairs). As his students, he would recommend that we read his co-authored paper with Michael Rosberg entitled: “Theoretical Perspectives on the Stasis of Class Relations in the Caribbean: the Belize Case Study”.
I recall that Prof. Iyo would employ two analogies to introduce us to the concept of stasis. He once drew a spiral on the board. A spiral he would remark is a gradually progressing curve which emanates from a central point. For the spiral to take shape, it encircles the path of its previous inscription. Therefore, the spiral has a directional flow but it is non-linear, gradual and apparently redundant.
The second analogy, he often used, was comparing stasis to the movement of…

The Scare of Mother's Day Cheer (Amandala)

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The following is a letter to the Editor (Amandala) in which I sought to summarize and publicize the issues pointed out in my previous post called "The Scare of Mother’s Day Cheer: Media, Politics, and Hegemony in Belize": 

*Please note that I had inaccurately stated "Hours after..." in paragraph five. The conference at which the UDP ministers were interviewed actually took place in the morning. It was the PUP press conference that took place in the afternoon. Therefore, it was not 'hours after' but hours earlier. I assumed that the UDP ministers were interviewed after the PUP conference because that was the order it was presented in most news media. It was not until recently when I found Patrick Jones report that I realized this. 


Dear Editor:
Last week, I noted that many of The Publisher’s (Evan X Hyde) past writings on media politics and civil society were reflected in the coverage of the “Mother’s Day cheer.” Politicians and journalists all struggled to def…

The Scare of Mother’s Day Cheer: Media, Politics, and Hegemony in Belize

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Introduction
In recent news, the People’s United Party (PUP) held a press conference in which they critiqued what has been called the ‘Mother’s Day Cheer’ program.  The ‘cheer’ involves the distribution of about $800,000 to $1,000,000 to United Democratic Party (UDP) representatives for redistribution to mothers in their respective constituencies. No funds were given to the fourteen PUP representatives in parliament. The PUP referred to the program as an act of “blatant political corruption”.
In this reflection, I focus on the media’s coverage of the press conference.  I analyze what is included and excluded in the various media reports. I also examine the comments of politicians in the media. I contend that the media as well as politicians are explicitly and implicitly contributing to the ‘normalization of party politics’ in Belize.  
By way of this reflection, I am also attempting to improvise and develop a theoretical framework towards understanding and challenging the current polit…