As soon as Ambergris Today hit the streets last week, it began flying off the shelves and we knew it was due to the announcement of the PUP slate for next year’s town council election. The other big headlines were San Pedro’s first author and book launching, and the fabulous light boat parade but people kept asking our reporters why is it we did not carry any words from the candidates.

Councilor Candidate Andre Perez, Mayoral Candidate Baldemar Graniel, Councilor Candidate Debbie Spain

Ambergris Today immediately set out to request an interview with Mr. Baldemar Graniel, the mayoral candidate, and fortunately for us he conceded us an interview. We are conscious that it is too early to ask him about the platform and issues under which they will campaign, so we were careful with our questions.

Ambergris Today (A.T.) Mr. Graniel, the announcement of your name was a surprise to us, and most of San Pedro, I am sure. Why did you decide to run for this office?

Graniel: I decided because I am confident that I have a lot to offer to my town. I would not have joined the race if I thought I don’t have anything new or better. I have a good idea of where this town needs to go and how to get there. Right now the town is going ahead but at a great cost or loss.

A.T. Is that the only reason?

Graniel: No, I also decided to run because I know that I can win, because the people know that they will win with me also. I am not running for any personal interest. I am running for my people, and I mean Sanpedranos and all residents who deserve better.

A.T. It is said around the town that you had already retired from politics, so why again?

Graniel: I served many years as councilor and as mayor too, but I did not retire. I just did not run for a while, but I kept serving and governing the interests of my town. I was in charge of the Poly Clinic which is a big responsibility. As mayor I gained a lot of knowledge and experience, which I can use to continue my work for San Pedro because I see a lot of things going wrong with infrastructure, streets, parks, sale of lots to investors instead of to locals, poor investment development, traffic, accounts management and planning in general.

A.T. Are you sure, Mr. Graniel? Some people are saying that the reason you are running is that you did not want your daughter to run as mayor and that you did not want Andre Perez to run either.

Graniel: (with a big smile) I believe my daughter is as prepared, or better prepared, than me to run for mayor and if she wanted I would have supported her and not run against her. As for Andre Perez, I have a lot of respect for him as a responsible, hard working, intelligent and most important honest person and leader. If I did not like him, I would not run with him in my team like the other group who was promised to be beaten up and being chased out. I believe in teamwork. When I am mayor, every councilor will have equal voice and every San Pedro resident will be listened to.

A.T: What do you promise, Mr. Graniel?

Graniel: I promise hard work, communication, transparency, accountability, equality, respect and honesty. Is that enough? (big smile)
A.T. That’s not what I mean. What do you promise to the people?
Graniel: I repeat, all of what I said before (meaning all of the above last statement). I do not like to promise things. I see what the needs are and go to work. I can promise more cobblestone streets, classrooms, water, sewer, less crime, hospital, etc. but I prefer to see the needs first and go to work.
A.T. Have you always been a PUP?

Graniel: (huge smile) I have always been a Graniel because I believe in the integrity of my family. I have always been a PUP because I believe in the philosophy To Serve. I don’t change my religion or my party. I know some PUP’s have made mistakes but that is the individual and new leaders come and the job goes on. So I ask those PUP’s who were vex for errors of the past and left the party, to come back and be the PUP’s that George Price taught us. In every party there are people who make big mistakes. I make mistakes too but nothing scandalous and nobody in this world can point a finger at me and say I am dishonest or that I have mismanaged their business.

A.T. Thank you, Mr. Graniel for being so quick to accept our interview request.

Graniel. Thank you, Dorian for the opportunity to let the people know me. All Sanpedranos know me, but every resident should know that I mean good for everyone, not only the Blue’s. San Pedro is for all of us and all of us are for San Pedro.

Reprinted from the Ambergris Today Newspaper
Volume 10 - No. 49
Dated: December 18th, 2008



(Photograph courtesy San Pedro Sun)

Under a stalwart new leadership and with a new vision crafted out of the core principles of respect and service to the people, a rejuvenated People’s United Party is set on a course to victory in the Municipal Elections come 2009.

In San Pedro after careful deliberation and much consultation with the electorate, the PUP Belize Rural South Executive has successful selected its 6 Councilors and 1 Mayoral candidate to contest the upcoming Municipal Elections.

The solid slate of 7 dynamic and qualified candidates is comprised of:

Mr. Baldemar Graniel – Mayoral Candidate
Councilor Candidates:
Ms. Ana Najarro
Mr. Andre Perez
Ms. Debbie Spain
Mrs. Marina Kay
Mr. Ian Pou
Ms. Viannie Perez
The 7 PUP municipal candidates were endorsed on Monday, December 08, 2008 at the Party’s Secretariat in San Pedro.

Having worked closely with the re-building of the PUP Belize Rural South with a renewed vision of service to the people and a conviction that the People’s United Party is the only true party for and of the people, the committed team of 7 pledged zero tolerance for lack of transparency while pledging to put people first to ensure social justice, equal opportunities and prosperity for all.
The PUP San Pedro Candidates will be endorsed at an upcoming Party Convention to be announced shortly while the San Pedro Vibes newsletter will be presenting the 7 candidates to you “up close and personal” in its upcoming issue.


On Wednesday night, at the Lion’s Den the San Pedro Town Council presented its 2006-2009 Financial Report. In front of a live audience and on local radio and television Mayor Elsa Paz pulled a fast one on the residents of San Pedro.
Pretending to be smarter than the electorate...Mayor Paz pulls a fast one!

Mayor Paz and her Town Council failed to provide the real answers that the people have been requesting regarding allegations of mismanagement of funds resulting from recent Audit Reports at the Town Council.

Contrary to her promise to provide all the answers to questions that the Auditor General has raised and address any questions that residents of San Pedro and the media had regarding the Audit Report, Mayor Paz presented a long and elaborate financial report for her Council’s 2006-2009 Report to a small audience mainly made up of PUP supporters and Council employees.

The Mayor started off her report by indicating that previous reports have been presented under different circumstances and in different manners. She failed to recognize that transparency and accountability is not defined by presenting important financial reports on a talk show, newsletter or ad hoc meetings at the San Pedro Town Council. The Council’s failure to make published copies of these financial and audit reports says a lot about their lack of respect for the people of San Pedro. By asking people to write a letter, wait for an appointment; sit with Town Council clerks for a limited amount of time, Mayor Paz and her Town Council have the mistaken notion of what it means to truly and genuinely be open and transparent with their financial books.

Councilors were fast asleep during the Mayor's Presentation

Very evident was the lack of involvement in the discussions on the part of the Town Councilors who remained mute for the entire presentations. At some point some of them seemed very distant from the entire proceedings as they dozed off dreaming of making the illusive UDP possibilities a reality. Poised and ready to respond to all questions and to take advantage of the opportunity to blow his own horn was Hon. Heredia, Area Rep. and Minister of Tourism who appeared as Mayor Paz’ side-man and bouncer. Apparently, speaking of his accomplishments was supposed to over-shadow the fact that the Mayor can still not provide the true answers that the people of San Pedro are demanding.

Minister Heredia tried to steal the show from the SPTC

When asked about the answers to major questions raised by the Auditor General’s Report Mayor Paz tried to dodge this bullet by saying that these will be presented in a future meeting. Mayor Paz, the people of San Pedro and the electorate can not and will not be taken for fools. We are waiting for the answers and we will hold you to your word that another meeting will be held. Until then you remain quoted as “I have answers, I have answers”.

San Pedro High on the Regional map

Two students of San Pedro High were part of the Belize team that has emerged the Champions in the Caribbean Regional Food and Nutrition Competition held in the Caribbean Island Country of St. Kitts & Nevis. Pedro Garcia and Gabby Miranda of San Pedro High joined forces with Edgardo Serrut of SHC and Santiago Hernandez of OWTH to form the Belize Team.
The road to this victory was not easy, but worth every bit of time, talent, skills, and effort. First SPHS had to compete with schools from Belize City to become the Belize District Champs. Secondly they had to compete with schools from the North and West and South to become the National Champs.
After this it was the long road to the Caribbean Championship. Fourteen countries in the Caribbean participated via the internet and the Belize Team was among the top eight teams. Then in the next round Belize competed with six other countries and did well advancing to the final round of three. In the final round of three, our Belize Team came in first with Antigua behind them. So now the trip for the finals was in St. Kitts & Nevis where our Belize Team went head to head with Antigua.
The rest is now history as the news is out that Pedro, Gabby, Edgardo and Santiago, The Belize Team, are this year’s Caribbean Champions. Congratulations to San Pedro High, Sacred Heart College and Orange Walk Technical for making Belize shine in the Caribbean. This deserves a parade and a holiday for San Pedro High.
Volume 10 #46
Chairman's message:
On behalf of the People's United Party, we take this opportunity to congratulate your grand acheivement. Your hard work, dedication and arduos studying paid off. You have made San Pedro and Belize proud.
To the San Pedro High School, kudus for raising the bar, putting San Pedro high on the regional map, and for providing exceptional education.


The People's United Party Belize Rural South joins the National AIDS Commission and all other partners in the fight against the scourge of HIV in commemorating World AIDS Day 2008. We remember those that have fallen victim to this virus and make a call for collective and individual response to prevent the further spread of this epidemic while providing comfort and support to those most affected.

Auditor General Report

5.2 Non-collection of Outstanding Debt for Golf Cart: On 17th December, 2003 the Council directed the Town Administrator to draft a letter requesting the return of the sum of $6000.00 for the delivery of golf cart to the Council by an individual by the 31st January, 2004. On 14th March, 2006, the individual offered the Council a pickup valued at $7000.00 in exchange for the $6,000.00 debt he had for the Council.
In our initial report, the audit office requested responses to the following questions:
· Why was the individual paid the $6,000.00 up front without the golf cart being presented to the Council and examined by a competent mechanic?
· Why didn’t the Council purchase its own cart as it does with its other vehicles?
· Why weren’t legal proceedings instituted against the individual since the Council could prove, by way of paid voucher and cancelled cheque that he was paid for a golf cart that he did not deliver to the Council?
Has the Council tried to collect the $6,000.00 from the individual since 14th March, 2006? If not, what is its intention in finally settling this long outstanding matter?

5.3 Bank Reconciliation: During the period 1st April, 2001 to 31st July, 2006 it was noted that Belize Bank Account 5013496 was repeatedly debited in respect of dishonored cheques and up to the end of the inspection it was not seen where they were made good by the person/s involved. The Office of the Auditor General therefore suggested that the Council pursue all avenues in collecting these monies due the Council. Our office also recommended that the Council ensure that in the future cheques are cleared first by the bank before receipts are prepared and issued.

5.4 Survey Services: A total of $12,500.00 was paid to an individual for survey services around Caribbean Coves Sub Division and Ambergris Stadium. Audit visited the location but it was impossible to access as the area was a swamp. The Office of the Auditor General requested that the Council inform how they ascertained that the work paid for was carried out since no markers could have been seen.

Important PUP Meeting—Tonight
Location: PUP Headquarters, Angel Coral Street
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Date: December 1st, 2008