The Independent Reformer
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The Independent Reformer was a newspaper, published by Trevor and Karla Vernon.  Rather than "hard news' it contains editorials and columns which express the various views of politicians, reformers, and other people concerned with what happens in Belize.  It also includes cartoons, jokes, and advertising.  Take a look!

Click on an entry to download an issue.  You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader* to read the issues. 

Issue 1 (Nov 28, 2006)

Issue 2 (December 5, 2006)

Issue 3 (December 12, 2006)

Issue 4 (December 19, 2006)

Vol 2, No. 1 (January 5, 2007)

Vol 2. No. 2 (January 12, 2007)

Vol 2. No. 3 (January 19, 2007)

Vol 2. No. 4 (January 26, 2007)

Vol 2. No. 5 (February 2, 2007)

Vol 2. No 6 (February 9, 2007)

Vol 2. No 7 (February 16, 2007)

Vol 2. No 8. (February 23, 2007)

Vol 2. No 9 (March 2, 2007)

Vol 2. No 10 (March 9, 2007)

Vol 2. No 11 (March 16, 2007)

Vol 2. No 12 (March 23, 2007)

Vol 2. No 13 (March 30, 2007)

Vol 2. No 14 (April 6, 2007)

Vol 2. No 15 (April 13, 2007)

Vol 2. No 16 (April 20, 2007)

Vol 2. No 17 (April 27, 2007)

Vol 2. No 18 (May 4, 2007)

Vol 2. No 19 (May 11, 2007)

Vol 2  No 20 (May 18, 2007)

Vol 2  No 21 (May 25, 2007)

Vol 2  No 22 (June 1, 2007)

Vol 2  No 23 (June 8, 2007)

Vol 2  No 24 (June 15, 2007)

Vol 2. No 25 (June 29, 2007)

Vol 2. No 26 (July 6, 2007)

Vol 2. No 27 (July 13, 2007)

Vol 2. No 28 (July 20, 2007)

Vol 2. No 29 (July 27, 2007)

Vol 2. No 30  (August 3, 2007)

Vol 2. No 31.l (August 10, 2007)

Vol 2. No 32.l (August 17, 2007)

Vol 2. No 33.l (August 24, 2007)

Vol 2. No 34.l (Sunday, Sep 2, 2007)

The Demise of the Independent Reformer

Sep 2, 2007 was the last issue of the Indy.

The Independent Reformer was a weekly rebel newspaper. It was patterned after other Independents in the US -- notably the Colorado Springs Independent, which you can examine here. It was originally published as a tabloid-sized hardcopy newspaper -- like all of the other papers in Belize. Shortly after they began publishing, we picked up an online version, which had advertising and pictures in Color.

The Indy was published by Trevor Vernon and his wife Karla. For several years, Karla was a columnist for the Reporter but she was becoming disillusioned with the trend that Belize was following in the new Century, and it showed in her writing, so they let her go. She has published a book of her columns, and it is noteworthy, for looking wistfully at what Belize used to be, and decrying what Belize has become.

Papers in Belize are generally.handicapped by the lack of modern presses. Printing is very expensive, and Trevor soon ran out of resources to continue printing a hard-copy version. The on-line version was beautiful, but advertisers were dubious, and some of them (especially the NGOs) quit paying. Eventually, the Vernons ran out of money -- they had been promised some big money by backers and it just never materialized.

Meb Cutlack, a noted local columnist, helped start up the Independent in 2006 but he quit in June 2007. I never found out why, but I suspect that his life was threatened.

At the same time, a new threat to free journalism was arising. At least one reporter was murdered. Trevor was very aware of the dangers that face journalists in Mexico and he was starting to worry about his own safety. His nerves started to fray and that showed. He got in some serious arguments with people on the lists (see below) and some people actually threatened to beat him up. His home life suffered. Karla had always had misgivings about remaining in Belize, and she eventually escaped to the US. Losing its editor sealed the doom of the Indy.

The importance of the Indy. Belize was founded by a single political party, but it quickly became apparent that there should be an opposition. .The PUP was defeated by the UDP in 1985, and the parties continued to swap out every five years until 2004, when the PUP won a second consecutive term. The general talk was that the parties were really pretty much alike, stealing whatever they could while they were in power. Every election saw the start of a few small third parties, but, as in the US, they really couldn't get a foothold. The PUP, having been reaffirmed in their policies, continued a program of deficit spending which put the country in terrible debt. At the same time, monies were being loanedd to cronies and companies and then the loans defaulted. Half the money disappeared. Of course, this is obvious to the people, and numerous small third parties were formed in various parts of the country.

A coalition was needed, and the Indy was trying to facilitate that. Of course, The Powers That Be could see the threat that the Indy posed, and they did everything they could to shut it down. They boycotted this site! (I lost 50 Belizean links in a few weeks.)

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