Daily Archives: October 30, 2006

Seraphim Joe Fortes – How A Black Sailor From Barbados Became A Legend In Vancouver Canada


UPDATED: July 29, 2010

Thanks to one of our regular friends, we’ve just learned of a wonderful video on YouTube all about Seraphim Joe Fortes. (link below) It is really worth a few minutes of your time to learn about this famous Bajan who was loved so much in Vancouver that almost 90 years after his death his name lives on. In 1996 he was named “Citizen of the Century”.

How could a flat-broke black sailor from Barbados arrive in Vancouver in 1885 and still be loved over a hundred years later? It is quite a story…

Seraphim Joe Fortes Became A Favourite Son Of Vancouver Canada

Huge Public Funeral In 1922 – Monument Erected, Library Named In His Honour

In 1922, the largest public funeral in Vancouver’s history was held for a black man from Barbados. “Tens of thousands” lined his funeral procession. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History

Refco Inc – Guatemala Bancafe Bank Scandal Has Barbados Link


Collapse & Fraud At Commodities Broker Refco Inc.

Barbados Central Bank Will Step In

Conflict Of Interest – U.S. & Guatamalan Politicians Tied To Scandal – Who’s Next?

“Refco is a large foreign exchange and commodity broker providing clearing and execution services for global exchange-traded derivatives including futures,’..” … from the Refco website (link here)

When those international houses of cards take a tumble, the casualties and fallout usually spreads around the world and high into governments and financial communities. This collapse is no different.

The entire Guatemala banking system has been shaken… and the tremors and aftershocks are starting to arrive in Barbados.

Excerpts from Reuters…

Guatemala Suspends Bancafe Bank Operations Over Refco

GUATEMALA CITY, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Guatemala has suspended operations in Bancafe, the country’s fourth largest bank and owner of $204 million of U.S. Treasury bonds held by bankrupt commodities broker Refco Inc….

“The board unanimously resolved to suspend operations in Bancafe due to financial problems derived from the investment of $204 million in the brokerage Refco,” de Bonilla said at a press conference.

Bancafe has about $900 million in deposits, a million account holders and assets worth about $1 billion, Guatemala’s banking regulatory body says.

Bancafe is a part of financial group Grupo Financiero del Pais and is not connected to a state-run bank with the same name in Colombia.

Eduardo Gonzalez, chief of staff for Guatemalan President Oscar Berger and a pre-candidate for 2007 presidential elections, is one of the bank’s major shareholders.

Guatemala’s Monetary Board said it decided to intervene in Bancafe “to protect the liquidity and solvency of the national banking system and to secure and strengthen national savings.”

…The bank has offshore holdings in Barbados valued at around $240 million, but these deposits no longer have the backing of Bancafe and will not be covered by the government’s recovery plan, Zapata said.

The Central Bank in Barbados will be responsible for managing those funds, he said.

… read the entire article link here.

Now The Fund Starts – Politicians All Over The World Run For Cover

According to the Portland Independent Media Center (link here), the first casualty appears to be US Illinois Congressman Jerry Weller, who took Refco campaign contributions and look the other way as they ran an international penny-stock “pump and dump” fraud.

The second casualty will be US Senator George Allen, who not only took campaign contributions but actually worked with known Israeli con-artists in the Refco Xybernaut penny stock scam.

There are tons of politicians who will fall in Guatemala. Bermuda, Austria and Israel have all received honourable mention, but what about Barbados?

Did Any Barbados Politician Take Campaign Donations From Refco?

I don’t know. Its not like we publish campaign donations online here in Barbados. That would be way, way too transparent. Might cause accountability.

Can’t have that on this island!


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption