Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

CARICOM supports Belize against Guatemala

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Belize received unanimous support from leaders from throughout the Caribbean community (CARICOM) who attended the 38th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in St George’s, Grenada in the beginning of June.

The CARICOM leaders reiterated their support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of Belize. Also, they noted that a protocol is to be developed for the Sarstoon. They also expressed hope that the referendum would be held at earliest convenience so that the matter might be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The regional leaders also reviewed the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) with new gusto to accelerating its implementation to allow Caribbean nationals full benefit. Belize stressed on the importance of the CSME for Belize’s sugar and called for policies to support intra-regional trade in sugar.

Also, the CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy was discussed at the event, which is a work plan for a Single ICT space, regional transportation, regional security and promoting regional tourism, and dealing with non-communicable diseases.

On the last topic, the leaders received a report that evaluated the implementation of the CARICOM Heads of Government Port of Spain Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Summit Declaration. This report warned that the Caribbean had the highest mortality rate from NCDs in the Americas, and that more than 40% of those deaths are premature.

The leaders agreed there is a need to apply new efforts, through legislation and intensified public education campaigns, to reduce the ravages of diseases.

Belize PM Barrow wins record 3rd consecutive term

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow won a record 3rd term in general elections, after his party gained a clear majority in parliament.

Barrow, a 64-year-old lawyer, called the vote in late September more than a year ahead of schedule amid signs his political opponents were regrouping and fears generous Venezuelan aid crucial to his budget may be at risk.

Belize Prime Minister calls early general elections

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has called early general elections, which are to be held on November 4, 2015. October 15 will be nomination day. The National Assembly is to be dissolved by the governor general just after three and a half years of this government’s current term, which counts from March 7, 2012, and this is going to be the earliest election ever in the country.

In the last general elections, United Democratic Party got 17 seats in the National Assembly while the opposition People’s United Party had 14. After a period of restoration, Barrow said the time had come to ask for a new mandate. By his words, now “the UDP must focus exclusively on the positive, on forwarding opportunity and change.”

Belize listed in United States INCSR report

Friday, March 21st, 2014

In the recently released 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy (INCSR) Report, – an annual evaluation compiled by the U.S. Department of State in cooperation with other investigative authorities of the U.S. Government – it was confirmed already for the fourth time that the level of corruption remains very strong in Belize. The country is listed in the last category, named “Jurisdictions of Primary Concern”, with the countries which have the most inadequate and/or insufficient regulation of their financial systems.

It was specifically stated in the 2014 INCSR report about the suspicions that money laundering activity takes place in the Benque Viejo Free Zone and the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, which is believed to be “heavily involved in trade-based money laundering and the illicit importation of duty free products.”

The report notes that “Belize faces a challenging struggle against the threats of illegal drugs. Drug trafficking and drug use appear to be rising, and will continue if left unaddressed.” It also stressed that the investigative authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit, has poor resources and only limited assistance from other law enforcement agencies and government departments.

The INCSR pointed out that last year the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) issued statement on Belize where addressed the jurisdiction, which is part of this organization, with critics and certain pressure for “not complying with its AML/CFT action plan”, to fight the deficiencies.