REPORT #323 June 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

The National politicized one party ruled Police Force of Belize is slowly raising the standard of entry educational requirements. This latest graduating class from the Police Academy had 97% of the class with Associate Degrees and minimum of High School Certification. It is hoped with production of Bachelor Degrees from the new University of Belize, that minimum qualifications for police officer applicants will be a Bachelor Degree within twelve years. As the educational level rises, so does the competency. Six foot height regulations would then put Belize police on a par with the recruiting requirements for California police, or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The UK police force on which the Belizean colonial police model is copied are in the port town and Belmopan, to try and make the system of a politicized police force, subject to a winning political one party state system work better. Unlike North Americans, police chiefs are not independent of politics and are not elected by the citizens. There is no accountability for the police in Belize. Nor can they prosecute their political masters. This shortcoming came to light this year, when the whole Cabinet of the PUP political party in power came under suspicion by the electorate of stealing $3.34 million of poor peoples social security funds for private and personal gain through embezzlement and perhaps for swelling the operational funds of the coffers of the PUP political party treasury, the last time they were in power. This time around in power, they cancelled a court ordered judgement that the money embezzled had to be returned, through it is believed political control of appointees to the Social Security Board and Chief Officer.

The PUP cabinet are believed to be crooks stealing government funds! True or not, no effort to prove otherwise has been taken by the PUP cabinet and all efforts have been made to cover up the alleged embezzlement. Unfortunately, under a politicized police national police system, there is no way the police can investigate, or subpoena records, or prosecute a sitting political one party ruling cabinet. A sad shortcoming for development issues, because HONEST GOVERNMENT is a Development Issue! Particularly for foreign investors. A politicized police force seems to work in England under a monarchy system, but that is because the country has so many millions ( 100 million ) and political corruption is absorbed by the larger effects of a huge population. It doesn't work well in a small country like Belize though with a small population. The North American model of local elected police chiefs, or sheriffs would be more effective and efficient for service to the electorate.

Super salesman for LOANS, Jose Texeira of the Inter Development Bank is in Belmopan and the port of Belize City. He and his bank are trying to peddle loans of any and all types! Mostly since privatization of major government industries, the IDB Loan sales team have had to change their modus operendi to private sector sales pitches. What used to be an easy sell, to provincial, port town clique, pseudo intellectual politicians and bureaucrats weaned on the nursing philosphy of sucking the teats of foreign loan salesman has changed under privatization of government monopolies. The new Belizean Corporations have to show a profit and this changes the loan dynamics salespitch. They also are required by performance figures to be leaner and meaner. Fortunately, different people are now making some of the policy decisions once reserved for the Minister of Finance.

Bankers are judged and ranked within the hierarchy of the bank bureaucracy at their success rate in making successful numbers of loans and large size. As their capability and sales and collecting skills rise, they rise also in the bank hierarchy and salary levels with privileges. More prestigious titles are the goals, executive bathrooms with gold taps and other paraphenalia are the rewards in banking circles. I've even been in one of those black marble walled bathrooms with gold taps, what a joke!

Super LOAN salesman Jose Texeira of the Inter Development Bank, is adjusting to the new loan climate and trotting out all the usual cliches for convincing bureaucrats and provincial townie politicians to keep borrowing money. The jargon is flowing with the latest fad in buzzwords. Poverty elimination, infra structure development and so on.

Our Minister of Finance, Ralph Fonseca has been a real gullible customer over the years. So far, the record shows that his loan borrowing propensity and inability to find other ways of paying as you go; has sold Belizeans into debt for the next 24 to 36 years of payments. What do you want to bet, he is negotiating to borrow more? I'd respect him more if he would build up our Belizean Foreign Reserves to about $700 million USA and then we could kiss all loan salesman goodbye. He doesn't have the skills though. Not sure any of that ex-colonial crowd out of the townie port of Belize City have?

Bootstrapping the Economy of Belize! It seems strange that the PUP party should still be selling the sales pitch to the electorate that they are doing good for the country, by bootstrapping the economy of Belize. Or jump starting it, as a slogan for political gain. We've heard this siren song for 40 years and for most of that time, the PUP have been in power singing the same song. How long does it take to bootstrap an economy, I wonder? Obviously, by the PUP record, five years won't do it. Thirty years does not seem to do it either. How long do they need to keep jump starting the economy of Belize? A thousand years? A hundred years? I mean, what is the timetable for this economic phenomenon?

Even my severly retarded sister-in-law with an IQ of about 90 figured that out, twenty years ago. Wonder why townies in the port of Belize City political gangs haven't figured out things yet? I mean if a method is not working, why do you keep using it? Doesn't make sense to me, but I'm just a fisherman and I only know what I read in the papers. It just seems obvious to me, if the fish don't bite here, you better change your location and bait!

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