REPORT #359 August 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

I was looking at statistics the other day on population. But it is hard to visualize pure numbers, so I started to think about something that I know more personal in my locality! 40 years ago, there were two people. Between them they produced seven people, these seven people have produced 13 people to date. This gives a ratio of any population census estimate, by taking the census, divide by 2 and multiply by 10 for a result of population in 40 years.

In this case, in Belize, 2 people in 1960 produced by this year August, 2000, about 20 people. In another 40 years these 20 people will produce 200 people. So in Belize, the population will increase exponentially.

The port of Belize City had 35,000 people 40 years ago. Divide by 2 = 17,500 people in pairs. By now in the year 2000, the port of Belize City people would have produced 17,500 X 10 = 175,000 people.

Does the port town of Belize City have 175,000 people? We don't know, because we havn't got the Spring Census yet. But it is an interesting idea. The calculation may be rough and lots of extenuating circumstances can alter it, but it gives you a rough "rule of thumb".

If the port town of Belize City does not have 175,000 people today, it could point to two main things. a) Townie population has been migrating around the nation of Belize, and I don't believe that except in a minor manner. Or b) they have been emmigrating to other countries, which seems more logical and historically true from culture and custom.

What brought this train of thought on, was the recurrent complaints of violence and crime, from all countries in the world. It is not just in Belize. I am reminded of a study done years ago of rats in the laboratory as an experiment in living space and congestion. As a fixed living space was inundated by new rats being born, they became more and more violent. Until at the end, they not only had been fighting wildly and viciously with each other, but had even started to bite and eat their own body parts in a frenzy, for lack of space.

You can understand why the Europeans are being overwhelmed by the "rat syndrome". But Belize also sees an increase in violent crime. There may be many factors. Yet, Belize has much pioneer land yet to be developed. Why hasn't this excess land been a factor in draining off population from the port of Belize City and the violence it is spawning? We know, that the politicians, represented by the townie educated elite has failed to incorporate and lead with new legislation encouraging dispersement of the port of Belize City population. For instance, it has been a dozen years since the idea was put forth, that the Toledo District be made a FREE TRADE ZONE, with Belizeans from other districts being able to visit there and purchase a $ 2000 Bz of goods, if they stayed for 72 hours in the Toledo District. The idea of a Free Trade Zone for a sparsely populated district has been a good one elsewhere in other countries.

Perhaps, more advertisements about available land in rural areas by the Government?

This was just a train of philosophical thought. But Belize is seeing a rise in crime and violence, yet on the surface with all the land that Belize has and the opportunities, why is it not being utilized? We should not have the "rat syndrome"! But we do, why?

The current methodology does not apparently work to halt the rise of crime and violence in Belize. Therefore, as an old fishermen, it is time to pick up the anchor, change location and probably change the bait.

What does that mean? If what we are doing does not work and we know lots of excuses and rational explained by those responsible, let us change the paradigm of what we do.

a) We could change the way we police the country? Have local police responsible to a local elected police chief responsible to the local voting citizens, instead of a politicized political party police on a national scale. The townies of the port of Belize City don't like that idea. Ten days ago, the Minister in charge of the Police, just publicly reassured the visiting English police trainers from England they were not going to change the politically autocratic political party controlled police model we copy from England. Asinine is my reaction!

b) We could change the way we govern, so we could have bigger government, more officers, but at lower expenditures, through seasonal, volunteer and temporary hours work. By having district autonomy of police expenditures (district governments-volunteer) and local rule of law and local courts by elected voter responsible magistrates. One way of increasing the police officers and getting accountability! ( Not politically acceptable to the controlling cliques of townies of the port of Belize City who are afraid of losing their power over the country and the treasury. They don't want to share power.)

c) How about all incorrigible criminals. Repeat offenders with more than three times in jail ( subject to a committee decision ) be declared, NON-CITIZENS! We deny them Belize Citizenship. They become stateless persons. We deport them. Perhaps to the bandit ridden lands of Cape Gracias de Dios. Just a small boat trip from Belize. Over there the very few farmers, fishermen are part time bandits and murderers. They all carry guns, AK 47's and crossed bandeliors of ammunition. Notify the Belize immigration border points with a list of persons so deported that they are no longer Belize citizens and cannot enter back into the country anywhere. They kill over there in the Cape Gracios area, for a good pair of shoes, I know from personal experience.

d) Human rights people do not want us to hang killers, it is inhumane they say. Give the human rights activists a choice. Take our murderers and stick them on a jet, and fly them to Somalia after depriving them of Belize citizenship. Drop them off at a remote airstrip and let them fend for themselves in a violent land of criminal warlord gangs, with everybody armed to the teeth. Provided the Human Rights people pay for the costs of the jet plane involved, there and back. Let them put their money where their mouth is! Otherwise hang em! Or do like China and shoot them and provide a government income for body organ donations to industrialized countries.

The lack of logic by townie run politics is astounding sometimes.

Yup! Basically thats what it says in the Reporter newspaper from his hometown of the port of Belize City, in the issue of July 30th, 2000. In an article on Page 29, called "Sinking deeper into Debt!"

"The blurring does not permit one to see whether it is the Government of Belize that benefits or whether it is the ministers who benefit. It's a closed loop surrounded by fog."

A quote from the financial article delving into the shortcomings and trainee abilities of the Central Bank of Belize which from the article, is politicized and not autonomous. The article was trying to figure out how the Central Bank controls Commercial Banks and Foreign Exchange. The conclusion I got from reading the article, was that the Foreign Commercial Banks control not only the Central Bank, but also the Cabinet Ministers and all legislation. Not the other way around. The tail wags the dog, or they are a bunch of sheep those educated townies running the PUP party being led around by the nose! What was disturbing in trying to read the reporting on Central Bank statements, is the "closed loop surrounded by fog" of money movements being done by the government PUP ministers of the Cabinet in Belmopan. This makes Prime Minister Said Musa an outright liar! He had promised as part of his manifesto that there would be accountability and transparency in all government functions.

This is not only NOT TRUE as regards to financial matters of the Ministry of Finance run by his crony and busom buddy Ralph Fonseca with Central Bank and mysterious loan inputs, temporary column deposits to skew the figures on Foreign Reserves and such, but the lack of explanations of what the money is for. Couple this with the Prime Minister giving statements publicly about Social Security Funds being invested in various local enterprises which he listed, but which investigative reporters dealing with tame pet political appointees over at the Social Security Board who deny this, and claim they are several years behind in their accounting in violation of LAW and don't have any records or explanations of where the money has gone, you get the strong idea there is a DOUBLE SET OF BOOKS run by the Minister of Finance, Ralph Fonseca and the Prime Minister Said Musa.

There are other financial matters, but the point is, that there is no TRANSPARENCY, no ACCOUNTABILITY as PROMISED by Said Musa when he ran for office. This makes him out to be a LIAR! Wouldn't you say? Or is my intrepretation of these local newspaper articles wrong? What could they be hiding? Good or bad, all we ask for is the TRUTH and the ability to understand how you are managing the country?

The editorial of the Newspaper the REPORTER declared the proposed Mile 28 dumpsite is unsuitable. There have been a number of specialist expert reports and investigative reporting articles on this proposed dumpsite. It seems the bureaucrats in Belmopan and political ministers are hell bent in doing the wrong thing. The environmentalist NGO's need to bring these people to court and accountability before we are saddled with a boondoggle that will cost future generations. Considering much of Russia and Eastern Europe is a WASTELAND from such centralized planned autocratic bumbling, there is no reason we cannot stop this crap in it's tracks before it happens here. Even in the USA, reclamation of rivers and lakes throughout North America is still not completed, from the industrialized pollution of fifty years ago. A recent study said 40% of the rivers and lakes in the USA are still so polluted as to be uninhabitable by fish and other life. Do we have to destroy our country first before we then try to fix it again? Doesn't make sense!

In the five year war of one political party against the other, run by the townies of the Port of Belize City, the PUP are finally admitting that the UDP had the right idea eleven years ago and though they are not admitting it out loud, the PUP are going to rebuild a new INTELLIGENCE JOINT COMMAND CENTER ( with a different name to save political FACE ). The USA is funding it. The older SIS had opposition, because the UDP let a lot of DEA thugs and Belizean policemen roam around armed to the teeth terroizing innocent citizens of Belize under the pretext of a war on drugs. There are courts you know?

In an article of July 30, 2000 in the Reporter newspaper, William G. Ysaguirre wrote an interesting article on the rule of law and order. He says we are in danger of reaping a whirlwind of disorder and anarchy in Belize. True to True! But it starts at the top, in the Cabinet and with our type of crooked corrupt one party state ruler system adopted from England.

Prisoners in the Hattieville Prison want to know why they are in prison when crooks in the PUP political party are walking free with their booty?

If you want to be a successful crook in Belize, you have to go where the money is. Where is the money? Well it is in the banks, or it is in the Government Treasury. If you want to be a successful crook, you have to not use a gun and violence, a pen and paper are superior. At least if you do use violence and brute force, you do it one step removed by utilizing the politicized controlled police thugs, or the BDF. Denial is the name of the game.

The crooks in the Hattieville jail, made the wrong choices. They went the simple route without long range planning. They simply got a weapon and went robbing. But to be a successful crook in Belize, you have to join a political party, or form one. You have to form a gang within the party and make sure that when you win an election and the treasury. Make sure you control:

a) the MINISTRY OF FINANCE b) the MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR ( in charge of police and BDF and at least have the cooperation of the Prime Minister. All other ministers can be bought off with salaries, travel allowances, gifts of land, unlimited expense accounts and new vehicles to drive at government expense in a one party controlled state. You make them accessories, or at least blunt their conscience so they will look the other way. In Belize, rural party representatives outnumber the port town elected party elite, but lack the cohesion and organization as a group within their party to control illegalities within their parties.

The upshot of this jailhouse complaint, is that UBC should have some schooling for prisoners in the Hattieville Prison and teach them how to steal with a pen and paper through political elections instead of violence and guns. This is called academic higher education! Improving oneself in one's chosen career. The problem with the prisoners in the prison is they have such short attention spans and the need for quick emotional gratification. Whereas in Belize the most successful rich crooks are those that did some long range planning over five years or so. So a little pyschological counselling should go along with criminal education in the Hattieville jail. Is this a good idea? How would you deal with the growing anarchy and crime in Belize? What solutions do you have? ( tongue in cheek interpretation)

Taiwan has no natural resources to speak of, except the human resources. The Ambassador Charles Tsai told the Better Business Bureau of the port of Belize City, at a luncheon that a separation between a government and the business sector is necessary. The government policy is to ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT the private sector. Leave private enterprise alone and let it do what it does best. Export policies on cooperative systems work well. We badly need farmers cooperatives in Belize, but our Belizean Cooperative Department lack the skills to do this. ( Another UCB Associate and Bachelor Degree courses required for developing Belize) Creation and forming of Cooperative trainers.

An international outlook ( internet service in every home?), and few regulations.

The few regulations will never swing with the port city elite running the political parties. They are control freaks scared of losing their bureaucratic and political salaried jobs and being forced into the cold hard world of productivity by competition and hard work.

95 % of the businesses in Taiwan are small, the Ambassador said. This is born out in other countries including that of the USA. In Belize, this translates into the facts of life, that for exports and business, Export Revenue is going to be earned mostly by businesses with only one to 30 people employed. Most in fact, will probably be in the one self employed to about 8 employees. Many business studies in the USA and Canada bear this out.

Essentially, the policies of past Belize party controlled governments have always leaned to large foreign companies as solutions to the problems of Belize. This has never worked out, but the lesson has never been absorbed. Maybe it is the educational system that has failed to pass on these economic truths at the College level in Belize?

You can't own a vehicle if you don't earn money. From the number of vehicles in the nation, Belizeans are rich. The port town is particularly stressed out. A recent visitor to Bogota, Colombia mentioned how clean the city was nowadays compared to a few years ago. Apparently, Bogota and many other cities now have rules whereby, EVEN NUMBERED LICENSE PLATE VEHICLES DRIVE ON CERTAIN DAYS OF THE WEEK AND ODD NUMBER LICENSED plate vehicles drive the next day. Strict fines, tow trucks, impound yards for vehicles seized are the rule and it has cleared up pollution and congestion tremendously.

Another rule, I read somewhere else, was that trucks were only allowed in a city between 7 p.m., and 6 a.m. The next morning. Another good idea for the Belize City Council.

Back to Main Belize Development Trust Page

Maintained by Ray Auxillou, Silvia Pinzon, MLS, and Marty Casado. Please email with suggestions or additions for this Electronic Library of Belize.