Politics, Belize Style – Part 1

“Politics is a dirty business” – Richard Nixon

“Politics isn’t dirty, it’s the politicians that are” – Anon

“’Politics’ is made up of two words – ‘poli’, which is Greek for many, and ‘tics’, which are blood-sucking insects” – Gore Vidal

It’s election time in Belize.  Prime Minister Dean Barrow suddenly and unexpectedly announced it last month.  Normally, elections are held every five years (as that’s the maximum term a governing party is elected to), and the last election was in 2008, so everyone was expecting the next one to be next year.  But on March 7th Belizeans will be going to the polls. Continue reading

Drug Planes and Prison Shootouts

Although Belize City has its fair share of crime, it’s mainly muggings and hold-ups (with the occasional murder!), much of it opportunistic and most of the rest of it gang- or drug-related, and mainly located in the south side of town.  So for me, living in the north side, not going out much at night, not going out all in the south side, and not involved in any of those nefarious activities, I’ve not had any direct contact with anything dangerous, and the closest I get to it is hearing about it on the news, or from my colleagues the next day.  And the rest of the country is about as laid-back, easy-going and safe as you can get.  But in the space of one week, two ‘incidents’ occurred that were national headline news and made me realise that Belize has some way to go before its levels of public safety and corruption approach those in the UK. Continue reading