REPORT #307 June 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

As in any large group of people, you are going to have good ones, apathetic ones and some bad ones. The PUP political party which controls the country of Belize is going through a currently bad spell, in which some highly placed members of the party are alleged to be having a conspiracy to whitewash an alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars of Social Security Funds. While the story is not over yet, it leaves the general public with a very bad taste in the mouth. Nor does it help that the PUP members involved are party members, both elected representatives and ordinary rank and file with connections in high places. The Social Security Board scandal involving this alleged embezzlement is also composed of appointed head and members, presumably either PUP political party members, or as the Mafia say, " associates ", in return for job, salary and favors. The Social Security Board scandal will not die here! While criminal actions will not be started during this PUP political party reign, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Head of Social Security and probably the Board Members will be dragged into court on criminal mischief charges when another political party win an election and take over the reins of government. While high placed crooked party members of the PUP never seem to go to jail, the Social Security honchos can expect to have their lives and reputations disrupted and spend a couple of years in and out of court eventually. The least of the mischief is going to cost them lots of lawyer fees and loss of jobs and earning capacity in the future under another political party regime. I hope it is worth it! Already PUP higher echelon are washing their hands off the affair and distancing themselves. Though probably in private the Social Security Head and Board are being reassured that everything will be okay and if they need any free lawyers when another party take over the government they will get them from the PUP party membership. If they compound their errors and are gullible enough to swallow that line, they deserve every bit of inconvenience they are going to get. There has been no evidence at all to prove the money was not allegedly embezzled. Just public protestations by those suspected of the alleged crime.

It is sad to say, but the apparent crooks in the PUP party and the effects of their actions cover up the great work in government by those PUP political party members who are quietly doing a real bang up wonderful job. Among these are:


It was interesting to read that there is now an archeological restoration project for archeological sites going to be implemented. What makes this project so different than any other news coming out of the larger mismanagement of a few, in high places in the PUP party, is that other PUP political party members are doing such a marvelous job. I don't mean that restoring archeological sites as a tourism development project by itself is worthy of praise, but rather it is in the details of how it has been researched, initiated and the innovative method of paying for it. The process seems to be a model of how the government of Belize should be run by all government departments. Sadly, only this project and the higher levels of Education seem to have grasped these financial realities.

In the announcement of the archeological restoration project, it was said that the total cost would be $28 million. Most of this is by different GRANTS. Government is going to contribute matching funds, solely in the amount of $6 million. This means that 79% of this government department work is going to be paid for by GRANTS, ( not loans !) free to the taxpayer and 21% of the cost will be matched by the taxpayer. Now that is very innovative, shows initiative and with the realities of the country of Belize economics and limited financial resources is a model for all other government departments. Facts being what they are, this is the way to go! Belize is not a wealthy industrialized nation with a large tax base. Lots of things have to be paid for with matching grants. But a rough 80% Grants to 20% local contributions is something so extraordinary in government from Belmopan, that whoever did all the donkey work in this project, should probably be appointed the Minister of Finance in the PUP government. Next time you do a cabinet re-shuffle, think about it Prime Minister? My most sincere congratulations to the people involved. I know it took a lot of work, lots of writing and researching, but to have accomplished this model of good government is to the credit of the PUP political party.

That loan borrowing, credit card carrying philosphy segment of the PUP party need to be demoted, or thrown out on their ears. Maybe it's time to run some seminars on how to pay for things in a poor impoverished country and show other departments how to do it?


The Ministry of Agriculture through Entomologist Orlando Sosa announced that the biological program and war on the Hibiscus Mealy Bug is a complete success. Again, the impressive part of this announcement was the notice that Belize was self-reliant. That a home grown breeding production of wasps is being used to fight the Hibiscus Mealy Bug. Again, unlike the screwups in the Cabinet, the rank and file seem to be doing a wonderful job. Congratulations again, for the self-reliance of Belize being capable of doing it's own work in the war on the Hibiscus Mealy Bug.

These examples of proper good government, we want more of it from all departments.

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