REPORT #283 May 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

New reports on the local scene show that Belizean students are failing in social studies. In many schools the subject does not even exist. Particularly in the primary schools. This subject should be normally taught at Standard IV level onwards. Belizean History is also a failing subject. Part of this problem may be a book shortage and alternatively, the computer internet revolution has not yet reached most of the 288 to 300 nationwide elementary schools.

Belizean History is on the internet FREE. A number of books are there. They can be found under HISTORY at: The excuse of no books is no longer valid, but the excuse of no computer and educational school internet access is very valid. BTL is to blame for this! Social Studies could best be linked to the reports found on the same Belize Electronic Resource and Development Library under either the Development Trust, or Development Issues. Reports are uploaded every week in the amount of current events for school student discussions. Staying abreast of both History and Social Studies in Belize has never been easier, except for the foot dragging by BTL in implementation of education internet service to the 300 schools nationwide.

In the meantime in nearby Ecuador, the IMF is trying to collect the debts of foreign lenders, but the switch to foreign exchange for local operating currency is making the job of the IMF harder, as a debt collector. More taxes of course to squeeze the population to pay for the past political incompetence are the rule. It does not matter that most of the millions of population had their savings wiped out. The government and the IMF announced yesterday that they would raise fuel prices by 64%. Public workers salaries are also going to be raised by 55%. Unfortunately, there is a difference of 9% in IMF debt collectors favor. The unions and trade groups were threatening massive demonstrations. Elected politicians can do little about it. The IMF now controls all the countries foreign exchange, as the political parties had run the governing fiscal process into the ground with a foreign loan borrowing policy. They ran out of real money and printing more money simply triggered massive inflation, before the switch to the US dollar as a national currency. The United Workers Front says the IMF debt collection agency had declared WAR on Ecuador.

In Argentina the politicians who have also switched to a US dollar currency find themselves in a bind. They cannot by law, print any more local money for circulation than is backed by actual US dollar reserves, they have in the bank. With interest rates rising in the USA, this makes it more expensive for Argentinians to get the US dollars. The inflation dampening policies of the USA, thus also effect Argentinian politicians. Hard choices economically in Argentina nowadays.

In Peru, dictator Fujimori is expected to re-elect himself among vast schemes of voter fraud, a fraudulent computer vote counting system and use of state funds and bureaucracies to eliminate political opponents are the biggest frauds. The OAS ( Organization of American States) pulled out of Peru in disgust with the dictator's antics on Friday. The OAS mission has been reduced from over a hundred people to a skeleton staff of 5. The USA is not likely to cut off AID for drug fighting. The big problem seems to be the computer vote counting machinery. It actually counts more votes for Fuijimoro during testing, than there are people that are voting. In the millions more!

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