REPORT #445 November 2001

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

In the crooked politics of Nicaragua, Sandinista, Ortega lost the election, in a system where the Sandanistas and the Liberals agree to divide up the spoils of the treasury and loot of governing among them both. Third parties that even meet conditions meant to exclude them from competition ( like in Bogota, Colombia, or Managua, Nicaragua ) were severly restricted and then improperly disqualified by a rubber stamp, Liberal party controlled ELECTORAL BOARD. So say independent international observers on elections and ethics in Managua.

Aleman the outgoing President is alleged to be corrupt because his personal wealth has multiplied MANY, MANY, times in excess of his salary, while in office. His competitor Daniel Ortega was noted in the Miami press last time he was in office and visiting the UN, to be spending $1500 USA on a pair of sunglasses, while his country was in economic ruins and badly in debt.

The past Vice President of the Liberal party is now the new President of Nicaragua. The arrangement between Ortega of the Sandanista party and the new President of the Liberal party seems to be a very cozy one for looting the opportunities of political office.

Aleman, the president leaving office made sure to cover his tracks and passed a law making him automatically a member of Congress and giving him immunity from prosecution, in the style of Chile and Guatemala. Presidential contender, now leader of the opposition, Daniel Ortega still stands accused of years of rape of his step-daughter and enjoys the immunity from prosecution, as an Opposition member in Congress. He also still lives in one of several houses he allegedly stole from absentee owners from the last time he was President.

Are there lessons here for Belize? Yup! Political Reform of a very serious nature and not dictated by either the UDP or the PUP, who only make cosmetic changes and false promises. The question is HOW?

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