Recently Belize has been pointed as the face of corruption in the Caribbean and Central America after more than 50% of Belize’s banks were cut off by larger international correspondent banks, and even more so with the Special Audit that was released which encompasses a bed of corruption within the immigration and other departments of the Government of Belize. Some may attribute this as a direct result of GOB’s 8 years refusal to sign the UN Anti-Corruption Convention. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow again spoke of the matter stating that Belize simply cannot afford to sign on to that convention.
Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize
“We signed on to Inter-American Anti-corruption Convention, the FIU is being strengthened as a consequence of all sorts of things including wanting to show the international community that we are serious about anti-money laundering and anti-corruption, we have invited the US treasurer to come and to give training to our FIU personnel so that US officials will be embedded in the FIU, that FIU staff is in excess of twenty, we’ve given them additional resources, if we signed on to that UN anti-corruption it is not just a matter of signing you know, you then have to set up another entity which we can ill afford you have to staff that entity, you have to give them resources, we ae concentrating on strengthening in particular the FIU and you what is the body that we would have to set up once you sign the convention would do exactly what the FIU is doing so we are going to be duplicating efforts, we are going to be saddling ourselves with expenses and you know what when we looked at it I was all prepared to sign that thing at the start of 2016 and had the Solicitors General’s office given an opinion and that is when it was pointed out look you can’t just sign, there are all these obligations that follow up on signing and they made the point, we will in terms of the entity that we would have to set up, we will have the responsibility to review other country’s report, when you sign a convention and you set up the entity you have to file, I believe annual reports with the sorts of governing body so again this additional bureaucracy that would be in charge of also of examining other people’s reports more of an expense that I don’t think we can afford and finally, Mexico mad eth pint to us, they joined, they signed on, they set up the bureaucracy, they submitted their report and you know how long it took before that report was even considered in fact, four years.”