The State of Belize- A Design To Fail by: Aria Lightfoot


Belize is a small country, with a relatively small population and comparatively undeveloped even within the regions of Latin American and Caribbean countries. What Belize lacks in size and development, it makes up in resources and attractions. Belize is abundant in resources such as fertile land, minerals, bountiful sea, waterways, intelligent people, exuberant culture and history. Unfortunately, however, Belize economic state is a casualty of generations of greedy and unconscionable colonizers and politicians who still enjoy little oversight and a “docile” population that genuflects conformity over rebellion.

The country of what is today Belize was once a thriving Maya civilization until the British settlers (pirates) invaded in the early 1600’s. The birth of British influenced Belize was one of bloodshed, piracy, kidnapping subjugation and wars leading to enslavement, divisiveness, colonization and eventual independence. During British rule, the British extracted the rich resources from Belize and transferred the wealth to the British Empire. Today, the privilege few extract wealth from the citizenry through bloated contracts and exclusive deals.

The British evidently had no development plans for Belize. The poor structures, absentee land ownerships and lack of re-settlement of British families to Belize were all evidence of an extraction of wealth policy firmly in place. The British continued to the manipulate the people and divide the nation with centuries of indoctrination and colonization through a British system of formal education, law and politics. The system inherited by Belize was designed to keep British supremacy and British rule enduringly intact even in their absence. Look around in 2016 Belize and you see a second coming of outside landowners and business owners as the Belizean people remain poorly paid workers and consumers .

Unlike the UK and many other neighboring British colonies, Belize is a heterogeneous society, piecemealed into a cultural montage of mostly oppressed cultures where Belize City is still deemed the epicenter of economic activity. That was the structure when independence was first accomplished, but probably not today’s reality. The economy has shifted from an agriculture dependent economy to a service oriented economy. Agriculture and Fishing continues to be sustained by special first world welfare agreements that will eventually evaporate.  Additionally, since Belize was a wealth extraction colony, there was no effort nor foresight to develop a self-sustaining economy independent of the British. The British Empire provided the needed supplies to the colony and local farming and fishing sustained the needed fresh vegetables and meat.

Education and Legal practice in Belize is geared towards conformity and perpetuation. In the legal field for example, there is an abundance of legal minds seemingly impaired to address a collapsing legal system. Belize laws suffer from poor structures and poor enforcement. We have many Economists in Belize who offer little solutions  to a collapsing economy. We  have a plethora of untapped knowledge and expertise in Belize and in the Belizean diaspora,  but unorthodox and independent thinking is strongly discouraged and quickly thwarted and subjugated to censor and alienation.

Many leaders may not know how to examine these failing structures in place. Our leaders would first have to admit they are adhering and promulgating a system that was not designed for Belizeans. George Price, in his noble fight for Belize was not sophisticated enough to reject the new Belize Constitution in 1981, which was nothing but a mere carbon copy of the constitutions shared among other British colonies, contrived by the British. Belize did not chart a new society specific to the realities and history of Belize in 1981, power was simply transferred to a few Belizeans who have been afforded the privilege of the colonizers. Our revolutionists were all too happy to take control of the wheel without examining if the vehicle was designed for development and prosperity of Belize. The Belizean people simply adapted the very laws and practices of its colonizers on Independence Day.

Fast forward to the last 35 years of Belize’s independent history and you find leaders who have perpetuated a system of privilege, piracy and pacification. Belize adhered to an antiquated legal system that keeps looking back for answers instead of promoting progressive thinking;  the  tax laws are ineffective;  land distribution is unproductive; and leaders exhibit a real disdain for expertise outside the crony network. Belize’s economy today is heavily dependent on unsustainable loans and  hand-out generosity of imperial first world countries that dictate mandates which fill Belize’s prisons with productive men, destroy families and hypocritically undermine cash crops like marijuana.

Since the colony of British Honduras was heavily dependent on the British Empire for resources and Independence cut the umbilical cord, Belize has turned to mass importation and borrowing to maintain the economy. Additionally, the economic problems are intensified by porous borders where Belize has taken on substantial burdens of poor people with limited education and limited reciprocity to generate wealth; elected officials with little or no oversight on borrowing and spending; blatant theft of public goods and services; tax avoidance and tax evasion; poor enforcement laws and obliviousness of the population at large. Today’s Belize is still embroiled in bloodshed, piracy and subjugation.The bells are tolling and Belize will need to design a Belize for Belizeans to secure the very survival of Belize. Creditors cannot solve Belize’s problems until Belize recognize and resolve the deficiencies in a system that perpetuates dependency and archaic practices and repels development and economic evolution.