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Jun 20, 2012

Report on state of Central America

Jorge Vargas

The State of the Region report on sustainable human development is a research conducted by the State of the Nation Research Center in Costa Rica. It’s a system for monitoring the state of affairs in Central America. According to the director of the research center, it promotes human development in the region and serves as a tool for developing civil society groups for governments to better assess how they are performing. News Five spoke to Jorge Vargas after he made his presentation on the current state of Central America.

 

Dr. Jorge Vargas, Director, State of the Nation Research Center, Costa Rica 

“Despite historically weak links with continental Central America, Belize is increasingly and deeply affected by Central American dynamics—even if unwillingly, but that’s a fact of the matter. Even as Sanchez pertains to the larger Caribbean region, nowadays what’s goes on in Central America is very seriously affecting the present and the future of the country. There are several areas in which those things happen on the security front, social violence, migration; on the issue of how the demographic trends are going now in Belize—resemble what’s going on in the rest of Central America—and also, because the whole social and economic and political climate of the neighboring countries affect the prospects of Sanchez. I mean when you are trying to attract investments in Belize, people also ask about your neighbors and that is something that Belize has to take into account.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Is there any positive? Is there something that would make Belize be a better option than the other regions? I know we do have things such as a larger presence of gangs when it comes to violence it is bigger in Guatemala for example and possibly even in Honduras.”

 

Dr. Jorge Vargas

“Belize has certain strengths that stick out when you compare it to neighboring countries. For example, in spite of some weaknesses, safety nets in Belize are stronger than in Guatemala or Honduras or in El Salvador by the way. That’s very important strengths to be preserved and I think deepened. I think that Belize also has the advantages of being part of two regions at the same time—of the Caribbean and Central America. At the same time, I think that when you compare Belize with many of the other Central American countries, it is always ranked in the upper middle position. But one also has to acknowledge that the first decade in Belize was not a good decade for this country; it has lost some positions. Particularly it has decoupled from the most advanced countries in the region which are Panama and Costa Rica. It was a case that twenty years ago, Belize indicators were very similar to Panama’s and Costa Rica’s, but not anymore. So Belize right now is always within an important distance comparing it to Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras much better. But the space of growth of economic and social growth in Belize is not as good as it should be.”

 

According to the report, Belize is impacted more by Central America than by the Caribbean in issues that range from crime to migration to the environment and the economy. We’ll have more on the State of the Region on Thursday. 

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3 Responses for “Report on state of Central America”

  1. Storm says:

    Read this and weep for the Jewel.

    Central America is invading and transforming the Jewel, ALL IN BAD WAYS, and no GOB, neither UDP nor PUP, recognises what is going on around us, or does anything to stave off the looming national apocalypse.

  2. impartial says:

    the “looming apocalypse” is the handywork of the local people, not foreigners, just check the news and facts… you are to blame too Storm, we are all… so let’s stop blaming outsiders for the problems we created and start contributing to solve them

  3. Mike says:

    We need John Saldivar to become the new PM of Belize, with the support of the PUP, in a nonpartisan Government.

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