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Dec 8, 2021

Rule of Law Index 2021 Ranks Belize at 93 out of 139 Countries

The World Justice Project has released its Rule of Law Index for 2021, which presents a portrait of the rule of law in one hundred and thirty-nine countries and jurisdictions. It provides scores and rankings based on eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice. So what’s Belize’s rank? Ninety-three…with an overall score in the mid range at point four-eight, with zero being the lowest possible score and one signifying the highest. It is also came in at number twenty-two for the Latin America and the Caribbean. The Executive Director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement spoke to News Five about the rankings and where he feels the laws of Belize fail Belizeans.


Caleb Orozco

Caleb Orozco, Executive Director, UNIBAM

“As I reviewed the World Justice Report for 2021, I learned several things that I feel was validated in my experience on the ground. One, our timely adjudication of cases in civil matters is terrible; our timely adjudication of criminal cases is terrible. We have fundamental rights, but Cabinet, the Attorney General Office, for example, has no respect for those fundamental rights of ordinary citizens. And I will put one point. When you will create a law that penalizes a pregnant woman for a bullet or penalizes an entire family for a single bullet, it shows that the state is not interested in how it is inducing trauma on families across this country. The state is interested in control and systemic violence. When you will create or approve a law under the domestic violence act that is inclusive of everybody in this country, but your insurance company refuses to acknowledge your relationship in law that’s problematic, that’s systemic violence. That’s economic intimidation and abuse of the worst kind that is allowed to happen because Cabinet, Parliament, the AG office don’t see it as a priority.

Between 2016 and 2018, of the six thousand reports of gender-based violence, seventy percent were dropped and you don’t understand why you have a problem? When you have half your population not participating in the labor force and you don’t wish to understand the contribution to your economy, which is one point nine billion, or the impact of discrimination and violence on women on your economy, what you are saying is that your women folk are expendable. When you are spending one percent of your GDP in the justice system and you have absolutely no preparation for dealing with persons who are intellectually challenged, physically challenged, who are emotionally challenged and you prefer to traumatize them rather than address the substantive issue. When you decide that the optics of creating a disability desk is more important than addressing the quality of issues for persons with disability passed the age of sixty that’s telling me that you are not committed to this population. That’s telling me that you are satisfied with a minimalist approach to governance; that is unacceptable.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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