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May 24, 2022

Corruption and Lack of Justice in Belize, Documented in World Justice Report

The World Justice Report is an annual series measuring the rule of law based on the experiences and perceptions of the general public and in-country legal practitioners and experts worldwide.  The findings of the 2022 report indicate that seventy percent of Belizeans said that they believe the prime minister should always obey laws and court decisions, even if the laws and decisions are wrong.  The findings also show that fifty percent of respondents in a poll that was taken believe that members of the National Assembly are the most corrupt.  As far as public confidence in the judiciary, there is a lot to be desired.  News Five spoke with Caleb Orozco, Executive Director of United Belize Advocacy Movement.


Caleb Orozco

Caleb Orozco, United Belize Advocacy Movement

“The World Justice Report is as a result of the C.I.D. poll that interviewed some two thousand, four hundred Belizeans. One of the grey highlights in the report is the mediocrity in our justice system as it relates to supporting victims of violence. The other element of that is the interesting perception that people have about the levels of corruption. While they accept [that] parliamentarians are in some level of corrupt practices, this is followed by the police prosecutors and magistrates. To me, that is a surprise but it demands a conversation about what corrupt practices mean and how do we instill confidence in our justice system.”


Isani Cayetano

“We look at situations such as the tragedy that befell Laddie Gillett’s family when he was killed about a year or so ago in Placencia. What does this mean for the pursuit of justice and the fact that there should be due process and everything that goes along with the family finding closure through the judicial system?”


Caleb Orozco

“Well when we look at the World Justice Report 2021 and its ranking, the adjudication processes and Belize’s ability to investigate cases and Belize’s respect for due process was atrocious. Our ability to address criminal justice matters, as well as civil matters remains atrocious as well.  So while symbols of the state may find solace in the fact that a majority of Belizeans have trust in the police, Laddie Gillett and his family who are rights holders in the system may beg to differ in terms of the inefficiency of the judiciary, the inefficiency of the investigation, the inefficiency in ensuring that they have information, but finally there is a broader concern which is how do we prevent such an incident from happening again? There is no discussion about police intervention polices being improved and there is no understanding of accountability mechanisms that

people can trust.”

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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