Belize. At the beginning of the year, the government of
Belize, together with the governments of Guyana and
Barbados, decided to recognize the Caribbean Court of
Justice (CCJ) as the country's highest judicial and
appellate court. The decision was in line with Belize's
general policy of expanding cooperation within the Caribbean
(CARICOM), which includes all Caribbean states. CCJ is
located in Trinidad and Tobago.
has a population of 383,071 (2018). Hurricane Richard, with wind gusts of up to 150 km per
hour, struck the country at the end of October and tourists
were evacuated from the hotels south of Belize City. While
the hurricane weakened sharply when it reached the land,
electricity was nonetheless extinguished throughout the
On April 15, 2005, there were strikes and protests
against cuts and corruption within the Said Musa government.
The riots cost 37 wounded - including 10 police officers -
and severed communication links. Musa claimed responsibility
for the riots on the opposition, stating that the telephone
network had been interrupted by technicians at the largest
telephone company, calling it "vandalism and sabotage". The
telephone company is, moreover, privatized, although the
majority of the population would like to see it again at
state hands. The demonstration was initially peaceful and
organized by school students demanding Musa's departure, but
other less peaceful elements joined the demonstration,
blocking streets and roads and later plundering business.
Over 100 were arrested.
After three years of standstill, negotiations between
Belize and Guatemala on territorial sea rights were resumed
in February 2006. The future agreement will be sent to
referendum in both countries and, if not adopted, the
decision will be handed over to an arbitration court in the
Belize acts as a bridge builder between CARICOM in the
Caribbean and the Central American common market SICA. In
this role, in May 2007, the country organized a summit
between the Heads of State of the Caribbean and Central
America. The Summit discussed the possibility of extending
the trade cooperation agreement between CARICOM and Costa
Rica to apply throughout Central America.