Belize. Much attention was paid during the year to Michael Ashcroft, a wealthy British businessman residing in Belize and former Vice Chairman of the British Conservative Party. In June, a court declared that the nationalization in 2009 of Ashcroft’s Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), which has a near monopoly in Belize’s telecom sector, was in breach of the Constitution. Despite the court’s statement, Prime Minister Dean Barrow (United Democratic Party, UDP) immediately claimed that the state retains control of BTL. According to Countryaah official site, the deal had a political side as the government accused the previous government, led by the People’s United Party (PUP), of giving Ashcroft an unfairly privileged position by allowing him to take possession of BTL. Prime Minister Barrow is also considered to want to change the constitution so that public services.
A state of Isthmian Central America, it extends along the coastal part of the Yucatán peninsula between the Chetumal Bay and the Amatique Bay, bordering on the N with Mexico and on the W and S with Guatemala ; a E overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Under the 1981 Constitution, the head of state is the sovereign of Great Britain, represented by a governor general. Visit ABBREVIATIONFINDER for the acronym of BLZ that stands for the country of Belize.
The territory includes a flat and often marshy northern part and a mountainous southern part (Maya Mountains, 1122 m). The generally low coast is bordered by lagoons and fronted by islands and rocks surrounded by madreporic formations. The numerous but short rivers, which flow towards the NE, are navigable in the last stretch. The climate is hot and humid, with abundant rainfall.
The population records sustained natural growth rates, as in all of Central America, with a birth rate of 28 ‰ per year (2008), but also with a high infant mortality rate of 24 ‰ per year (2008). The official language is English, but Spanish and an English-Creole dialect are also spoken. The prevalent religion is Catholic (about 50%). The capital, Belmopan, is a town of 13,500 residents (2005), while the most populous urban center remains the port city of Belize. Unemployment (11% of the workforce in 2005) and underemployment fuel important flows of emigration abroad (especially to the United States) which contribute, through significant currency remittances, to support the national economy. The number of immigrants and refugees from other Caribbean states is also consistent, especially from El Salvador.
The country is substantially backward, with a GDP in 2007 of 1.274 billion dollars; the economy is still essentially based on the exploitation of the forests which, spread over a large part of the territory, supply valuable wood; also important are some export crops (sugar cane, citrus fruits and bananas) and tourism. Belize has no energy resources and throughout the 1990s prospecting for hydrocarbons continued on the continental shelf of the Gulf of Honduras, although this activity has raised environmental concerns. The industries are underdeveloped and include facilities for the conservation of citrus fruits and for the production of sugar, tannic acid, resin, beer and cigarettes. The government’s economic policy is aimed at greater diversification of productive activities: increase in offshore financial services and investments for ecotourism, which focuses in particular on the attractions of the natural environment, with its tropical forests and a second coral reef., in size, only to the Australian one.