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Belize

1997 Belize

According to Countryaah, Prime Minister Esquivel transformed his government in January 1995 in an effort to control the economic downturn and the increase in crime. The government created a commission to renew the citizens' investment plan. A program aimed at attracting domestic investors and reducing foreign debt. At the same time, the salaries of the public servants were frozen in the period 1995-1996 to reduce the government deficit. Opposition Party For the first time in the country's history, the People's Party conquered the majority of the seven local councils at the municipal elections in March 1997. Esquivel made new changes to his government in April; some ministers changed the resort and others were appointed ambassadors abroad.

At the end of October 97, Hurricane Mitch ravaged Central America, costing thousands of lives. In Belize, it caused enormous damage to the country's infrastructure.

In the August 1998 elections, the People's Party won 26 of the seats in parliament, and Said Wilbert Musa took over the prime minister's post. The Democratic Party had to settle for 3 seats.

On February 24, 2000, four members of Belize's security forces were arrested in Guatemala for suspected invasion of this country. The incident aggravated the border situation between the two countries whether the Caribbean trade organization CARICOM immediately accused Guatemala of invading Belize and of abducting a number of nationals. The border negotiations were resumed in 2002 but remain unresolved.

In October 2000, Hurricane Keith caused extensive damage, several were killed - including tourists - and subsequent floods destroyed parts of the country's infrastructure. The government declared 3 villages on the coast of disaster area.

A tragedy occurred in 2001 when Hurricane Iris hit the country, leveling several villages with land and leaving 13,000 homeless. The worst hurricane in 30 years destroyed jungle, banana plantations and cost about 20 lives.

On February 7, 2003, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras signed an agreement with OAS to provide Guatemala with access to the Caribbean. At the same time, a three-sided commission was established to manage the fisheries in the Gulf of Honduras.

In March 2004, Canadian company Fortis Inc. a crucial legal victory in the matter of building a hydroelectric plant at Chalillo. The BACONGO association had filed an appeal against the construction, whose main argument was that the environmental studies of the project were flawed and excluded important risks of the project. The project will lead to a flood of 9 km2rainforest. This area contains several endangered species such as jaguars, tapirs, crocodile dill, howler monkeys and a variety of cat species. It also contains a number of cultural treasures from the Mayan period. The Environment Agency further stated that the statutory consultations on the project were not conducted on a proper basis. The project's supporters claimed it would relieve the country's overloaded electricity grid, reduce the price of electricity and Belize's dependence on energy purchased in Mexico.

Belize Zoo director and BACONGO director Sharon Matola stated that the association is discussing the possibility of initiating legal action to force the government to respect the sustainable development plan, given that construction is imminent. The biologist stated that the area where the power plant is to be located has already experienced sufficient deforestation and erosion, and that the game in the area is being hunted by workers on the project. Dawn Sampson of Belice Electricity Limited dismissed the allegations. Despite the legal delay, the project will be completed by January 2005.

 

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