PRAYER ALERT for UNCAC. On October 6th the Government of Belize (GOB) bowed to one key demand of both business and labor unions. GOB agreed to sign UNCAC, the UN Convention Against Corruption, on December 9. Some union leaders immediately criticized the two month delay as another stalling tactic. But the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) argued that the delay was necessary to put some teeth into UNCAC. BCCI plans to work with the government in the two-month interval to establish a roadmap for full UNCAC enactment and enforcement.
The roadmap will connect the essential UNCAC dots. They include Preventive Measures, Criminalization and Law Enforcement, International Cooperation, Asset Recovery, and Technical Assistance & Information Exchange. But BCCI and the unions are also calling for the appointment of the long-delayed Integrity Commission and the restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee, to track the use of public funds. Belize cannot afford to waste its precious hard-won money on corrupt government habits and schemes.
The multiple cases of fraud in the Immigration and Nationality Department has implicated ministers in high positions in other government departments. The Police and Vital Statistics Unit colluded in facilitating questionable documentation without vetting. Some are aiding suspected foreign human traffickers and money launderers, while ignoring honest applicants who don’t produce bribes.
The notorious shady financier with deep government connections, “William Mason”, obtained a fake identity and Belizean birth certificate to expedite his schemes. Then he was caught in July with the severed head of a pastor in his vehicle. Apparently a business deal had gone sour. The populace was outraged at the sluggish government investigation of this atrocious crime by a government crony. In this and other cases the implicated ministers have bypassed the kind of accountability that UNCAC is designed to enforce. The recently published audit for 2011-2013 says “the system was manipulated to facilitate fraud in so many ways…”
DailyInsight. The more complicated a business, the more the “experts” can hide corruption behind the complications (see 2 Pet. 2:19).
BPN articles related to UNCAC.
Mason Thiessen dealings, PUP calls for independent investigate