Belize. In March, a confrontation between the Belizean and Guatemalan military occurred on the Sarstoon border. In early April, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington presented an eleven-point proposal to reduce latent tensions between the countries, which have a long-standing border conflict with each other. However, the proposal was rejected by Guatemala immediately. The following day, a minor Guatemalan was shot dead in Belizean territory and in May several other border incidents also occurred, causing tensions to increase further. Both sides initially blamed each other for the incident, and Guatemala called its ambassador home. But after a meeting in New York in April, in conjunction with the signing of the Paris Agreement on International Climate Cooperation, both Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales agreed on the need for relaxation between the countries. However, Barrow was blamed at home by the opposition for abstention against Morales, who, after becoming president of Guatemala in October 2015, led a more rigid line in the infected border issue.
According to countryaah, the current population of Belize is 397,639. According to thereligionfaqs, the growth in Belize’s economy, which in 2014 grew by record numbers, slowed down already in 2015 and in 2016 showed signs of a beginning recession. During the first half of the year, growth in the commodity sector fell by a full 26%.
In February, Francis Fonseca was replaced as leader of the opposition party People’s Party (PUP) by John Briceño, former party leader 2008-11. The election of Briceño was a direct consequence of the party’s loss in the November 2015 parliamentary elections.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of BLZ stands for the nation of Belize in geography.