By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. April 1, 2021: The US State Department is warning nationals to reconsider travel to the CARICOM Central American nation of Belize.
The March 29th update to Level 3 is due to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 warning on the country. Belize currently has over 12,415 cases of infections and 317 deaths.
The warning comes as the US government pointed to corruption and a lack of transparency in the latest Human Rights Report.
The report says while the law in Belize provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, “the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials often engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.”
“Allegations of corruption in government among public officials, including ministers, deputy ministers, and chief executive officers, were numerous, although no substantial proof was presented in most cases,” the report added.
It pointed to several cases, included one regarding the country’s consul general in New York, Herman Longsworth, who was fired in January 202 after an audit of the National Sports Council revealed a number of financial infractions, one of which directly involved Longsworth.
The auditor general’s report stated Longsworth may have illegally used official influence in support of a scheme from which he benefited.