The Enemy Within; Selective Governance Practises, Belize’s Greatest Security Threat

Our Esteemed brother Paco Smith wrote up a great research paper on the inaccuracies of what is being sold as the greatest threat to Belize as a nation and people, meaning that our largest threat is not an external boogey man but rather a more familiar one, the real boogey man being our own governance and those that work together with them in the shadows.

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.Marcus Tullius Cicero

Shared with full consent from Paco Smith


Threats to Belize’s security are often conceptualised and cast as emanating from external elements. Indeed, with the looming existential threat of Guatemala and its unfounded claim to our sovereign territory, on the surface the aforementioned is par for the course. Yet, when considering the realities associated with the many challenges to Belize’s wellbeing, an entirely different and plausible argument can be put forth. This paper advances the viewpoint that Belize’s greatest security threat, in actuality, stems from internal concerns deriving from the “Enemy from Within”; that being the employ of selective governance practises that essentially set the stage for systemic and endemic corruption which spans political lines. This unfortunate, yet persistent perversion of good governance is characteristic of precisely how Belize continues to be administered. Hence this fundamental, qualitative, analytical research shall employ exploratory methods to explore the extent to which the negative impact of such intentional dysfunction transcend a range of areas critical to Belize’s overall interests including yet not limited to: National and Citizen Security, Diplomacy and Sovereignty, the Economy and a myriad of inputs encompassing Sustainable Development. In addition, it delves into how this reality has manifest into the bipartisan decision to sign the Special Agreement/Compromis in 2008 and the subsequent push for a “yes” vote on the impending Referendum, despite the inherent risks of such efforts.

Presented at the

2nd Belize National Research Conference

3rd April 2019
Under the theme:
Belize’s Security: Strengths, Opportunities and Threats

Jaguar Auditorium University of Belize
Central Campus
Central America

Frank Edward Paco Smith, Jr. (JP) – BA, MBA, MSc, MPM
Adjunct Lecturer
Public Sector Management Programme
Faculty of Management & Social Sciences
University of Belize Belize City

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