By Alexis R. Milan
Belize has been listed among the world’s most free countries, according to Freedom House’s 2015 Freedom in the World report.
According to the report, Belize is among the 90 most free countries in the world. Belize received a rating of one for political rights, which is the highest possible rating a country can receive and seven being the lowest. Belize received a rating of two in the category of civil liberties.
Belize was also rated better than neighbors Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua who were all rated as only partly-free. Jamaica and virtually all other Caribbean nations were listed as free countries.
According to Freedom House, only 46 percent of the world’s countries, which account for 2.9 billion or 40 percent of the world’s population, are free. The report indicated that there was one more free country than last year’s report. In the report 55 countries were listed as partly-free, representing 28 percent of all countries assessed and 24 percent of the world’s population.
A total of 51 countries were deemed not free, representing 26 percent of the world’s countries. The number of people living under not free conditions, according to the report, stood at 2.6 billion people or 36 percent of the global population. The report noted, however, that more than half of that number live in just one country, being China.
The 12 countries rated as the worst of the worst are the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tibet and Western Sahara.
Freedom House is a US-based non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights.