Belize ranked 53 out of 180 in Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom index

On 30th March 2020, Belize prime minister Dean Barrow declared a national state of emergency for 30 days on account of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The country adopted some restrictions on freedom of movement, including a curfew and constraints on non-essential activities.

Expression

According to the annual world press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), published on 21st April 2020, Belize is ranked 53rd out of 180 countries for the second time in a row. As per RSF’s analysis, the country’s press is extremely polarised, which can result in controversy as well as lengthy and costly legal proceedings for the media when reporting on political issues or criminal cases. On occasion there have been incidents of journalists being threatened, intimidated and harassed. In addition, internet connectivity in Belize is one of the slowest and most expensive in the Caribbean region due to infrastructural issues.