The Ministry of National Security is addressing reports of illegal farming in southern Belize near the border with Guatemala and has deployed personnel from the Belize Defence Force, BDF, to investigate these reports. Authorities first received reports from the Alcalde of Otoxha Village, Santiago Peck, who stated that they have encountered several areas within Belize quote, “that appear to have been cleared by farmers from across the border,” end of quote. The reports reached the Belize Territorial Volunteers, BTV in that district. Leader Wil Maheia and other members took the trip to the area and provided Belize City media with images and an interview with the Otoxha Village Alcalde, Santiago Peck.
A statement from the Ministry indicates that it has received information of illegal farming in various areas in the western and southern areas of Belize, adding that quote, “Where these activities are discovered within the adjacency zone the Ministry, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, works with the Organization of American States to conduct verification and subsequently destroy any illegal farming that is discovered. Where these discoveries are east of the border and not within the adjacency zone they are destroyed immediately,” end of quote.The BDF is currently in the area and working with alcaldes providing security where needed.