If you’re a regular watcher of the Netflix series Narcos Colombia and Narcos Mexico you would know that the reality-based crime drama uses Central America as a staging ground to propel South America’s cocaine into the United States. Belize is one of several points along the narco-trafficking routes from South America to the United States. The creative drug traffickers employ every method to conceal the drugs into various household items like tiles, and even false panels in vehicles and trailers to get through customs entry points. However, when passing through Belize, they tend to use planes because our airspace is unprotected while clandestine airstrips are easy to dress in the middle of the night. Numerous planes have been torched or abandoned in the north over the past year. On Monday Toledo residents reported to the police that a plane was circling in the middle of the night. While Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says they have not found any evidence of the plane, Leader of the Opposition John Briceno alleges there is institutional corruption that allows planes such as last Friday’s Beechcraft Hawker Jet to escape authorities in Belize and land in Mexico.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams: “We have received the information and we have made checks and we have not been able to verify if indeed that is the case. We have also checked the airstrip in those areas and it also shows no sign of a plane having been landed. Yes the people within the area said that they saw the plane flying low but we have not been able to confirm it’s landing.”
John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “I am told that the BDF has been clamouring or they’ve been asking and even probably the police department that they’ve been asking for a special radar, I think it costs about $4 million US – a radar that can track planes in the air even when they turn off their transponder that signal that planes by law are supposed to be emitting so you can track them. On Friday we were lucky and unlucky. We were lucky that the police were at the right spot where the plane was going to land and once they realized that the police was there they decided to continue going further north. Whilst we were lucky from that end it also seems that somebody from the police department tipped off somebody. I was told yesterday that a fellow officer was arrested yesterday, a police officer who is suspected to somehow be involved in these things and he is under questioning or since at least yesterday has been under questioning I don’t know if he has been released. I hope that the government if they are serious that they should make the monies available to buy the proper equipment so we can stop this. It’s getting ridiculous and it’s also indicative that high officials in the government are somehow involved because if these beings feel that they have free reign, a free hand to be able to come in and land and then get out something is drastically wrong and I am appealing to the Prime Minister to really take a hard look as to what is taking place in his government.”