The Belize Defense Soldiers were recently on an operation that saw the destruction of marijuana with a street value of over sixty million Belize dollars. Love News spoke with Lieutenant Colonel James Requena, who told us how the exercise was carried out.
“The operation started on the 25th and ended on the 30th of October. Actually it is directed and operated by the Joint Intelligence Operation Center which is a National Security Department which encompasses the Belize Defense Force, the Belize Police Department and also the National Coast Guard. All three agencies with the assistance of the US Southern Command through Joint Task Force Bravo provided Helicopter Support for the eradication of these drugs. Drug operations in all parts of the country is a continuous task that we do. Some of the locations are remote and whenever we get the assistance of the US Southern Command through Joint Task Force Bravo then we target those remote areas that can only be reached using helicopters. The areas targeted was the entire country but due to the accessibility to some of the locations we could only do north and primarily south of the country which we yielded a success rate of over 50,000 plants and 300 pounds of compressed marijuana at a street value of over $60,000 Belize dollars.”
According to Requena, part of the BDF’s mandate is to assist civil security
“The Belize Defense Force, we are charged primarily with the defense of this country. Additionally, we are tasked to support civil authorities which would be the Police Department, Fisheries, the Forestry Department, illegal logging and illegal cultivation as well as drug eradication. So this operation falls under that portfolio which is an additional task in the defense of this nation.”
As was mentioned, some 50,897 Marijuana plants varying in size and grade along with three hundred (300lbs) of compressed Marijuana was destroyed at a street value of approximately Sixty One Million Belize dollars.