Belize and Mexican Naval Officials Confer Amidst Rise in Criminal Activities

Belize and Mexican Naval Officials Confer Amidst Rise in Criminal Activities

Senior members of the Belize Coast Guard met with their counterparts from the Mexican Navy yesterday in Belize City.  Rear Admiral Elton Bennett explained that the meeting is an annual occurrence, but this one is very timely, considering the increase in criminal activities in the north.

RADM Elton Bennett, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard: “We’re here doing a border commanders meeting with the Mexican Military, Mexican Army, Airforce and the Mexican Navy. It’s something that we do annually but our minister met with the Secretary of the Navy some time in September and they determined it’s very necessary for us to have a meeting within the next couple of months and so we’re here. We saw it fit to discuss the new threats that we’re facing in the northern part of the country in particularly along the Rio Hondo and the coastal areas in the Corozal Bay area and along the Free Zone area. So we’re trying to see how best we can improve intelligence along those areas along with our Mexican counterparts so that we can fuse that into our operations in order to be better prepared and for us to be able to achieve better success as it relates to thwarting the criminal networks that are being very active in that northern part of the country. Some of the challenges that we face is working against the criminal network that is not in uniform, and two interacts so easily in the civil community. They could be on legitimate business moving across border and then easily switch over to some criminal activities. So it requires intelligence in terms of surveillance tracking and then putting the pieces together. Obviously working hand in hand with an adjacent force there are some restrictions and that’s what we’re trying to do here we’re trying to bridge those gaps that may exist in terms of exchange of intelligence so that we can better target those individuals and improve our surveillance.”

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