Belize Authorities Heighten Security Amid Escalating Violence from Chetumal

Belize Authorities Heighten Security Amid Escalating Violence from Chetumal

Sticking to violence and the drug trade, we can tell you that Police are now on high alert in northern Belize. On Wednesday, a high-level security meeting was held to discuss the country’s response to the escalating violence next door in Chetumal, Mexico. The meeting included members of the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Police Department, the same entities that collaborated to combat the influence of Mexican narcos in the north last year. Elaborating on what the country’s security apparatus is doing and the results of the previous operation was Home Affairs Minister, Kareem Musa.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “I cannot go in too much detail. As you know approximately a year ago we commenced operations in the north of our country along the Rio Hondo, in particular villages along the Rio Hondo and in the Corozal Free Zone as well. And so the meetings that we had earlier this week was with the Ministry of Defense and Border Security along with Minister Marin, Minister Mira and of course General Loria. In terms of our collaborative efforts along the border to not just continue the good work that this unit has been doing but to increase our presence along the border in light of the recent build up in Chetumal so we are deploying further personnel and again I cannot go into further detail but I can say we are deploying additional personnel.”

Reporter: How successful was the operation ?

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “I would say it’s been successful so far. I think one of the biggest threats coming out of the activities that have been taking place in Chetumal and the response by the Mexican Government to deploy some two hundred national guard nad marines is that there is a likelihood, a possibility rather, that some of these individuals may try to seek safe haven in our country and so it really is about preserving and protecting our borders so that these individuals do not come across.” 

Musa responded to reports of the Mexican cartel financially benefiting from contraband operations in the Corozal Free Zone. He says that while it has not been proven, organized crime groups are known to be involved in various illicit activities.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “Yeah when you look at the operations of the, I could say this I presume, the cartel operations in Quintana Roo there are several different layers to that. Of course there’s the human trafficking, human smuggling layer, there is contraband layer, there is the importation of cannabis and there is activities in the Free Zone and so all of these various cross border trades would result in some sort of collaboration with local networks and that is our responsibility to ensure that we are targeting these individuals locally who are or may be networked along with the cartels.”

Musa also stated that the government continues to advise persons travelling to Mexico to exercise extreme caution.

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