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How the Belize Coast Guard benefits Belize’s national security

Since its inception, the Belize Coast Guard has been active in trying to curb crime and illegal activities within our maritime borders. CEO Enriquez spoke of the importance of the Belize Coast Guard to our country’s national security.

CEO Enriquez: “The Belize Coast Guard is now recognized as one of the cornerstone institutions in National Security with a mandate to provide maritime security for the country of Belize. The Coast Guard  continues to ensure a stable environment for investment in Tourism for the Fishing industry and for Maritime recreational activities. The rapid expansion of the Coast Guard operations over the past three years is intended to achieve more of this stability.”

He shared ways in which the Coast Guard has been engaging in the fight against crime.

CEO Enriquez: One example of Coast Guard operation is in the area East of Stann Creek district. This was an area troubled with violent acts of murder and robbery at sea. In 2016 there were 8 cases of coastal piracy in that area and in 2017 Coast Guard patrol efforts reduced those criminal activities to 3 cases. In April of this year we inaugurated a forward operating base on Southern Landcaye and since then there have been no reported incidents.  This is a demonstration of how effective operations and vigilance can reduce criminal activities on our seas. I now draw your attention to the area of Northern Ambergris Caye. That is a hot spot for drug trafficking and weapon smuggling which is a major source of gang and critical activities in San Pedro Town and here in Belize City. On Friday last week the Ministry broke grounds for the construction of a forward operating base for the Belize Coast Guard in that area. That facility is to be completed within this financial year and therefore a similar reduction in criminal activities is expected.”

Enriquez said the Ministry of national Security has been working diligently towards the country’s overall national security.

CEO Enriquez: “The Ministry of National Security continues to assess the security landscape of this country by focusing on crime trends and trajectories country wide. Not only do we assess but we also respond to launching special operations and implementing strategies to address and deter criminal activities. Our strategy for combating criminal activities is uniquely tailored to different parts of the country.”

Enriquez acknowledged that it is an uphill fight as Belize is a part of a region where transnational organized crimes continue to plague our societies.