The Coast Guard will soon have a Forward Operating Base at Bacalar Chico, north of Ambergris Caye. A ground breaking ceremony was held today for the Forward Operating Base. A contract has been signed with Victor Aldana to construct the base within four months. The design of the facility is to house 16 officers. It will include a 30 feet high lookout tower, and a vessel will be assigned to the location. Admiral John Borland, Commander of the Belize Coast Guard said that the operation base will help to curb crime.
Admiral John Borland – Commander of Belize Coast Guard: “This entire area from Rocky Point to Boca Bacalar Chico has been a troubled spot in over the recent years of my involvement as a law enforcement officer. It has been plagued I would say; by a lot of illicit, illegal and criminal activity mostly related to the transnational organized crime situation. The residence and owners of properties in this area has found it difficult to continue with their investment of developing this area because of the threats they face from that kind of activity so the Coast guard became apart of this in 2005 working with San Pedro Police and it all came to head in 2012 when a Coast guard patrol was ambushed out here by some people that were involved in the transnational organized crime activity and since then we begun looking into the possibility of putting a permanent foot print out here establishing some sort of permanent presence.”
Minister of National Security, John Saldivar was present at the groundbreaking ceremony and he reiterated that the base will help to reduce crime.
John Saldivar – Minister of National Security: “So with this permanent base we will now have a permanent footprint in the area that we are able to patrol properly and we should expect to see a reduction in activities in this area. This is going to help us with respect to crime situation in San Pedro which is fueled a lot by what takes place up here in the Northern Ambergris. It is also to help us in terms of Belize City and the gang activity because those gangs are also involved along with international groups that use the areas for those activities so it is a very important achievement. It has taken us a few years for us to identify this parcel of land. We have been searching for some time; finally we were able to find this piece that is still national land and so we decided to build the base here.”