Free Zone CEO speaks on efforts to stop contraband
Ending the movement of contraband items remains a significant challenge, especially in those communities that are adjacent to the Mexico border. For many, it’s a way of life – and in times past, there was the suggestion that some contraband items come out of the Corozal Free Zone. In our discussion with Neri Ramirez, the CFZ’s Chief Executive Officer, he explained that while that’s not a challenge, at the policymaking level, Belize and Mexico are doing their part to eliminate it.
Neri Ramirez, CEO, Corozal Free Zone: “You have to realize that it’s the Mexican authorities who have to be monitoring the contraband on their side it doesn’t have to really be from the Corozal free zone it can be in any adjacent where you have river boundary within the boundaries and we have a lot of areas not only Corozal Free Zone so it doesn’t have to say oh it came out of the Free Zone, no. It came out from other parts and it’s something very challenging but that has to be done with both governments and both agencies. I mean customs in the Belizean side and customs on the Mexican side. So it’s something that both governments have to work on to work on it but for the most part you say yes it’s contraband but it doesn’t mean that it came out from the zone.”
Reporter: Is it your sense then that there is a willingness on both sides of the border to solve this issue?
Neri Ramirez, CEO, Corozal Free Zone: “No. I mean they are doing their part. Recently I haven’t heard anything that something has been caught on contraband on the rivers or anything at the moment. I see them marina patrolling the river on a daily basis when I pass through the bridge they are right there on patrols so I think everybody is doing their part.”