Aside from the borders being porous they are also miles long, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to monitor. As we noted earlier today, one Guatemalan man was caught sneaking into the country earlier today but there could be many who were not caught. Police Commissioner Chester Williams spoke on this challenge for the police, explaining that the areas monitored are the known illegal crossings.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well one of the greatest challenges is the fact that the border is extremely big in terms of length particularly between Belize and Guatemala as well as the portion with Belize and Mexico and we must also bear in mind that we have the maritime border with Honduras and so we’re bordering three countries where the spread of the coronavirus is somewhat rampant. I was listening to the news this morning and I saw what is taking place in Mexico and I believe they’re currently averaging like eight hundred deaths per day resulting from COVID-19 and the cases are growing significantly across the border and so as Belizeans we need to bear in mind that the safety of our citizens come first and it is with that spirit that we do our utmost best with a view to ensure that we police the borders as best as we can. I am sure that you’re going to agree with me that no matter how much persons you put along the border that people will still find a way to come in illegally but I am sure that our efforts is significantly reducing the amount of persons coming across the border illegally and when we catch these persons it is important that they be punished swiftly and severely so that the rest get the message that we cannot take no chance and go across to Belize because if we’re caught the consequence is going to be X,Y and Z. and that will serve as an effective deterrent for those who may wish to do so and so yes it is very challenging. We have boat patrols with the BDF in the Rio Hondo and then we have mobile patrols with police and BDF in the Botes area and the Santa Cruz area, we also look at the Calla Creek area between Belize and Guatemala as well as Arenal then we have Halacte. So these are areas that we are trying as best as we can to man with a view to prevent or reduce the amount of persons who are coming over illegally and this is why I’m saying as a nation we cannot be too loose and too relaxed where we’re seeing that people are doing things that is still forbidden by the regulations.”