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The U.S. Government Donates Six New Vehicles to the Belize Police Department

The U.S. Government today handed over six vehicles to the Government of Belize as part of a continued partnership under the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). Charge d’Affaires, Leyla Moses-Ones (oh-nesh) says that this donation is not only important to the relationship between Belize and the U.S., but key in curbing transnational crime.

Leyla Moses Ones, Charge d’Affaires, US Embassy Belize: “We all share a common goal and that is to strengthen citizen security in Belize and of course by extension to strengthen the security of the entire region. Transnational criminal activity in Central America poses dire implications to public safety, to Belize’s very sovereignty and to its economic prosperity. And no one country can do it alone and so successfully addressing these challenges requires a joint response with international partners. The agencies present today play very important roles in preventing and responding to reports of illegal activities within and along Belize’s borders and the United States is a very proud partner with Belize in this effort. The donation today of six vehicles, five of which are present today, to the Government of Belize funded through the Central America regional security initiative better known as CARSI, because we like to deal in acronyms, it is part of our comprehensive security assistance to Belize. The important work of the mobile interdiction team (MIT) and the Anti Trafficking in Persons Unit (ATIP) and the Belize Customs and Excise Department is critical to protecting Belize’s land borders from the illegal movement of drugs, weapons, contraband and of course people. Today’s donation valued at over $187,000 will increase the presence of law enforcement not only along the borders but all of the remote areas of Belize.”

Police Commissioner Chester Williams, who also attended the event, explained that the relevant departments, including the Police’s Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT), will put these new vehicles to good use.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “It was through the cooperation with the US Embassy and customs that MIT came to birth and from the inception of MIT the US Embassy has been donating generously to ensure that MIT meets its mandate. Mobility is always a challenge for us as police officers to discharge our duties. We live in a time where coming across money to be able to do what we want to get done is not so easy and so it is good to be partnering with people who can help us and so Madam Charge ‘d Affaires we want to say thank you tremendously for your gift today from your the people and Government of the United States. The MIT have been and will continue to be engaged along our borders. We know that transnational crime is a serious problem for us particularly here within our region. Belize stands at a very strategic location for criminals to move through to Mexico and into the US and so there is that mutual interest between both governments to stem this problem. We are going to do our part via MIT to protect the interest of our people and the interest of our partners. Gun smuggling, human smuggling, contraband are all things that plague our economy and those are things that MIT is mandated to deal with. I know on a daily basis Madam Comptroller that MIT and Customs have been engaged in operations along our northern borders dealing with contraband issues and those operations have yielded tremendous success and I assure you that those operations are going to continue. The vehicles that will be received by MIT today and I must say it’s two, will be used along the northern borders to continue to fight those transnational criminals from plaguing our country.”

The Police and Customs Departments and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Council (ATIPS) will use these vehicles to counter illicit transnational activities.