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Oct 17, 2014

B.D.F. Launches Operation Gallop

At least four times for the year, the Belize Defence Force carries out a large-scale operation called incisive gallop. Approximately one hundred soldiers, acting on intelligence, focus on one area of the Chiquibul to deter illegal activities. Working with the Police, the Friends for Conservation and Development and the Forest Department, the operation is geared at detecting and destroying illegal cultivation, and if necessary arresting those responsible. Today Commander of the B.D.F. Brigadier General David Jones briefed the media on the latest gallop, carried out from September twenty-eighth to October fourth. We note that we were only able to capture a fraction of the operation’s cope, just to give you an idea of what’s happening on the border, within Belizean territory.

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force

David Jones

“Twenty-eighth of September, these were three horses that were seen in the area. They were inside plantations. Evidently they were being used, some Guatemalans perhaps were in the area; when they saw the patrol, they left. The patrol didn’t bring in these horse, they didn’t have any ropes on them so we didn’t bring these horses in. Sunday, these cattle at the foreground here were seen grazing; they are actually inside Belizean soil…three hundred and thirty-five meters inside Belize. This in the background behind here is the village of La Rejoya, this is the Guatemalan village La Rejoya where the people who had threatened the OP are from and their cattle have been grazing inside Belize. These are three of the females that we had detained in the area. These ladies by estimation you probably won’t be able to estimate their age, but these women are hard workers; they work in plantations. The one on the left is only twenty-seven years old. The one in the middle I believe is only fourteen years old and then the one on the far right is only thirteen years old and she is pregnant. These two males were also detained and we escorted them back across the border. They were approximately eight hundred and thirty-four meters inside Belize conducting illegal farming. We escorted them back. This is a thirty acre plot of corn that the patrol destroyed in one go. One thousand thirty eight meters of corn, pumpkin in this area—thirty acres in just one area—and the patrol destroyed this. Tuesday, thirtieth September, a marijuana filed, seven hundred and fifty plants, a marijuana field that was located one thousand four hundred and seventy meters inside Belize and as I have mentioned, marijuana plantation has been becoming very prominent now along the border with Guatemala. Also on Tuesday, a farm was located where two males were seen fleeing in the area; when they saw the patrol they ran back across into Guatemala and they left their chainsaw. The farm that the soldiers located contained young corn, banana, cane, cassava, sweet potato. All the crops in this area were destroyed and it was similar for the other crops that the patrol encountered. In the past what used to happen, because of the adjacency zone, the one kilometre from the border, we did not use to destroy the crops in this area because in accordance with the confidence building measures, things that occurred in the AZ, we need to inform the O.A.S., they come in, we do the verification and by the time they come in and do verification, they would have been reaped already and gone. So I made the decision that whenever the soldiers now arrive at these plantations and they confirm with their GPS system that it is at least three hundred meters inside, they destroy it immediately.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “B.D.F. Launches Operation Gallop”

  1. Louisville,Ky. says:

    Lets put things in perspective here folks. General Jones is saying, it used to be that even when they were confident that illegal farming was done across the border in Belize’s territory, he did not have the authority to destroy the plantation until he got ‘permission’ from the OAS to do so.

    You got to be kidding me General!! Did it come as ANY surprise to you, that by the time you got ‘permission’, the crops became mature and were harvested?
    Man….quite honestly, with that kind of sheepish compliance, it should come as surprise to no one, the feelings of entitlement on the part of these intruders that callously took the life of Officer Conorquie.
    Is it just me, or is it a fact, that there are simply too many indecisive individuals in high places in Belize!!!!

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