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Apr 27, 2016

B.D.F. Commander Says Rules of Engagement for Chiquibul Patrol Remains Intact

David Jones

The rules of engagement for B.D.F. soldiers on patrol near the western and southern borders with Guatemala are a clear set of directives that each officer must follow.  They provide authorization and restrictions on, among other things, the use of force, as well as the employment of certain specific capabilities.  In light of the recent encounter in the Chiquibul Forest where a detail on patrol came under gunfire from Guatemalan poachers, the R.O.E. remains the same confirmed Commander Jones.  The B.D.F. are instructed to protect themselves at all cost, even if that means an exchange of fire with armed civilians.  While they are trained to deal with civilians in defined circumstances, particularly in cases where they are weaponless, the B.D.F. are also issued lawful commands to engage hostile forces.


Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, B.D.F.

“You have peasants over there who want to seek better standards of living and better means of survival and that better opportunity is over here in Belize.  However, it creates friction, it creates problems when they are over in Belize.  If they’re without firearms and they are not aggressive with the patrol our soldiers treat them humanely, but when they attack or aggress our patrol, especially with firearms our patrols are going to return fire.  So our rules of engagement is not going to change.  As long as we are fired upon, as long as our lives are in danger we are going to respond and unfortunately there may be fatalities if such incidences do occur.”



“Sir, now Monte Los Olivos is the hub of this illegality on the Guatemalan side.  It’s also a place where the O.A.S. group of friends, the Adjacency Zone Office, has spent two hundred and eighty thousand U.S. dollars on funding alternative livelihoods.  Is this an indication that the O.A.S. program has somewhat failed if outlaw activity continues to emanate principally from Monte Los Olivos?”


Brig. Gen. David Jones

“I will say the O.A.S. activity has failed there.  They have pumped tremendous amounts of money and finances and efforts to dissuade the Guatemalans from Monte Los Olivos, and not just Monte Los Olivos but from the other communities to try and stop them from coming over.  We have seen progress in particular from Monte Los Olivos where people have not been coming over, unfortunately there will always be a small faction within the community who want to venture over to greener pastures which Belize provides.  So it only shows that the efforts of the O.A.S. needs to continue because if their funding has dried out, the efforts to continue to dissuade those people are going to stop.”

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