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Oct 11, 2011

Washington post Article on Drug Trafficking in Belize

Belize was blacklisted by the United States in September as one of the countries that play a major role in the transnational movement of drugs. The bad press continued today with an article in the Washington Post which describes Belize as a poorly defended country with sleepy port towns, mangrove swamps and jungle airstrips that are “becoming prime gateways for drug trafficking as Mexico’s billionaire mafias carve out new smuggling routes through Central America.” The article by journalist, Nick Miroff, says that both U.S. narcotics agents and Belizean officials report that light aircrafts and ultra-fast boats are being used to move South American cocaine through Belize into Mexico. U.S. officials estimate that about ten metric tons of cocaine are smuggled along Belize’s Caribbean coast each year while additional shipments arrive on flights from Colombia and Venezuela, which land on farm roads and highways. The illicit cargo is said to be unpacked, broken down into smaller bundles and ferried across the Rio Hondo into southern Mexico. Belize’s Minister of Police Doug Singh is quoted saying that “Mexico is above us, and Guatemala and Belize are part of the funnel you have to go through to get to Mexico. That’s making a lot of legitimate and illegitimate businessmen here prosper. But it makes us very vulnerable.” Here’s a look at the report by Miroff from the Washington Post website.

Nick Miroff, Reporting

Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America and it’s the region’s youngest nation. It was called British Honduras before gaining independence in 1981. It covers a landmass the size of Massachusetts but has only five percent of that state’s population; just three hundred thousand residents. Tourism is Belize’s biggest industry but with hundreds of uninhabited islands, porous borders and a weak government, the country is also a growing gateway for traffickers smuggling drugs into Mexico and onto the United States. Gang killings in Belize City have soared in recent years, but the country hasn’t had the kind of broader drug cartel violence now at crisis levels next door in Guatemala and Mexico. Still, the US government believes that larger and larger volumes of South American cocaine are passing through here. Belize has a small military with about a thousand troops here along Belize’s western border with Guatemala, special forces conduct occasional patrols in the mountains.

This unit was looking for marijuana fields planted by Guatemalan farmers. Belizean troops exchanged with alleged cartel gunmen here in august, injuring one of the attackers.

Col. Javier Castellanos, Deputy Commander, Belize Defence Force

Javier Castellanos

“We have to protect our territorial integrity. We have our own internal problems and high crime inside the urban cities, especially Belize City. And we havet o refocus our security forces and put them in a position wher they can intercept and arrest the problems that we might have if the drug cartels start moving south into Belize.”

According to Miroff, since 2008, the Belizean government has received around fifteen million US dollars in security assistance from the United States, including boats, vehicles, communications gear and training programs. But he goes on to say that Belize remains a pushover for the powerful drug barons. The country is criticized for not having military helicopters and a radar system that can track unauthorized flights. One senior U.S. law enforcement official working in the region is reported to have said, “They’re lucky if they’ve got gas to put in their cars to go out and do stuff.” And while the issue of phone tapping has been a controversial topic locally, the article knocks the Belize Police Department because it doesn’t have the ability to intercept cell phone communications.

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29 Responses for “Washington post Article on Drug Trafficking in Belize”

  1. Belizean says:

    What a bullshit article. Stating the obvious. If they care so much, why dont they fund our military with more money.

  2. Nigel says:

    Come on Channel 5 this isn’t news this is public knowledge. Only if you have been living under a rock you wouldn’t know who all the major players are in this country. Why do you think the big “upstanding” business men in this country go to church every Sunday? It’s not to thank God for all that they have it is to beg forgiveness for all the lives that they have destroyed by flying, floating and driving their poison into this country. Their wives needs a new Lexus, their sweethearts need a shopping spree in Miami and their repugnant elitist clones need to pi$$ away the ill gotten fortune and all at the expense of the vanity loving poor cocaine retailers, you know the ones that I am talking about because you see them on the news every night spread out dead cold in the back of the police pickup. Are the police as corrupt as the article claim they are? Well think about it… can you remember the last time the GSU arrested someone for cocaine even when the streets are knee deep in crack heads?
    Someone asked me over the weekend what do we do and what can we do to change crime situation and the other social ills that is plaguing our country? My answer was… we do what we are already doing which is nothing. Nothing because we have already accepted our faith and the way things are. The only unity we have and the only togetherness that we share without political interference is the agreement to disagree on the issues that matter the most. We do nothing and that is exactly what is expected of us because the minute we try to come together we are branded as being anti-UDPUP. We all worship and pledge allegiance to a two faced beast with one body, you have all sold your souls to the red and blue devil. Martin Luther King Jr. said “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice” and I can only pray that he is right for the political dynasty that has been planted in this country has turned that arc into a straight line that only leads to the path of corruption and perversion of justice.

  3. Rod says:

    Well 15 million is a drop on the bucket for fighting the drug war the us should be the last one to talk and criticize little countries for fighting drug trafficking because they are the cause of the drug trade infact as a country we should sue the us for all the killings going on in Belize because they are the main cause of all the drug trafficking but the us should make sure that when they give this gov. Any money for fighting drugs it should never be cash because this gov. Is so corrupt not one cents is going toward fighting the drug war where has the 15 million dollars gone I do not see one thing this gov has that has been purchased to justify 15 million.

  4. Proud Belizean says:

    The US is always criticizing all countries around the world. They are the biggest and most scaries monster of this halloween season. They have black listed Belize for decades. It could be trues that drug and feried through Belize and many other illegal incidents


  5. Lucas says:

    Speaking about contraband, the U.S. is not a Saint. A hot topic right now is the fact that a U.S Law Enforcement Agency made avialable to Mexican Drug Cartels more than 1200 guns among which were high powered assualt rifles. It is alleged that the gun that killed the U.S. Official in Mexico just a few months ago, was a U.S. made weapon. President Calderon has publicly accused the U.S. of being guilty of the hundreds of Mexican lifes lost in this drug war because the U.S. Govt. is doing very little to stop the flow of weapons from the U.S. into Mexico. It is widely believed that the U.S. has made avialable in the past, bundles of U.S. dollares to drug cartels.The way I understand it, A high ranking cabinet member of the Obama Administration is in the hot seat as I write. If our GOB would say to the U.S. THANKS BUT, NO THANKS when they flash the GREEN NOTES another rooster would crow in this chicken coop. But alas, Our GOBs worship the almighty dollar.

  6. jack says:

    Remove the Us Embassy from Belmopan an evict all US citizen from Belize. Belize do not need the US.

  7. Mr Perez says:

    The Washingtom Post should study why the CIA made cartels take their drugs to their country! Who is going to blacklist the hypocrites? The Washington better started mining their own business and get their nose out of everybody else’s. Shame on them for writing that! They are to be blamed for most of the world’s b=problems

  8. JENNUS says:

    So the Belize people are starting to get help from the US and you don’t want it. Okay. Before you were saying you wanted help. US police forces are not corrupt. Other cops would tell on a bad cop if he did something wrong and there is also the fact that we have surveillance cameras everywhere( in every police car), a DNA system that works, fingerprints, etc. US laws are strictly enforced. If you steal a candybar, you go to jail. If you speed or run a stop sign you get a ticket everytime and if you don’t pay, you go to jail. If you commit murder, you can get the death penalty or a life sentence. People always go to jail for their crimes here whether they are politicians, police, or citizens. IF YOU DO THE CRIME, YOU DO THE TIME! Read our news if you don’t believe. I live here so I know and I feel safe every day. Don’t blame the US for all of your problems. I have lived in Belize on vacation until a home invasion. The police were very corrupt and did not do much to catch the burglars and gave a false police report.. Your PM Barrow needs to ENFORCE THE LAW. Then you will have a safe Belize. Your problem is police corruption, stealing and drugs coming thru your ports, and PM Barrow . The US is being honest and trying to help. If you don’t want their help, they will stop because the US is in debt.

  9. Jenn says:

    The US is helping Belize even though the US is in major debt. Thanks US. Belize needs help badly. Don’t you people realize belize is sinking fast?

  10. Jenn says:

    Belize isn’t even part of the Unite Nations so the United States actually does not have to help Belize. Belize is not an ally of the US.

  11. Jenn says:

    okay, I checked myself, Belize is part of the United Nations and World Court, but still should not turn away the help.

  12. Bun fire pan CHICI says:

    Jenn and JENNUS need to stop abusing their rights to freedom of speech. Why not ask why there is a big drug problem in the US? The drugs are not staying in Belize, look up some US history. Cocaine was introduced into the Us by the CIA

  13. defend BZ says:

    I often ask the question if Belize is only exporting 15% of what it is importing, who or what is bridging the gap? we all know including the politicians that the bigger drug dealers are. A large portion of the drug money that passes through Belize stays here but the money is dirty money so these barons purchase large amount of goods with the drug money in the USA and ship to their busineses in Belize.when these goods are sold the money is wash and becomes clean,How many big buseness men go to central bank to get their foreign exchange?The politicians know this but has to turn a blind eye in order to keep the currency stable. The mennonites are a hard working people but believe me they are also involve in this trade,had drugs not been proping up the Belize ecomony the Belize currency would probably be like Jamaica.

  14. Caos says:

    You guys are all retarded!!! Hence the reason why Belize is in this situation almost all countries in central and south America are black listed not just by the US but by NATO/UN. LMAO!!! Just remember the US will always be there to support our butts to provide money and training and they will always be the super power of this world wheither you like it or not.

  15. smart says:

    Nigel, thanks for your post. You are one of the few people who have articulated this issue so well. I completely support your position.

    As for the others who want to compare Belize w/ the US, stop the bullshit. No comparison there. Instead focus on the issues plaguing Belize. I am sure you can see that its serious stuff and nothing is being done about it. Plus its only 300,00 people.

    This article is simply putting it out there for the world, which believe me is a good thing. That’s the only way the leaders in Belize will get their act together. because they know they are being watched. Belizeans are not demanding change hence their complacency.

  16. Royal Rat says:

    Most countries are only helping the U.S with their drug addiction what is so difficult for them see? They know it, so they give high powered riffles to the needy cartel who have lost billions in poor drug trades with their US counter parts “CIA, DEA”. And if they tell you they are giving you free help, think again, it will come at a high price, “YOU OWE ME A FAVOR”

  17. coral Black says:

    Is there any difference between legal drugs and illegal drugs??????? Hmmm???
    Somebody’s getting short change.

  18. louisville,ky says:

    Jennus, I agree with most of what you said with regard to the crimminal justice system here in the US. However I beg to differ when it comes to the arrest and prosecution of the drug Dons that finance and imports all that cocaine into the country. They will arrest the street hustler with a kilo or two, even intercept on a regular basis large shipments at ports of entry; but never even pay a visit to the forwarding address.
    Yes, the scourge that this drug problem is has wrecked havoc on countries like Belize and other transshipment points. However, the Mighty US must do more, much more to convince us at the base of the pyramid, that they are indeed trying to be part of the solution and not the real problem in and of itself.

  19. Jennus says:

    I think the US should just not help Belize if Belize does not want it. We do have druggies here, but our laws are enforced, that’s all I’m trying to say. Enforcement means you will get caught if you do the crime and you will go to jail. We have cameras and drug sniffers,x-ray,etc. If a police pulls you over he can search your car with a drug dog. Most people in US cannot have a job if they take a drug. We have random urine checks at work. You pee positive, you lose your job. To Buns on Fire, We have Freedom of Speech and we exercise it with all our might. The best thing about America is WE ARE FREE. So don’t you ever tell me not to exercise my freedom of speech.

  20. Jennus says:

    I give up on you guys

  21. Jennus says:

    To: Buns on fire
    I am an American and I LOVE LOVE LOVVVVVVVVE my freedom and my FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
    Being free is what makes the US so GREAT!!!!!!!!
    Don’t you ever threaten me again!!!

  22. Leave us alone!!! says:

    Jennus if you LOVE LOVE LOVVVVVVVVE america, just stay there and stay out of Belize’s business. No one is asking your opinion. And the US is so overrated! You always get into other countries problems and make it even bigger! For example, do troops need to be in the middle east? Is it the US problem? No it is not. US is just the devil in disguise. You make it look like you are helping others but you are just a big bully yourself. So again, leave our Belize alone. I do love my country and will not lie and say that it is perfect. I agree it has a lot to develop but atleast we do not pretend that we have everything under control. You Americans just think you are God simply because you are Americans. Yes the US has lots of power but I do not like you guys one bit! So just back off!

  23. Elgin Martinez says:

    Jennus: Why would you even try to compare my country Belize to the US?Just don’t make sense to me?Last but not lease don’t try to dictate to my Belizean peeps or try to impose your philosophy on my people we don’t need it.

  24. Elgin Martinez says:

    And i am not going to apologize for my typing error,the US is consuming all these drugs Jennus?What about that?

  25. Jennus says:

    to:leave us alone
    You obviously did not read the above postings. I did not say America was superior. I am a Desert Storm War Veteran! You know; YOU TRIED TO KILL MY FATHER AND ROBBED HIM OF EVERYTHING HE HAD!!! YOU LEFT HIM FOR DEAD!!! HE LIVED IN BELIZE. He loved Belize. You people are changing everyones minds. Leave America alone!!! You dumb communist!! My father will never be the same. And don’t comment on an article you did not read first!!! STUPID @$$!!!

  26. Jennus says:

    You dumb@$$ communist!! Read the postings above before you write. I know I am not god. I never said those things. Think before you do.

  27. Trevor Henkis says:

    It is very simple:supply and demand.The countries which produce would not be in the business of production if there was not a HIGH demand for the product.To vilify an entire country and it’s predominantly law abiding citizens,such as myself,is both wreckless and irresponsible in the name of freedom of speech.I am not an idiot;i know there some elements in Belizean “society” which sell their soul to drug traffickers who do not care about the blackeye that gives to this country.However the fact remains that the drugs that pass THROUGH our country are somtimes allowed to pass,by both D.E.A and others in power just to see who they will go to at the other end;hopefully to make a big bust.I know for a fact of drugs being allowed to pass and Belizean law enforcement being told to “stand down” because of larger cases being pursued!In the mean time our officers get the “$#!%%# end of the stick” as being corrupt because they cant necessarily get in the media and clarify those issues for fear that it might jeopordize a number of cases in the Great U.S of A!! Maybe now they(our officers) should get up and open their mouth about directives handed down to them that they “must do or else”!!I dont hate the U.S I just cant stand double standards and thcondescending behavior of some americans! I am careful to use the word”some” because unlike the journalist at the Washington Post I do not want to paint all americans with the one brushstroke as he was so willing to do to Belize and Belizeans in his article.HOW IRRESPONSIBLE!

  28. Belize says:

    Jennus, the assistance the american government of USA give Belize is most welcome. We need the help to combat drugs and illicit activities. How ever that does not mean we should bend over backward and just take whatever the USA is telling us. History has proven that the CIA has been part of many dirty dealing that have destroyed the democracy of many nations take for example the coup in Guatemala in the 50s, Honduras, 1953 iran’s to mention a few. the have also fueled gang wars simple example ” fast and furious” Anyhow the US needs to do something about its drug problem from within. Every year several USA tourist are arrested in Belize for the Possesion of marijuana , cocaine and crack. Your people have a problem and only the USA government can solve it. Opening the door for pharmacuetical marijuana when you destroyed our crops in the 80 and 90. I am pretty sure your government know who is who in the drug trade in Belize why not arrest them when the are out of Belize? I am sadden to hear your dad was beaten in Belize however if you dont want to be here we dont need you here either. This is Belize not the USA. you have the same problems like we have. we spend even when we don’t have.

  29. Trevor Henkis says:

    Responding to BELIZE ;you are right ,NUFF RESPECT!

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