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Sep 16, 2014

Belize Designated as Part of U.S. Drug Transit Route

Allegations of securities fraud and money laundering, in recent days placed Belize on the international headlines. Tonight, the issue of drug trafficking is attracting negative attention for the country. On Monday, by presidential determination, Belize was named again by the US as a major drug transit country. Other Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas also made it on the list as did most of Central America and Mexico. The designation, says the US memo, primarily has to do with the transit of illicit cargo to the United States. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Belize’s geographic position within the Central American corridor has long since made it an ideal location for the transshipment of illicit cargo to the United States and Canada.  The movement of wholesale consignments of cocaine and marijuana from Latin American countries as far south as Colombia and Bolivia, has seen a significant increase in narco-trafficking activity within the region.  While the U.S. government continues its efforts to stem the illegal flow of drugs to the north, the constant stream has proven difficult to curb.  Despite all efforts to restrict the progress of drugs in that direction, Costa Rica, Belize and The Bahamas have been placed on a list of Central American and Caribbean nations that are part of a major drug transit course, along with Colombia and Bolivia as key drug producing countries.


This designation, though not necessarily a reflection of government’s efforts in the war on drugs, was disclosed in a memorandum for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on September fifteenth.  U.S. law enforcement agencies estimate that about eighty-four percent of the cocaine entering the United States transit through Central America and Mexico to reach stateside destinations.  While it comes as no surprise that Belize has been registered, so too are other mainland countries, including Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.  Based on a decline in maritime interdiction assets and weakened intelligence, there has been a decline in the awareness of cocaine shipments.  Island nations such as Jamaica, Haiti and The Bahamas are equally listed based on an order of geographic, commercial and economic factors.  These features, according to the White House press release, allow for drugs to be produced or shipped to their destinations within North America, even if a government has executed the most diligent measures of drug enforcement.


In Belize, since the beginning of the year, there have been a number of anti-drug operations comprised of local law enforcement agencies, with assistance from U.S. authorities.  Those efforts, outside of work being done by the United States Southern Command, have been centered primarily around the destruction of marijuana fields in rural areas.  While the International Framework for Narcotics and Crime Control outlines the various issues pertaining to drugs and drug trafficking, it concedes that a total cooperation among all named countries remains the cornerstone for mitigating the dangers posed by the illegal narcotics trade and related crimes carried out by criminal organizations.


The complex and efficient operations of criminal organizations, including those in Mexico, challenge law enforcement officials and policymakers all over, in spite of successive U.N. Conventions on narcotics and crime control.  Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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6 Responses for “Belize Designated as Part of U.S. Drug Transit Route”

  1. history minded says:

    The war of drugs is a waste of time – their war should be on the drug demand in the US.

  2. CEO says:

    History Minded very good comment! Nonetheless our leaders can do better by not allowing safe passage for drug dealers.

    It is simple supply and demand economics. If there is a demand there will always be a supplier.

    The US is trying to make their problem everyone else’s problem.

  3. maddyvanderealisto says:

    When drug dealers are caught in Belize they should be given the death sentence.
    These idiots are making it harder for the rest of Belize.

  4. So Sad says:

    This is a laughable story. Why is the US trying to stop marijuana ,when it’s almost legal there. You can go to every other house and there is an indoor garden. The importation of marijuana is not profitable anymore since it’s produce in the US now. My question is,why are they trying to stop it in other countries ,but not in their own. Is it because of not wanting bad weed being sent to the US :) What you can get there is the best . I could understand stopping other drugs ,but not marijuana. No drugs get imported into another country without a loop hole in the system. US needs to check their border system ,and we know Mexico and Belize Police,Custom officers are corrupt to the core.

  5. Belizean says:

    Amen @historyminded

    They are stemming the source, when they should be stemming the demand. North America is D most bedrugged region in the world. So drugged that they think the problem is where it comes from.

  6. lisa says:

    its nothing new Belize has always being a pathway for drugs duh!

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