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Feb 28, 2018

U.S. Has ‘Blacklist’ of Officers for Training, but Not by Homeland Security

A number of officers of various ranks within the Belize Police Department are barred from participating in law enforcement programs funded by the United States government.  Contrary to reports made elsewhere in the media of a list of officers blacklisted by Homeland Security, Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Elrington confirmed today that some cops have been disqualified for a number of reasons, including suspicion that they may have taken part in activities such as torture and dishonesty while taking lie detector tests.  Elrington told News Five that the U.S. Embassy has not always been open with Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, who was also subjected to a polygraph test in 2008. Elrington took it upon himself to probe further into the blacklisting of the cops and was subsequently provided with paperwork outlining those causes.  The substantive Minister of Police discussed the issue of eligibility for U.S.-sponsored training.


Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Home Affairs

“There’s a very active cooperation program between the government of the United States and the Government of Belize in relation to the police force.  Since I have had responsibility for them, it has been brought to my attention that yes there are some police officers who are not permitted to participate in programs sponsored by the United States government in conjunction with the Belize police force because the Americans have certain criteria that they must follow to determine whether a person should participate in programs sponsored by the United States government finances.  I have asked them really, I have asked them because many times they have not been forthright in explaining to the officers or to the commissioner why is it that certain police officers are blacklisted.  But I asked them to share with us the reason for doing and they gave me some documentation.  There are very many reasons, varied reasons why they would not support and blacklist a certain police officer or officers and one that comes readily to mind is if there is any suggestion that these police officers, for example, have participated in torture. Or if they have been less than forthright when they do give them polygraph tests and the like.  So it’s a number of various reasons why they would simply disqualify a person from being able to benefit from the programs which they sponsor.  That is the main effect of the actions which they take. They stipulate that these people cannot under their law qualify to participate in programs which they sponsor and there are several people in the police force whom they have deemed not to qualify for this purpose.”

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