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May 7, 2020

An Interagency Approach to Combating Illegal Crossings in the North

Gregory Soberanis

A total of three persons have now been charged for illegal entry into the country since the borders are closed; the most recent was on Wednesday.  Over the weekend, a family of four was caught entering Belize from Chetumal and the parents were charged for the offense.  Jose Alfredo Aguilar and his wife, Dalia are from San Jose Village, Orange Walk; they were taken to court and pleaded guilty to crossing the borders illegally and subsequently sentenced to three months in jail. So since Tuesday, they Aguilars have been in isolation at the central prison in Hattieville. The Vice Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, Commander Gregory Soberanis says that there has been increased patrol in the north, which is a hotspot for illegal crossing by sea and river in and out of Chetumal.


Commander Gregory Soberanis, Vice Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“Coast Guard remains vigilant in enforcing the security of our maritime borders. The commandant has issued a directive for us to have an increase vigilance at our northern maritime borders. As you may have witnessed this week or seen this week, where we have had a few people who were illegally crossing our northern border, so we’ve increased our efforts in that sector for us to intercept and deter movement along our maritime borders up north. That is a large area and the approach is not one that Coast Guard will take on alone. This is a collaborative approach, an interagency approach, which involves the police, customs and the B.D.F.  We know that the B.D.F. has been extremely vigilant. They have also increased their efforts by having more assets and personnel in the Rio Hondo to combat the illegal crossing in that area. As I mention before, the Coast Guard has increased our number of asset and personnel in that Sarteneja, Chunox, Copper Bank area. That entire Corozal Bay area of operation for us; we have an increased presence there in order to combat those illegal crossings.”

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