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Dec 2, 2021

Prime Minister on Drug Plane Landing and Much Needed Radar

Today the Prime Minister witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in San Carlos Village, Orange Walk.  News Five took the opportunity to ask him about the frequency at which drug planes are being landed in Belize and how soon we can expect to acquire the radar that his party pledged to acquire, even before they were elected as the Government.


Prime Minister John Briceno

Prime Minister John Briceno

“This is nothing new. This has been happening for some time, but in this instance now, here we have a Government that has been busting them more often. We are breaking up or catching more than what leaves Belize and that is what’s important. So, we are doing our part and at the Police Department to be able to make some radical changes so that it could meet the needs that we have to be able to protect our country and to defend and protect our citizens. As to the radar, we have been in discussions. Minister Andre Perez can tell you more, but we have been working through COCESNA and we were in the process of getting one from COCESNA but he informed me this week now that the Americans are prepared to provide a radar that will have a long reach. It will be able to cover all of our Exclusive Economic Zone and go far into the air space of other countries around us, that from far we’ll be able to track these planes that are coming and to be able to predict where they are – the place where they’re most likely going to land. But it also requires more than just that because in some instances, these plane landings are in far-to-reach places; it’s difficult to get there. So, by the time the Police get there, they are gone. So we need to do a number of things. One, is to be able to see – to increase our intelligence, so whenever we see an area being prepared as a potential landing site, we go and destroy it. The BDF has been doing a number of that, along with the Police. But we also need air cover, like what they are starting to do in other countries – that you could deploy a plane that can follow these drug planes when they are trying to come into our airspace.”


Marion Ali

“Is there a timeline as to when we’ll reach this stage?”


Prime Minister John Briceno

“I’m hoping that by the middle of next year, we’ll be able to get the radar.”

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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