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May 9, 2022

El Salvador Gang Members Fleeing to Belize; Arrested in Cayo District

Chester Williams

MS-13 gang members are fleeing to Belize after a crackdown on gangs in El Salvador by its president, Nayib Bukele. President Bukele’s administration has been detaining gang members and putting them in though conditions inside Salvador prisons. This response came after the nation experienced its highest single day murder toll a month ago. Now, some of those gang members are making their way to Belize. According to ComPol Chester Williams, several arrests were made in the San Ignacio area. Three suspected MS-13 members were arrested in the past week and have since been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Operations have also been conducted in the Belmopan areas of San Martin and Salvapan. ComPol Williams says security forces are on high alert.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I can tell you we continue to be on high alert along the border. As a matter of fact, we have intensified our border presence with police officers from MIT to ensure that the unofficial border areas, particularly in the west, is covered by police officers. We have our operations in that area with police, immigrations and customs. So, they are on high alert to make sure that if any of those persons were to come we can intercept them. I can tell you that yesterday we intercepted another one of those persons.”


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“As you know, we have very porous borders. But, it is incumbent on our Police Department to work along with various communities in getting information intelligence on the whereabouts of such individuals. We had reports about a week ago in the Belmopan area that we had visited. We didn’t find anyone there. But, I was told there was a visit in San Ignacio and three individuals were found there. So, we are acting very swiftly, decisively because that is a very huge concern if we have those individuals coming into our country.”

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