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Jun 13, 2022

Broadening Non-Traditional Cooperation between Belize & Mexico

One of the key challenges facing the region is narco-trafficking, particularly as it relates to drugs being moved from South America, through Belize and into Mexico before making its way to the U.S. Rear Admiral Bennett says that they also looked at non-traditional cooperation and broaden the scope of security to encompass military support in different sectors such as tourism, trade, agriculture and education.


Elton Bennett

Rear Admiral Elton Bennett, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“Whilst drug trafficking and particular drug trafficking by air is the number one issue  that we work together to combat, security in its broad sense encompass more than just those transnational organized crime, drug trafficking. We also look at opportunities and consider security in its non-traditional sense. We try to envision what they future looks like along the border regions. When we look at the increase agricultural trade between Belize and Mexico; any cross-border activity, there is an opportunity for illicit activities to occur. So we are looking as well at those trade agreements between Belize and Mexico to determine the extent of vulnerability that may exist between movements of cattle from one side to the next, but also the movement of funds from one side to the next and determine how best we can secure those trade agreements especially for our side. We also looked at Tren Maya; that mega project in the Yucatan Peninsula that is intended to connect about nine hundred kilometers by rail. That means a lot of movement of people and the potential of that exists for that rail or road to connect Mexico to Belize possibly through Ambergris Caye. So we are looking at what the future operating environment would look like in order to start the preparation for the security forces. For example for the Belize Coast Guard that means expanding our operational based on northern Ambergris Caye to ensure that whenever there is that increase of movement of people or goods  along northern Ambergris into Ixcalac and Mahahual, Mexico that we are prepared to deal with those security challenges.”


Also in attendance at the meeting were Brigadier General Azariel Loria, Commander of the Belize Defence Force; Admiral John Borland, Chief of Defence Staff. The Mexican delegation was headed by Major General Sergio Angel Sanchez Garcia, Deputy of the Joint General Staff of National Defence, and Admiral Javier Garcia, Commandant of the Fifth Naval Region in Quintana Roo, Mexico. 

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