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Aug 17, 2022

Ministry of Defense Responds to Marine Security Concerns in Southern Belize

The Ministry of National Defense and Border Security is facilitating a series of strategic and operational actions to address recent reports of sea piracy off the coast of the Stann Creek District. The Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard met with fisher folks in the south to devise a plan of action, following the reports. Additionally, law enforcement officers are collaborating to determine the root causes of these acts and threats of violence. Retired Brigadier General Dario Tapia, C.E.O in the Ministry of Defense, spoke to reporters earlier today about the ministry’s response.


Dario Tapia

Ret Brigadier General Dario Tapia, CEO, Ministry of Defense

“Earlier last week, we received a letter from a fisherman cooperative asking the Ministry’s support operations at sea for security reason for the fisher folks. So, the Ministry directed the Commandant of the Coast Guard to meet with the fisher folks and the cooperative to address the situation. They met yesterday and hence the press release was sent out, because the Coast Guards are now going to launch operations at sea to address the issues of security concerns that the fisher folks have. As you are aware, the fisher folks play a very important role in our fishing industry. I believe that it has been going on for a period of time. Now and again the Coast Guard does operations. But, because you know that some stuff are seasonal. When it is open season, like recently we just had the lobster season open. And then, people go and steal the lobster from the fisher folks. That is when you will see more activities of the Coast Guard to patrol those areas where they are fishing for lobster. So, we will soon come to the conch season being open.”

“Is this a situation where you have Belizeans preying on Belizeans and more concerning than that fisher folks taking a rival position against other fisher folks? Of course that is part of what the Coast Guard addresses along with the police. I know of a number of operations that have been done jointly with the police, to tackle those gangs that operate out there, particularly in the southern waters.”


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