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Aug 17, 2022

B.T.B. Partners With B.D.F. to Increase Security on Caracol Road

The Belize Tourism Board donated a Nissan pickup truck to the Belize Defense Force this morning. B.D.F. officers have agreed to use the pickup truck to assist tourism police officers in patrolling the Caracol Road in Cayo District. During this morning’s handing over ceremony at Price Barracks, B.T.B. and the B.D.F. signed a Memorandum of Understanding for further collaborative efforts within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

The Belize Tourism Board has partnered with the Belize Defense Force to provide additional security along the Caracol Road located within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This is being done through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, as well as the donation of a patrol vehicle. Belizeans, as well as international visitors traverse the highway on a daily basis to visit the Caracol Archaeological Site and the many accommodations located across the reserve.


Anthony Mahler

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“Today is just another example of the collaboration between Ministry of Diaspora Relations, B.T.B., with other Ministries, to ensure that the tourism infrastructure and the tourism industry is at a level that we can compete globally. Security is a crucial part of creating an environment or field where people feel safe.”


Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Caracol during their trip to Belize is a testament of the site’s importance to Maya history.


Oscar Mira

Oscar Mira, Minister of State, Ministry of Defense

“The Belize Defense Force has a station at D’ Silva, some troops that monitor the going and coming out of tourist. This vehicle will assist and enhance their mobility in the area, so that they can respond to any issues that may arise in the area between the Silva and Caracol.”


The area has not been without incidents. In September 2014, a tourism police officer and his team came under gun fire while patrolling near Caracol, allegedly at the hands of Guatemalans encroachers. One officer died in that occasion.  The site was reopened one month later, after a Belize delegation met with Guatemalan officials to agree that coordinated operations would be conducted to combat illegal activities and transnational crime.


Oscar Mira

“Since that incident, we have not had any major incident in that area. Perhaps one of the reasons is that the pandemic made the tourism in that area very slow. But, we are now picking up and we are looking forward to a very active tourism in the area. So we want to make sure that those illegal do not happen again.”


The Belize Defense Force is now equipped to assist with the efforts of tourism police officers already patrolling the area. With a new road being built from the George Price Highway to Caracol, the Ministry of Tourism anticipates an increase in traffic to that location.


Anthony Mahler

“If you look at Acapulco that was one of the leading tourism destinations for Mexico. And, because of the crime and violence, that has gone down significantly. So, this is a start. Working with honorable Balona as well to refurbish and rehabilitate the police station at the mouth of San Antonio, which is an artery to the Mountain Pine Ridge Area, and we will start that work sometime in the next couple of weeks. So, this is just the first step.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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