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Dec 5, 2022

Belize Police Department Monitors Regional Gang Crackdown

The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Belize Police Department are closely monitoring developments in neighboring Central American countries with respect of serious crackdowns being carried out against gangs in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. There are concerns that gang members fleeing from severe measures being meted out by authorities in those countries may attempt to enter Belize illegally. This morning, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams shared his observation of what is taking place in the region and what the department plans to do in the event on an escalation of gang violence in Belize.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“From what I have been seeing on the international news, particularly coming out of Central America, is that they are going to do similar to what is being done in [El] Salvador, relating to the crackdown on gangs.  I have heard likewise from a few counterparts in Guatemala that they are also contemplating the same.  Certainly, Belize is right next door to Guatemala, not too far from Honduras, next door through the maritime domain and [El] Salvador is just an hour away, likewise.  And so, as a nation, we have to look at what is happening around us very seriously and make sure we put things in place that is not going to have these gang members that may want to flee those jurisdictions see us as a safe haven.  And with that, I can say that we monitoring our local gangs very closely and as much as we are working with them through the multi-sectoral approach and the LIU, if it is that we should find that despite the efforts that we are doing through the multi-sectoral [approach] and the LIU, the propensity for violence among these gang members does not decrease, then we will have to look at draconian measures as well.  We are hoping that we don’t have to get there, but as a department and a country, the government has a responsibility to ensure it safeguards the masses and we cannot allow ourselves to be held hostage or imprisoned by a few persons.”

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