A recently released US State Department report titled, 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), indicates that “Crack cocaine is the second most abused drug in Belize according to a 2008 Central American Integration System (SICA) study.”

The March 3 report added that there is no evidence that synthetic drugs are being used or manufactured in Belize, though large quantities of precursor chemicals transit Belize en route to Mexico.

The International Narcotics Control Board 2011 report says, “Suspicious shipments of ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine from South Asia and South-East Asia and destined for Belize, Guatemala and Mexico continue to be trans-shipped in European countries, in particular Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. Authorities in European countries have also stopped suspicious shipments of those two substances to Africa.”

The INCRS report, cited earlier in this article, says, “Despite enhanced efforts to monitor coastal waters, the Belize National Coast Guard (BNCG) and the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) are hampered by limited funds, equipment, and lack of personnel,” the report says. “Deficiencies in intelligence gathering, analysis, and sharing are also major impediments to reducing the flow of narcotics through Belize.”

The report goes on to say, “A lack of political will and corruption contribute to minimizing the effectiveness of the Government of Belize (GOB) efforts against traffickers.”

The report informed that in 2010, Belize seized 97 metric tons (MT) of marijuana. In 2009, government seized 291.5 kilos of marijuana.

“Also in 2010, Belize seized over 2.6 MT of cocaine compared to 28.3 kg in 2009. The jump in cocaine seizures can be largely attributed to a November 2010 bi-lateral operation with DEA, where 2,607 kg of cocaine were seized along with one aircraft, one go-fast vessel, and the arrests of five … law enforcement officers who … assisted in offloading the cocaine. This was the largest cocaine seizure recorded in Belize,” the report said.

Amandala