Earlier we told you about Belize’s murder rate of 33.6. IT will likely be in the top ten of the world, closer to ten than one. But, likely to be at the
very top of the list is Honduras, close to that we should see El Salvador, and right in the middle we’re likely to see Guatemala. It’s called the
central American Triangle, the most murderous zone on earth – and many of those murders are a consequence of the drug trade – where cocaine heads from
south America to North America.
And to try and compensate for that, the US set up the Central American Regional Security Initiative, CARSI. It was introduced in Belize in 2008. Since
then the Americans have allotted about 16 million dollars for various security programs in Belize. That ahs been used to train 305 persons, acquire 38
vehicles, retain specialized security advisors and establish of the Mobile Interdiction Team.
Well, today the American delivered four million more. CEO Lovell read from the Diplomatic note what is included:…
Rt. Col George Lovell - CEO, Ministry of National Security
"The embassy of the United states of America presents it's compliments to the ministry of foreign affairs, the government of Belize and wishes to
inform the government of Belize of our intent to increase the amount of international narcotics control and law enforcement funds made available to the
government of Belize by 4 million 1 hundred thousand (U.S).”
Lawrence Sylvester -CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
"This should go a long way in improving our capability and the inter operability of the various agencies which collaborate in fighting crime and
Rt. Col George Lovell
"I'm quite appreciative of what this additional trench of money will bring to this whole initiative that we are about to participate in. You mentioned
a few of the things that we are already working on and there are few things that we have as our priority items. Communication, we want to have a
national communication system where we can speak to each other; And it's just not those departments who are under my portfolio under the ministry of
national security, we're looking at a national system where we can speak to all the emergency management systems, the ambulance system, they national
emergency management system. We have fisheries, customs, immigration, a number of other departments that are outside my portfolio that certainly we
need to be communicating with on a day to day basis in order to make our country safe."
Bruce Matthews - U.S. Chargé d’affaires
“To give you an idea of some of the air marks for this funding at this latest trench, we have improved border inspection of 7 hundred thousand, improve
policing and equipment, a million. Demand reduction, 50 thousand, regional maritime of 600 thousand, community policing 350 thousand. Those are
examples of how we're categorised the funds for the projects that CEO Lovell mentioned.”
And so, with this new funding, we can expect to see more of those police pickups with SU flags on them. Many have called them offensive and even the
Prime Minister has lamented how unseemly it appears. Well, the Americans say they intend to change that:
"We've seen some news report making the mistake that they're Americans in those vehicles because of the American flag. We've heard those issues and
we're working to correct that. We don't anyone to be confused that it's the Americans out there doing the good work that the police force is doing.
We're going to work on a different type of logo. Our thoughts is trying to do something with the Belize and American flags combined to symbolise the
joint part. We're still working on that but we just want to let people know that we've heard and we want to make sure there is no confusion on that.”