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#495762 - 09/16/14 02:13 PM Belize on Obama’s list for drug trafficking  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,967
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
US President Barack Obama today released via memo his Presidential Determination of Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2015, listing Belize among 22 countries.

“A country’s presence on the foregoing list is not a reflection of its government’s counter-narcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States. Consistent with the statutory definition of a major drug transit or drug producing country set forth in section 481(e)(2) and (5) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA), the reason major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a government has carried out the most assiduous narcotics control law enforcement measures,” Obama’s memo said.

Apart from Belize, the memo lists Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

According to Obama’s memo, “United States law enforcement agencies estimate that about 84 percent of the cocaine entering the United States passes through Central America and Mexico to reach destinations in the United States.”

“While recent assessments indicate an increase in cocaine flow in the maritime transit zone, there are conflicting indicators on total cocaine flow, and continued success in combating drug trafficking organizations will require closing awareness gaps,” it added.

Obama said that in many nations, especially in Central and South America, countries are actively seeking to strengthen their inter- and intra-regional cooperation and exchange of information about best practices for counter-narcotics and crime control law enforcement activities relative to broad citizen security.


#495819 - 09/18/14 05:36 AM Re: Belize on Obama’s list for drug trafficking [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,967
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Sedi Responds

While Elrington spoke candidly on the case against the principals of Titan International Securities in his capacity as Attorney General, he was unaware of Belize’s designation as one of several countries within the Latin American region that have been named as drug producing or drug transit nations.  On Monday, the White House issued a press release in which Belize, along with a string of countries in South, Central, North America and the Caribbean are listed as geographic locations for narco-trafficking activities.  According to Elrington, speaking as Minister of Foreign Affairs, the issue has not been brought to his attention and a response will only be made if and when the issue has been discussed at the cabinet level.

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“I was not aware of the list you’re speaking about, I mean heard of it from you only this morning.  I have been very busy but I do know that from time to time the United States publishes the names of countries on lists in cases where they believe that they have not done enough to deal with issues relating to human trafficking and drug trafficking and the like.  And I do know that from time to time countries take issue with the United States for so doing and it is not normally done through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  In the case of this present list that you are talking about I am sure that when we have a next Cabinet meeting it’s going to be brought up by the Ministry of National Security and if at that Cabinet is of the view that we should make some comment on it to the United States authorities then we would do that.  But at the present time it’s not a matter that has been brought to the attention of the Cabinet, neither has it been brought to my attention Except by you.”

Belize’s appearance on the list, says Elrington was based on its geographic location. Other Central American countries and Mexico were also blacklisted.

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