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Bacalar Chico Base to Deter Border Criminal Activities #537479
07/27/19 05:33 AM
07/27/19 05:33 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,218
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Patrol Base at Bacalar Chico to Deter Cross Border Criminal Activities

North Ambergris Caye has been an area well-known for illicit activities, from wet drops to murders and drug trafficking.  Narco-traffickers, in particular, have been operating there with general ease in the movement of cocaine, other drugs and weapons.  Today, the Ministry of National Security opened a patrol base at Bacalar Chico in northern Ambergris to assist in deterring criminal activity in the general area.  The base, which was funded by the government at a cost of two hundred thousand dollars, is located a mile and a half from the Mexican border which is the corridor used to get drugs further north. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Mounted on top of a recently cleared parcel of land at the very end of Northern Ambergris Caye, this patrol base at Bacalar Chico is a significant development as it relates to the country’s national security.

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“I will remember when I became the minister of National Security, it was only a few months after that our forces came under attack, came under fire here in almost this location. There were some civilians casualties. It highlighted for us the situation that was confronting us in Northern Ambergris Caye.”

In August, ground was broken for the construction of the patrol base. With construction now completed today, Minister of National Security John Saldivar and Area Representative for Belize Rural South Manuel Heredia Junior officially declared the base operational. The base comes after Coast Guard officers had to patrol the area on foot for the past three years to carry day-to-day operations.

John Saldivar

“And it emphasizes for us the need to have our presence in here in this area in order to counter the activities that were taking place in this area and along the shores.”

The base is located a mile and a half from the Mexican border. The area is known as a major hot spot which criminals use as an avenue for cross-border criminal activities such as drug trafficking and weapon trafficking.

John Saldivar

“There are a lot of criminal activities that take place on this side of northern Ambergris. For years we have known that we have had to put a permanent presence out here. We have had a makeshift or temporary base but now we have established a permanent presence. That, we hope, will help to curb some of the illicit activities that happen in this area. The important thing about it is that the illicit activities that happen in this area really drives crime throughout the country whether it be Belize city or another part of the country. A lot of what takes place here drives the crime in the rest of the country.”

Hipolito Novelo

“Sir do you believe that this base will deter these international drug peddlers because they can be persistent especially when it comes to cocaine and what is found in this area?”

John Saldivar

“We are very hopeful that it is going to curb the activities. We are very hopeful that it will discourage these criminals from working in this area.”

Reporter

“Will the officers here work along with their Mexican counterparts?”

John Saldivar

“We always do. We do conduct operations with our Mexican counterparts every two months. We do patrols with them and we are in constant daily with them with whatever communications or intelligence that we can share.”

According to Saldivar, the strategic importance of the base is also to provide stability for economic prosperity. The base includes basic amenities along with a thirty feet lookout tower. Officers are equipped with adequate communication equipment to keep in touch with HQ. The government invested more than two hundred thousand dollars in the construction of the facility.

John Saldivar

“Proper sleeping facilities, bathroom facilities. Water is going to be a problem if we don’t get a lot of rain but right now we are going to depend on the rain to catch water for them. This is one of the better facilities in terms of the amenities. The coast guard really leads the way in terms of providing proper accommodations for their people.”

Hipolito Novelo

“And they have adequate communications devices?”

John Saldivar

“Yes, we have radio communications and we are in constant in touch with the base.”

Channel 5



Belize Coast Guard opens new patrol base in northern Ambergris Caye

Northern Ambergris Caye now counts with the permanent presence of military personnel after the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) officially opened its new patrol base on Friday, July 26th. The new outlook post in the Bacalar Chico area, a mile and a half away from the Mexican border, will not only serve to patrol the northern coast of the island, but also deter any sort of criminal activities that threaten the safety and economic progress of Ambergris Caye.

According to Minister of National Security Honourable John Saldivar, this outpost will be self-contained when it comes to responding to any incidents or emergencies. The minister briefly spoke on the double murder that occurred late June on the lagoon off the west coast of Ambergris Caye, where a tourist and a local tour guide were shot dead. He also mentioned on the occasion when coast guard members came under fire by criminal figures around the Bacalar Chico area in 2013. “This happened a few months after I took over the Ministry of National Security. We realized that we needed to beef up our presence in this area and provide a stronger presence in this area,” said Saldivar. He said that plans for a base in this area had been in the pipeline for quite some time, but it was until last year, that space was secured, and thus, they were able to build the patrol base.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


Re: Bacalar Chico Base to Deter Border Criminal Activities [Re: Marty] #537489
07/27/19 11:12 AM
07/27/19 11:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,218
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Beefing Up At Bacalar Chico

In August of last year, the Minister of National Security broke ground for a new Coast Guard Base at the Bacalar Chico area of Northern Ambergris Caye - more than 15 miles from the town.

It's an unpopulated and fairly remote area, which is policed only sporadically, and that has made it the ideal target for wet drops by drug cartels. That drug activity drives much of the homicidal violence in San Pedro and other parts of the country.

Now, the Ministry of National Security is seeking to put a permanent security presence at the source of these wet drops. After almost a year of construction, their new patrol base is now finished.

They invited the press today for the inauguration ceremony, and Daniel Ortiz was there. Here's his report:

Daniel Ortiz reporting
This is the Belize Coast Guard's Bacalar Chico Patrol Base. Newly constructed, this facility is now operational, and it is the Ministry of National Security's answer to the lawlessness that Northern Ambergris Caye has become infamous for.

The hope is that with the Coast Guard's permanent presence here, it will no longer be a hotspot for the cocaine transshipment and other transnational organized crimes that have been a constant feature of this part of the island.

Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security
"There is a lot of criminal activities that takes place on this side of Northern Ambergris. For years we've known that we had to put a permanent presence out here. We have had a make-shift or temporary along here, but we have now establish a permanent presence and that we hope will help to curb some of the illicit activities that happen in this area and the important thing about it is that the illicit activities that happen in this area really drives crime throughout the country, whether it be Belize City or any other part of the country. What takes place here in Northern Ambergris drives the crime in the rest of the country."

Reporter
"Sir do you believe that this base will deter these international drug peddlers because they can be persistent especially when it comes to cocaine and what is found in this area?"

Hon. John Saldivar
"We are very hopeful that it is going to curb the activities. We are very hopeful that it will discourage these criminals from working in this area."

At a cost of approximately $200,000, this patrol base is able to comfortably house a contingent of coast guard officers. There are obvious limitations of electricity, and access to drinking water, but there are workarounds in place to address both needs.

Hon. John Saldivar
"As you have seen up there proper sleeping facilities, bathroom facilities. Water is going to be a problem if we don't get a lot of rain but right now we are going to depend on the rain to catch water for them. This is one of the better facilities in terms of the amenities. The coast guard really leads the way in terms of providing proper accommodations for their people."

Reporter
"And they have adequate communications devices?"

Hon. John Saldivar
"Yes, we have radio communications and we are in constant in touch with the base."

This particular area is a security concern, due to its isolation, and the officers who will stand guard here will have to be hyper-vigilant.

Hon. John Saldivar
"When I became the Minister of National Security it was only a few months after that our forces came under attack here in almost this location and there were some civilian casualties. It highlighted for us the situation that was confronting us in Northern Ambergris Caye."

"In 2012 our people actually came under fire from the criminal elements who operate out of this area. In deed it is dangerous for our security forces, but I am confident that they are properly trained to deal with any situation that may arise."

And if there is any major national security incident in the area, backup and aid can be dispatched from the Coast Guard's other facility in San Pedro.

Hon. John Saldivar
"It is hoped that this particular base will going to have enough resources to be able to deal with most of the routine stuff. If they do need assistance, San Pedro is very close by another hour or so away and they also will be able to assist. Right here we hope to have a self-contained base that is able to respond. In terms of vessels we have large vessels, we are going to get some smaller vessels that is able to navigate on shallow waters. This is going to be pretty much a self-contained base."

Saldivar is hoping that that the Bacalar Chico base will become self-sustaining.

Channel 7



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