When you're asleep in your bed at night. You probably don't know it,
but Belize's Anti-Narcotics Unit and other specialised teams are roving
through the bush, trying to interdict or deter narco jets. Those jets
fly out of South America nightly - two or three at a time, headed for
this region, and they land somewhere between Honduras, Belize, Mexico
Last night two dropped - right next to each other - but one was in
extreme southwestern Belize, the other right across the border in
Today at noon, before that information on the location was confirmed,
the Commissioner of Police spoke in Belmopan about what was known about
Chester Williams - Commissioner of Police
"We did receive information that there is a possible landing right along
the Belize Guatemalan border in the most southern part of the country. We
have not been able to confirm but we have officers, police and BDF heading
to that location since earlier this morning trying to get there but it is
extremely rough terrain and like I said it's all the way close to the
Guatemalan border. So, it's going to take them a couple hours to get there.
As soon as they arrive at the location, if it can be confirmed, we will be
briefed and then the media will be given an update as to that particular
Hon. Kareem Musa - Minister of Home Affairs
"Like the commissioner said, this one took place in a very remote, very
high vegetation area in the south and we are still trying to get there."
"We have been dealing with these plane landings for quite some time now and
it is extremely difficult to prevent all of them from landing. We often do
not get credit for those that we averted."
Hon. Kareem Musa
"We are in effect locking off the known or traditional landing spots and so
I want to applaud the commissioner of police and the Belize Police
Department for the fact you're not hearing the landings in the spots that
are known to receive these landings and like the commissioner said, if we
were to have a media event or press conference every single time there is a
diversion of an aircraft in our airspace, you would be with us every single
And tonight, information says that the police are deep in the bush of
the south looking for the cocaine cargo from a drug plane that was
Actually, there were two planes. A press release sent this evening from
the Commissioner of Police says that three planes were tracked flying
out of South America last night.
The release continues, quote, "
About 4:41am we were alerted via the air asset of our counterparts that
one of the planes crash landed in the southern part of the country near
our border with Guatemala. This is an extremely remote area, with thick
and high vegetation and is not an area previously known for these
activities. Our teams were immediately deployed to the reported landing
site; however, due to the rugged terrain it took them hours to reach
the location. About 6:30am our counterparts via their air asset again
informed us of yet another landing in the same general area as the
previous one, only this time it is on the Guatemalan side of the
border." End quote.
The release continues, "a few hours ago our teams arrived at the area
and confirmed the presence of two burnt planes on the ground, one on
the Belizean side and the other on the Guatemalan side of the border."
Suspected Drug Plane Crash Lands in Southern Belize
Late this evening, the Office of the Commissioner of Police confirmed that a suspected drug plane landed in southern Belize. Information was received from international counterparts of three suspect tracks coming out of South America and we can confirm tonight that one made a clandestine landing in an area of southern Belize that is not known for these illicit activities. The area is extremely remote with dense vegetation and the landing was confirmed by air assets around four-thirty this morning. It took law enforcement officers several hours to get to the location, which is now being canvassed for the cargo and its traffickers; the aircraft had been torched. We can also confirm that the charred vestiges of another drug plane were discovered in the same general area, but on the Guatemalan side of the border. Earlier today, the media was able to get preliminary information from ComPol Chester Williams on the suspect narco plane.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
“We have been dealing with these plane landings for some time now and it is extremely difficult to prevent all of them from landing. We often do not get credit for those that we averted and we would be bashed for the very few that do find their way in our country. We did receive information that there is a possible landing right along the Belize Guatemala border in the most southern part of the country. We have not been able to confirm, but we have officers, police and B.D.F., heading to that location since earlier this morning, trying to get there, but it is extremely rough terrain and like I said, it is all the way close to the Guatemalan border. So it will take them a couple hours to get there. As soon as they arrive at the location, if it can be confirmed, we will be briefed and the media will be given an update as it relates to that particular situation.”
Minister Kareem Musa Weighs in on Drug Plane Activity
While we were with the Minister of Home Affairs, we asked him how closely the government is working with regional counterparts to track and survey unknown aircrafts. Of note is that tackling narco-trafficking, including the illegal landing of drug planes and the use of Belize as a transhipment point was among the People’s United Party’s manifesto goals. Here’s how Minister Kareem Musa responded.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs
“It still has not been confirmed. What is that telling us as a country? It tells us that we are in effect locking off the known or traditional landing spots so I want to applaud the Commissioner of Police and the Belize Police Department for the fact that you are not hearing the landing in the spots that are known to receive these landings. And like the commissioner said, if we were to have a media event or a press conference every single time there is a diversion of an aircraft in our airspace, you would be with us every single night. And while it is for national security reasons and for intelligence purposes we cannot disclose that we are diverting planes, you can rest assure that there are many more diversions than actual landings. As so like the commissioner said, this one took place in a very remote, a high vegetation area in the south and we are still trying to get there. But at the same time, we have to up our efforts as best as we can to continue with these diversions because it is a problem in the last administration and in this administration, but we are employing our best efforts. In terms of the parliamentary level, greater liaison with our bilateral partners to get more equipment that sort of thing, but I cannot go in depth in terms of what resources we have, in terms of what equipment we have and tools we have, but at the same time, greater cooperation with our counterparts in other countries is important.”