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Belize’s Efforts to Deter Illegal Plane Landings Have Proved Effective

Mar 16, 2023

Belize’s Efforts to Deter Illegal Plane Landings Have Proved Effective

2021 was a record year for plane landings in Belize. At the time, it appeared as though illegal plane landings were occurring on a weekly basis across the country. In 2022, those reports significantly decreased and months have passed since we have reported on any confirmed drug plane landing on Belizean territory. So, what has changed? Well, according to Kareem Musa, the Minister of Home Affairs, law enforcement officers are now better equipped to deter these planes from landing in Belize. He says these planes are now flying over Belize to land in Guatemala.

Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“Yeah, just this week, Marisol, and if I were to give an interview every time a plane comes into a region, it would be every single day. Um, every night, our police officers or operations team, uh, receives intelligence, information that aircrafts, illicit aircrafts have left South America coming to our region. We spread out all across this country to the known points. We have a good radar system. We do have joint cooperation, uh, with other countries in the region who provide us with intelligence and information, and that, I would say is the number one reason that we’ve been able to deter those aircrafts from landing in Belize. Right now it seems that the preferred landing, uh, spot for them is in Guatemala. Uh, I believe one landed there last week, but was caught apprehended, and I believe one may have landed, if not last night, the night before. So we see a general trend whereby, uh, yes, they’re coming into our region, but going across Belize and landing in Guatemala. We continue with our efforts to deter these aircraft from landing in Belize. Like I said, it’s every single night, almost every single night that our officers are deployed to deal with this.”