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U.S. and Belize Partner to Fight Drug Trafficking

A Belize Defense Force officer guards a deserted street in Belize City. (File)
A Belize Defense Force officer guards a deserted street in Belize City. (File)

The United States is working with Belize to fight crime.

U. S. Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno and the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow recently signed the 16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement implementing the Central America Regional Security Initiative, or CARSI. The U.S. Government has provided over $35 million in programs and grants to Belize through CARSI since 2008.

U.S. and Belize Partner to Fight Drug Trafficking
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The agreement provides $6,450,000 in funding to be used for the following projects: Improved Border Inspection, Vetted Units, Capacity Enhancement, Justice Sector Reform, and Community Policing. To date, the U.S. Government has committed a total of$28.4 million since 2008 to these programs in Belize.

In addition, the U.S. Embassy has also provided over $6 million in CARSI Economic Support Fund grants to local and international NGOs operating in Belize. Programs have included entrepreneurship, vocational training and job placement, after school activities, educational assistance, skills training, and arts and culture. Another $1.2 million will be issued as grants again this year.

CARSI programs have assisted police nationwide with trainings and equipment. Through this programming, the Belize Police Department has dramatically improved mobility and taken major steps toward modernization including case management and evidence handling.

CARSI has also focused on the concept of community policing, both within the police and in communities. In areas with active, U.S.-funded neighborhood watch and community policing programs, local police stations have reported decreases in burglaries and other crimes.

The CARSI program continues to support safer streets and more resilient communities in Belize. Ongoing efforts will enhance capacity throughout Belize with programs in forensics, prosecution, and the judiciary. CARSI continues to support law enforcement agencies as well as community led programs.

The United States Government is proud to support citizen security in Belize, a country which shares our values of democracy, human rights, and rule of law.