BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Dec. 6, 2018– Earlier this week, the news was buzzing with information of a drug plane that was meant for Belize but landed at the Chetumal International Airport after the pilot realized that the Belize police were hot on his trail. The event made the news in Mexico as well, and The Sol Quintana Roo newspaper reported that the Zetas are “The masters and owners of Belize.”
“Los Zetas” are one of Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartels and the Mexican newspaper purports that they are the ones who have been landing drug planes in northern Belize over the past months.
As we had previously reported, after the pilot landed the plane at the Chetumal airport, which he was granted permission to do after he claimed that he was experiencing a malfunction, he and another passenger ran out of the plane and vanished before the Mexican authorities could get to them. In the plane, the authorities found over 1.5 tons of cocaine.
At the police press brief held on Monday, December 3, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, boasted about the effectiveness of the BPD (Belize Police Department) in thwarting the landing of the drug plane on the San Estevan/El Progresso road. He even went so far as to say that, in this instance, the Mexican “federales” were ineffective when compared to the BPD.
Later in the week, when asked about the allegations in The Sol Quintana Roo, Williams said that he was “amazed by it, to say the least.” He also said that he cannot “take away” the opinion from the author of the story, but he can say that “in Belize, we have been doing our best to be able to prevent these planes from landing in these clandestine airstrips.”
Williams also mentioned that he believes the BPD, in collaboration with the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and the Coast Guard, has been doing a good job.
“But we are not here to cast blame on anybody. We have a very good working relationship with our Mexican counterparts in terms of… the sharing of information,” Williams said. “Even from that same article there [is] useful information for us to look at how we can develop our strategy to continue to fight against these persons who want to land these illegal aircrafts in our territory.”
The Deputy ComPol also said that there is no evidence to substantiate the claim of the article and though they cannot say for sure whether or not members from the Zetas are actually in Belize, it is the duty of the BPD to see if they can identify the people who are involved in the drug plane landings and pursue them. According to Williams, “We are not afraid of anybody.”