BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 21, 2019– Drug planes originating from South America have been landing in Belize with alarming frequency. Yesterday, Sunday, another jet landed in the Blue Creek area of the Orange Walk District and by the time authorities found out about it, the crew and plane’s cargo were long gone. Unlike the most recent drug plane that had crash-landed and was found broken in two, there were no seats on this jet, which suggests that the plane may have had a full load of cocaine that was carted away before the arrival of Belize security forces.
A jet plane with two engines is not necessarily a quiet aircraft, yet the jet landed and was able to discharge its cargo before authorities arrived at the landing site.
To add to the narrative of landing drug planes, the Ministry of National Security issued a press release yesterday that raised more questions than answers, especially since the Ministry of National Security is just coming off the Fifth Annual Multinational Security Cooperation Conference that was held in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, on Friday, October 18.
The Ministry’s press release opens saying, “On a daily basis there are members of the security forces of Belize deployed to intercept planes attempting to land illegally in Belize. These planes are suspected to have drugs on board destined for the North American market.”
The press release added, “Belize does not yet have military radar tracking capability. In the time being, Belize relies on an external regional network that generates tracking information as soon as suspect planes leave South America.”
“Once information of a suspect plane tracking its way towards Belize is received, our security forces deploy to as many possible landing sites as our human resources allow. The fact is that there are so many possible landing options, including existing roads and highways, which, by the way, cannot just simply be destroyed, and there is an element of uncertainty involved in predicting exactly where a plane may land,” said the release.
The Ministry with responsibility for the security of the country then made this admission: “The Ministry of National Security absolutely does not have the resources to cover every single landing option. And the pilots of these planes make real-time adjustments and changes to throw the security forces off track to evade interception and capture.”
“Every day, this is what plays out as our security forces are deployed based on tracking information received from our regional partners, including Mexico and the U.S.A,” the release added.
Worthy of note is that the Ministry of National Security press release made no specific mention of the plane that landed yesterday.