By Aaron Humes: Representatives of the United States Embassy, Belmopan, and the Government of Belize met to reaffirm the security partnership between the countries and underscore our shared commitment to cooperation on such challenges as narcotrafficking, human smuggling and trafficking, and gang violence.
The meetings are bi-annual. The U.S. delegation was chaired by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Leyla Moses-Ones and the Belizean delegation by Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa, joined by Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana and Attorney-General Magali Marin-Young.
The meeting discussed shared priorities in the areas of citizen and border security, governance, and justice sector efficiency.
Musa told the gathering, “Crime and insecurity negatively impact economic growth and social wellbeing resulting in instability. Peace, security, and prosperity must be addressed jointly…These bi-annual meetings give us the opportunity to introspect holistically to ensure that we are all aligned and make coordinated efforts to achieve the ultimate goal of addressing threats to citizen security and instability.”
Chargé d’Affaires Moses-Ones remarked that Washington and Belmopan have long cooperated on matters of security, prosperity, and democracy and that this cooperation is even more greatly needed with a changing environment of threats that requires planning and coordination: “Without security, there cannot be prosperity; and security is foundational to a thriving democracy. Together, we will continue to work in partnership to support Belize’s efforts to successfully address the challenges that threaten the safety, security, and prosperity of Belizean and American citizens.”
The United States has and continues to invest millions of dollars in training personnel, developing infrastructure, and obtaining equipment and vehicles, as well as sponsoring Belize’s membership in multinational intelligence organizations in an effort to counter transnational organized crime, support the military and improve the judicial system.