2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Belize
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||5 August 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Belize, 5 August 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c63b6551e.html [accessed 27 November 2014]|
In 2009, the Government of Belize began receiving funding through the Merida Initiative. While counterterrorism is not Merida's primary objective, Merida's work in Belize continued to improve Belize's border security. Belize participated in an assessment of its northern and western borders by a team from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This assessment included training on how to identify suspicious vehicles and individuals, and on the use of contraband detection kits. The United States gave Belize eight of these kits in 2009.
Belize's borders are extremely porous and there is a significant corruption problem among Immigration and Customs officers, particularly on the western and northern borders. It remained easy to change identity by purchasing stolen passports. Laws governing name changes were extremely lax. The country is sparsely populated and has limited human and technological resources to monitor individuals and groups residing in or transiting through its borders.
The Belize Defense Force (1,025 total personnel) has operated a Counterterrorism Platoon for three years to perform operations within Belize and its territorial waters.