- Press Release, Belmopan, October 14, 2014 - The Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission met on October 10, 2014, in Guatemala City to discuss security concerns, including the recent incidents in the Caracol Archeological Reserve and reached 12 conclusions aimed at improving their effectiveness at combating illegal activities and transnational crime. Both sides held frank and open discussions on all security concerns and agreed to expand and strengthen cooperation.
The Belize delegation was headed by CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H.E. Alexis Rosado, and included Sen. Lisa Shoman, Representative for the Leader of the Opposition; Gen. David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defense Force; ACP Russell Blackett as Acting Commissioner of Police and Superintendant Marco Vidal, Head of Special Branch.
Each security agency had an opportunity to meet directly with their Guatemalan counterparts and agreed on a way forward for direct collaboration in respect of all security concerns, including coordinated operations among security agencies to combat illegal activities and transnational crime. In this respect, Guatemala reaffirmed its willingness to cooperate and assist in the investigation of the most recent incidents.
The conclusions reached at the meeting of the Joint Commission were endorsed by CEO Alexis Rosado; H.E. Carlos Raul Morales, Foreign Minister of Guatemala; and witnessed by H.E. Raul Lago, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States.
Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission Met to Discuss Framework for Negotiations and Confidence-Building Measures which provides for the expansion and strengthening of cooperation mechanisms, including coordinated operations among security agencies to combat illegal activities and transnational crime.
Agreed as follows:
1. Improve existing patrols and include joint coordinated military patrols.
2. Establish intelligence sharing mechanisms among the various security agencies.
3. Hold joint and periodic cross-sectorial meeting to address security issues.
4. In view of the success of the development projects in Monte de los Olivos, foster and promote similar projects in other communities.
5. Conduct joint visits to neighboring communities in Belize and Guatemala to convey the commitment of both parties to improve the quality of life and community safety and to strengthen the friendly relations between neighboring towns as well as to protect the environment.
6. Identify mechanisms for direct contact among the various agencies and military forces in order to establish direct, free-flowing and ongoing communications to coordinate preventative measures, as well as rapid and effective responses in situations as necessary.
7. Belize and Guatemala pledge to improve cooperation in the areas of security, environmental protection and natural resources.
8. Guatemala reaffirmed its offer of cooperation to assist in the investigation of the most recent incidents.
9. Both parties pledged to keep all sectors of society, especially the media, informed in order to convey to their respective citizens the importance of strengthening bilateral relations and to clearly communicate the positive aspects of the bilateral relationship.
10. Both parties reiterated their previous commitment to prudently address issues related to bilateral relations in respect of public statements and official communications in accordance with Annex C of the Agreement on a Framework for Negotiations and Confidence-Building Measures between Belize and Guatemala.
11. The representatives of the various agencies shall meet as soon as possible in order to identify and establish joint procedural protocols to promote better cooperation.
12. The OAS will facilitate and support the implementation of these activities and will seek to identify the funds needed to carry them out.
Signed in Guatemala City, on October 10, 20014
For Guatemala: Carlos Raul Moralez, Minister of Foreign Affairs
For Belize: Alexis Rosado, CEO
For the OAS as Witness: Raul Lago, Special Representative of the OAS SG