United States Embassy and Belize sign Amendment to the Letter of Agreement; International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Program - U. S. Ambassador to Belize H.E. Carlos Moreno and the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow signed the 16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement (LOA) implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) program through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) on April 7, 2016.
The U.S. Government has provided over $35 million in programs and grants to Belize through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) since 2008. The agreement provides USD $6,450,000 in funding to be used for the following projects: Improved Border Inspection, Vetted Units, Capacity Enhancement, Justice Sector Reform, and Community Policing. To date, the U.S. Government, through INL, has committed a total of USD $28.4 million since 2008 to these programs in Belize.
In addition to INL programs, the U.S. Embassy has also provided over USD $6 million in CARSI Economic Support Fund grants to local and international NGOs operating in Belize. Programs have included entrepreneurship, vocational training and job placement, after school activities, educational assistance, skills training, and arts and culture. Another $1.2 million will be issued as grants again this year.
The United States Government is proud to support citizen security in Belize, a country which shares our values of democracy, human rights, and rule of law. INL CARSI programs have assisted police nationwide with trainings and equipment. Through this programming, the Belize Police Department has dramatically improved mobility and taken major steps toward modernization including case management and evidence handling.
INL-CARSI has also focused on the concept of community policing, both within the police and in communities. In areas with active, U.S.-funded neighborhood watch and community policing programs, local police stations have reported decreases in burglaries and other crimes.
The INL-CARSI program continues to support safer streets and more resilient communities in Belize. Ongoing efforts will enhance capacity throughout Belize with programs in forensics, prosecution, and the judiciary. INL-CARSI continues to support law enforcement agencies as well as community led programs.