Belize Hosts Centsec 2011
By Dialogo May 06, 2011
Security representatives from more than twelve countries in the Americas met in Ambergris Caye, Belize for the 2011 edition of the Central American Security Conference (Centsec). The event was co-hosted by the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) to bring together regional leaders to discuss the objectives, resources and implementation strategies for counter-illicit trafficking.
Participants from the Conference of Central American Armed Forces (CFAC), Central American Integration System (SICA), and senior representatives from the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the U.S. State Department, and U.S Northern Command also attended Centsec 2011.
During his inaugural remarks, co-host and Commander of the Belize Defense Force General Dario Tapia stated that Belize is not spared from illicit trafficking, reported local radio station LoveFM.
“For many of our nations, illicit trafficking is a major threat to national security and in Belize it is no different. In fact, we strongly view it as an issue that is eating away at the core fabric of our society and therefore the Government of Belize is putting a major emphasis and priority in addressing this ill before it is too late,” Gen. Tapia added.
For his part, USSOUTHCOM Commander General Douglas Fraser expressed that the region is a focus for the U.S. and that the conference would allow participants an opportunity to learn from each other.
“Our focus …is on the issue of transnational criminal organizations and the illicit activity that they conduct. Unfortunately it is impacting each and every one of our countries and so I look forward to sharing our viewpoints, sharing our operations and what we are seeing and the impact within our individual countries and discuss how we can work more closely to address this problem,” said Gen. Fraser.
The meeting was held from 3-5 May, 2011.