The Ministries of Tourism, Home Affairs, and Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with the Belize Tourism Board, the Belize Tourism Industry Association, the Belize Police Department, and the Belize Defense Force are pleased to advise that after several weeks of discussions and negotiation with officials of the US Embassy, the US Travel Advisory was updated today, January 4th, 2007.
The travel advisory addressed the safety and security measures that have been put in place in the Caracol/Chiquibul areas in the Cayo District subsequent to a number of robbery attempts in the summer of 2006. The travel advisory acknowledged the commitment of the Government of Belize and the tourism private sector partners to support the Belize Police Department and the Belize Defense Force in carrying out the regular, sustainable patrols in the Caracol/Chiquibul areas during the daylight hours.
The US Embassy Advisory also highlighted the other safety mechanisms that have been put in place such as an upgraded communication systems and the support of tourism resorts in the area to coordinate tour expeditions in a caravan fashion.
It is important to note that two of the “alleged” members of the “highway bandits” have been arrested and are remanded awaiting trial. Since the last robbery attempt in June of 2006, there have been no further incidences in the reserve. This can be attributed to the close collaboration between the private and public sectors and the efforts of the Belize Police Department and the Belize Defense Force, which are ongoing.
The Minister of Tourism, Hon. Godfrey Smith; Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Ralph Fonseca; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Eamon Courtenay and the tourism private sector wish to express sincere gratitude to the US Ambassador, His Excellency Robert Dieter, for the Embassy’s support for the further development of tourism in this area. If you would like more information on this updated travel advisory, please visit the US Embassy’s website at www.usembassy.gov.