Mayor Elsa Paz was amongst four mayors from Belize who participated in the first meeting held between Local Governments of the region and the Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana SICA) that took place in San Salvador, El Salvador on Friday, December 9, 2011.
The event was organized by the Democratic Security Unit of SICA and its purpose was for SICA to discuss issues that can be developed by SICA in coordination with local governments within the region.
This meeting brought together members of the Mayors of municipalities boards / associations / micro regions working with the territory PRESANCA II which seeks to contribute to reducing food insecurity and nutrition in Central America’s most vulnerable populations, strengthening the Central American Integration System (SICA) as part of a process of consultation of social, environmental and economic issues.
Mayor Paz stated that at the meeting the security of the region’s municipalities was also discussed and SICA asked each local governments to present the issues affecting their communities in order for them to asses areas in which they can supply assistance.
“We learned that all these regional municipalities basically have similar problems like ours,” commented Mayor Paz to the media. “One thing that other municipalities have that we in Belize do not is control of our Police Department. We need to take control so that we can make positive changes in our communities. And with only a small force of 38 police officers it is very difficult to do so in San Pedro. Another thing that other countries have are educational programs that assist the police departments in communicating with the community. This seems very positive and hopefully we can adapt these to our communities with the assistance of SICA.”
Hon. Gabriel Martinez, Minister of Labor, Local Government and Rural Development in Belize lead the Belize delegation at SICA along with mayors from Benque Viejo, Corozal, Belize City and San Pedro. They were accompanied by Ambassador of Belize to El Salvador Mrs. Celi Jean Paz Gonzalez, pictured above with the Belize delegation.