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The escape of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman continues to dominate the news worldwide, including here in Belize since his elaborate escape on Saturday July 12th from the Almoloya prison located 50 miles outside of Mexico City. This actually is the second time that the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel escapes from a Mexican Prison thus putting in question Mexico’s security system. In efforts of recapturing Guzman, Mexican authorities have distributed 100,000 photos of Guzman and have 10,000 agents on high-alert and have also communicated with authorities from across the globe including Belize. Why Belize you may ask? Well because reports are that he could seek refuge with his allege allies who live in Belize. In fact some newspapers from the state of Quintana Roo Mexico are actually reporting that Guzman is already here in Belize. Yesterday though, CEO in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell put those allegations to rest as he spoke to news five about the escape of Chapo Guzman.

Screen_Shot_2015-07-16_at_7.55.02_PMGeorge Lovell CEO in the Ministry of National Security

“Our special branch and their intelligence have a very good, established network and whenever any incidents like these would occur immediately there is communication and that has been established and that has been done.  So, from Saturday our police officers were informed.  It was brought to my attention that a written notice of the escape has also been provided to the Minister of National Security, the honorable John Saldivar yesterday and I do have a copy of that notice that was given to us by our Mexican embassy.  When we received that information from Saturday, the Commissioner of Police was informed and he in turn sent out an all-points bulletin to all his formations.  So countrywide, especially at the border areas: Santa Elena in Corozal, in Benque and down south in Punta Gorda and even in San Pedro, all our points of entry have been on alert based on that bulletin that was sent out.  We have been communicating with our Mexican counterparts and from all indication there is not anything to suggest that Guzman is in fact traveling at this point in time, especially towards us.  And so we are on alert, our people are notified and if we are to come in contact with anything that requires for the Mexicans or for the authorities to act then I believe that we are poised to act and to act in a very swift manner.”

But what’s to say that if Guzman does seek refugee here in Belize authorities will be able to deal with the situation? After all he has escaped twice from Mexican Authorities. In yesterday’s interview Lovell accepted that Belize was not equipped to deal with a situation of such magnitude, but that authorities have received instructions to immediately contact their counterparts in Mexico and the US.

George Lovell CEO in the Ministry of National Security

“And so if we were to get any information I can assure you the first thing we will try and do is to get the Mexicans informed and to try and see how best we can hand him over to them if we have him in custody.  If it’s just information, we will share those information with him simply because of what you have just said.  This will not be an easy task for us, he is rich, he is wealthy, he is influential and it has been proven in Mexico that he is very difficult to be kept even in their maximum security prisons.  I can tell you too that we have been talking with our friends from the U.S. also and they are even better equipped to deal with these things than us so there will be communications with the relevant authorities that can handle these types of criminals to deal with the likes of an El Chapo.  Should, and I say should, because there is no indication and I wouldn’t the public to believe that he is in fact heading towards Belize because there is no indication to suggest that just yet.”

Guzman is thought to have paid prison guards at the maximum-security prison, which is 50 miles outside of Mexico City, an estimated total of $50million in order to bribe his path to freedom.

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