USA names Belize as a major drug trafficking and money laundering country

The 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) prepared by the US Department of State has listed Belize as a major drug trafficking and money laundering country.

The INCSR is an annual report compiled by the Department of State to Congress in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act. The report describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in Calendar Year 2017. Volume I covers drug and chemical control activities while Volume II covers money laundering and financial crimes.

Belize, the Bahamas, Haiti and Jamaica, were among 22 countries worldwide considered as major drug producing or major drug transit countries.

In the report, Jamaica was named as the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States.

Washington describes a major illicit drug producing country as follows:

(A) a country where 1,000 hectares or more of illicit opium poppy is cultivated or harvested during a year; (

  1. B) a country where 1,000 hectares or more of illicit coca is cultivated or harvested during a year; or

(C) a country where 5,000 hectares or more of illicit cannabis is cultivated or harvested during a year, unless the President determines that such illicit cannabis production does not significantly affect the United States.

Belize is also named along with Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, the Eastern Caribbean, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, as major money laundering countries.

The report describes a major drug-transit country as follows:

(A) a country that is a significant direct source of illicit narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances significantly affecting the United States; or

(B) through which are transported such drugs or substances.

In January 2018,  Belize was one of three countries, the others being Haiti and Samoa, that were banned from applying for H-2A (agricultural) and H-2B (non-agricultural) work Visas by the Trump Administration.

Belize was reportedly banned from the list of countries whose citizens can apply for work Visas because of its standing on the 2017 US State Department report on Human Trafficking. In that report, Belize ranked the worst among all Central American nations with a tier 3 rating.