Since 2000, Belize has been ranked as the country with the highest homicide rate in the world. The availability of guns and the broad presence of gangs – and related territorial rivalries – are very acute problems in the country. In 2001, Belize committed to a decision by consensus of the UN to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA).1
Belize signed and ratified the Arms Trade Treaty in 2015.2 In 2017, the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) organised the first Firearms and Ammunition Evidence Management Course, in collaboration with the government of Belize. This training programme was aimed at extending best practices for the collection, packaging and transfer of firearms and ammunition.3 A national action plan on small arms and light weapons is currently under development.
1 Philip Alpers and Michael Picard, Belize – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (GunPolicy.org, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022), https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/belize.
3 "UNLIREC Implements its First Firearms and Ammunition Evidence Management Course in Belize," UNLIREC, November 13, 2017, https://unlirec.org/en/unlirec-implements-its-first-firearms-and-ammunition-evidence-management-course-in-belize.
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Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in Belize.
Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021, https://smallarmssurvey.org/database/unplanned-explosions-munitions-sites-uems.
Cases of diversion
Insufficient information on cases of diversion in Belize.
With the assistance of UNLIREC, 0.22 tonnes of ammunition were destroyed in Belize during the period 2012–13.
Source: "UNLIREC Destroys Firearms and Small Arms Ammunition in Belize," Mapping ATT-Relevant Cooperation and Assistance Activities Database, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2016, https://att-assistance.org/activity/unlirec-destroys-firearms-and-small-arms-ammunition-belize.
To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following needs have been identified for Belize:
- Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management, particularly knowledge of advanced methods for the destruction of small arms and light weapons; and
- Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles, particularly knowledge of advanced methods for the destruction of small arms and light weapons.
Source: Belize, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of Belize to the UN, 2020), https://unoda-poa.s3.amazonaws.com/reports/BLZ-English-1062-SUBMITTED.pdf.