USAID-Funded InfoSegura Project Supports Citizen Security in Belize through the Judiciary
March 1, 2023
Continuing U.S. government efforts to support improvements in Belize’s citizen security, U.S. Embassy Acting International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Coordinator Mary Walz and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Belize Deputy Resident Representative Ian King today donated eight laptops to Chief Justice Louise Blenman and Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser.
The laptops donated to the Magistracy Department of the Judiciary of Belize will help Magistrates access the Judiciary’s Case Management Systems to reduce Belize’s criminal case backlog, which has significantly declined thanks to committed U.S. support. The equipment, valued at US $13,528.00, is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and procured through UNDP. This collaborative effort is made possible through USAID’s “Evidence-Based Information Management for Citizen Security in Central America and the Dominican Republic” project, also known as the InfoSegura Regional Project.
May Walz, Acting INL Coordinator underscored the importance of donor coordination in addressing Belize’s challenges. “Today’s U.S. government donation will help advance the full arc of justice in Belize – supporting everything from police professionalization to improving investigations and increasing prosecutions. This donation will help us use data to improve efficiency and service provision and will help further bolster ongoing efforts to reduce court backlogs and modernize Belize’s courts and to continue to improve public confidence in citizen security and effective access to justice in Belize.”
Hon. Mde Louise Blenman noted, “I am deeply grateful to USAID and Mr. Ian King for their very generous donation of eight laptops to the Magistracy. These will go a long way in assisting the learned magistrates to deliver effective and efficient justice to the people of Belize while continuing to reduce the backlog. The Judiciary looks forward to collaborating further with USAID under the able leadership of Mr. King.”
Chief Magistrate Fraser added, “The backlog initiative can only be effective if the Magistrates have the necessary tools and equipment needed to access the new case management system. Having gotten the Magistrates to be invested in the reduction of backlog of cases it has become only fitting to provide them with the needed tools to accomplish the Department’s goal. It is for this reason on behalf of the Magistracy that I am grateful for the welcome assistance of the USAID’s funded Infosegura Project through UNDP for the donation of the eight laptops to assist with this backlog initiative.”
UNDP Belize Deputy Resident Representative Ian King applauded the work of the Judiciary of Belize in its continuous effort to reduce the backlog of cases, noting the reported 40 percent decrease in criminal cases thanks to several U.S. government funded initiatives, most notably through grants from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. King noted that the donated computers will contribute to these efforts and will be particularly beneficial to improving case management efficiency in the Lower Courts. Mr. King thanked the USAID InfoSegura Regional Project for its valuable support in enhancing citizen security in Belize.
The InfoSegura project continues to support interventions and policies that aim to strengthen crime and justice data platforms both nationally and regionally, including working to support the formulation of evidenced-based policies and decisions. The project is implemented in Belize by the UNDP in partnership with USAID and the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries, through the Belize Crime Observatory.