The Ministry of the Interior announces plans for more police presence without “privileges” at airports

Mingob will ask for access to security cameras in the protocol area and the hangars.

by Pamela Contreras

Guatemala City, by Brenda Larios -AGN-. Francisco Jiménez, Minister of the Interior, declared in a press conference how important it is to get back the security of the airports in the country. 

According to Minister Jiménez, “We are creating a security strategy in each port and different points of the country’s airports, especially in sensitive areas for the entry of illegal products.”

He said that in previous years if the National Civil Police -PNC- wanted to make an inspection at the International Airport “La Aurora,” the airport administration authorities requested an order from the superior authorities 48 hours before the search process. 

More police presence

The minister reported that among the first actions is signing an agreement with the Directorate-General of Civil Aeronautics -DGAC- to have a more significant presence of officers in Guatemala’s airports. Following this agreement, the aim is to work on security protocols for each specific area, such as the airport, passenger area, diplomatic area entrance, and hangars.

These actions incorporate an increase in staff for the security of these locations, including the control of packages and luggage by K-9 canine officers.

Currently, there is only one K-9, and when the dog is on break, there is no one to detect the illicit products, so it is important to increase the number of canine officers.

The Minister of the Interior also declared that the “La Aurora” International Airport staff will be subjected to polygraph tests for security and reliability.

No more privileges

The protocol area, where ambassadors arrive, is another area where the PNC aims to staff. It has been used by others in recent years, including families of officials; by doing so, they have breached the airport’s security. Authorities aim to keep control over the entire airport.

The Vice-Ministry of Antinarcotics will also request access to the images from the security cameras at the site to improve control and prevent the transport of illegal products.

Authorities will keep strict controls on private flights in collaboration with migration and customs. Currently, these controls do not exist. 

Local airports

Mingob seeks to implement controls at airports located at the departmental level as part of its security strategy with Civil Aeronautics authorities to have controls at all airports in the country.

Guatemala has airports in the departments of Petén and Quetzaltenango. 

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