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May 19, 2016

Illegal Loggers at Mayflower Bocawina National Park Caught in the Act

We have reported on illegal activities within the expansive Chiquibul National Park many times, in fact within the last week after three Guatemalans were detained while panning for gold near Ceibo Chico. But there are other national parks with lush resources, and the reality is that across the spectrum there are not enough resources to manage them. That’s been the situation at the Mayflower Bocawina National Park in the Stann Creek District. Illegal logging has been plaguing the rangers who have simply never been able to catch the culprits, until they got lucky on Wednesday. APAMO’s Executive Director Jose Perez gave us the details of an important bust via phone.

 

On the Phone: Jose Perez, Executive Director, APAMO

“Yesterday, eventually we were able to, with the support of the Hopkins Police Substation and the rangers of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park to apprehend two individuals who were doing illegal harvesting of timber in the park. The park has been experiencing this problem for quite a while now and has been seeing signs of increased extraction of timber in the park. Fortunately yesterday, due to quick response and quick mobilization, the rangers and the police were able to catch these guys actually in the process of cutting down trees.”

 

Jose Perez

Mike Rudon

“Sir when you say illegal timber, could you specify?”

 

On the Phone: Jose Perez

“Well there shouldn’t be any extraction of timber within a protected area; in particular, this is a national park. And there is no legal authority for anybody to extract timber from this particular protected area.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Now we understand that this is something which has been a problem for the rangers for some time.”

 

On the Phone: Jose Perez

“Yes, and due to limited capacity, imagine having to monitor and patrol over seven thousand acres of land and many times also due to the poor coordination. Very key for yesterday’s success was the rapid response from the rapid response from the police. We also called on the Forest Department, but many times the rapid response and the immediate response is what is important. Whatever delay you have can sometimes lead to these guys already having their lookouts and moving out of the area. If we were five minutes later yesterday afternoon, we would have missed them. Fortunately, the rangers were able to coordinate with the Hopkins police who moved immediately and went into the area—about an hour trek into the park—and they were able to catch the guys, as I said, actually falling trees. They had already cut some lumber and they were already working on some other trees they had just recently cut.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Illegal Loggers at Mayflower Bocawina National Park Caught in the Act”

  1. Hatari says:

    Wonder why they didn’t name the culprits? Belizeans not Guatemalans? Wonder if they’ll even make it to court? If they do, wonder what the fine will be? Won’t be much.

  2. MNHG says:

    Leave the poor men alone, let them earn a living, will you also go the the Sarstoon ???
    “THE BEST IS YET TO COME”
    The best has come, pressure poor Belizeans and leave Guatemalans alone with the Sarstoon !!!
    Please let go those men with a sound warning , they have mouths to feed , we are humans and if we can show kindness to Guates, we can do so to our own people !!!

  3. K says:

    @MNHG ‘Leave the poor men alone’?! Are you out of your mind. Do you have an idea what would happen if none of our laws were adhered to?! Laws are needed to form stability and accountability. Let them be held accountable for their wrong doings.

  4. Bocawina lover says:

    %^&*()_ they were caught doing illegal activities let the law deal with them. U sound like u are the type of people that don’t give a ^&*( about our country . go back to guate hatari an mnhg . tank u

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