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Jun 24, 2016

Photographer Tony Rath Details Chiquibul Experience in Online Article

While the Reporter’s Editorial is found to be lacking in accuracy, another article in circulation today puts perspective in what really is happening in the Chiquibul. Renowned professional photographer Tony Rath recently accompanied Friends of Conservation and Development into the depths of the Chiquibul National Park in Western Belize.  His trip into the vast wilderness abutting the Guatemalan frontier is visually documented and stands as moving piece of photojournalism.  Rath’s experiences, having personally witnessed the pillaging of Belize’s natural resources at the hands of Guatemalan poachers, also inform the details of an article that is currently in circulation online.  The editorial titled ‘In Belize, All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter’ looks at the looting, desecration and annexation of the Chiquibul Forest.  While it is told from a first-person point of view, the piece raises serious concerns about what we value as Belizeans. Upon reaching the Ceibo Chico Command Post, Rath describes his observation of what is a seemingly lax state of affairs at the remote location.  He writes, “No sentries are in sight even though tensions are high with Guatemala and there are known illegals in the area.  Soldiers scamper about the command post, half of them in shorts and sandals and unarmed, the others lifting backpacks and weapons racing towards the oncoming tractor like horses returning to a stable after a long ride; they are on their way home after two weeks at the CCCP.” Elsewhere in the article, Rath quotes from a conversation he had with George Paul Boyinton, who has been mining legally in Ceibo Chico for many years.  Boyinton says, “The B.D.F. come and go on a regular schedule, and if I know it, the Guatemalans know it. The Guats are very tactical. They know when the soldiers are on patrol, and that the B.D.F. do not patrol at night, so the Guats move the ore bearing quartz rock in 150 lb sacks at night across the border for processing. We often work side by side with the illegals without bothering each other. They are there right now.” Despite the vivid account of Rath’s experience, there is a disclaimer stating that his views are his own and not that of FCD, the Belize Defense Force or the Government of Belize.  Tony Rath will appear as a guest on Open Your Eyes on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing plunder of the Chiquibul Forest.

 

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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 “Photographer Tony Rath Details Chiquibul Experience in Online Article”

  1. Hatari says:

    Sad but true. Thank you Tony for bringing this to light. I have observed and worked with both the BDF and PD and again, sadly, I must confess that a more undisciplined body of troops and officers I have never encountered. This is a direct result of a serious lack of professional training, supervision, discipline and accountability. Basically a waste of tax payer money.

  2. MNHG says:

    IF THIS IS A WASTE OF TAX PAYER`S MONEY, LET`S HIRE INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION FOR THE CHIQUIBUL !
    WE CAN SURE PAY MEXICO, TAIWAN, CUBA, EVEN RUSSIA WOULD SEND SOME VOLUNTEERS TO PROTECT BELIZE AND KEEP THE PEACE IN THE AREA !!!
    I WONDER WHY THE UDP GOV HAS BEEN SO DUMB ????????????????

  3. Manuel Pinto says:

    Urgente que los límites verdaderos de Belice que se establecen en el tratado de 1859, sean establecidos por la Corte Internacional de Justicia, para evitar que los militares de Belice sigan asesinando a campesinos inocentes en la línea de adyacencia en territorio de Guatemala.

  4. Jason says:

    GOB PLeaseEeeeeeeee send more BDF to this area to stop the guts stealing from Belize? let old Boyinton dig and pay taxes and royalties and stop being unfair to the man. Guats not paying us $$$$ or hiring workers or paying SSB.

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