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Aug 25, 2016

General David Jones Says Dangers Remain in Chiquibul

David Jones

When we caught up with B.D.F. Commander, Brigadier General David Jones, we also wanted to know about the state of affairs in the Chiquibul. According to Jones, the area where the shooting of Julio Alvarado took place is fraught with danger for the rangers and B.D.F. soldiers who put their lives at risk. He says that even before the shooting death of the fourteen year old, there have been encounters with Guatemalan nationals carrying out illegal hunting.

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, B.D.F.

“That area continues to be a dangerous area to work; it is one of the areas that don’t have covered at the moment. And that was the reason why those patrols have been going in there because we have coverage in other conservation post areas except for Cebada and also the Caballo area. Since we don’t have a conservation post there, my decision was to send patrols in there so that we have a handle on what’s happening on the entire length of the border that we have with Guatemala. So I have been sending sporadic patrols there. There was a previous one couple months ago where two members from Guatemalan peasants had fired at the patrol; the patrol returned fire and one of them was injured. The patrol subsequently brought both of them in. prior to that, I think it was in March, the same young man that was fatally injured, was found in the area hunting illegally and we escorted him over to Guatemala. So we continue to face challenges in that area and it is clear and present danger that when we go out there to do our jobs, our soldiers are putting their lives at risk and they need to operate professionally—bearing in mind protection for themselves and other N.G.O.s who are on patrol with them, but also bearing in mind human rights issues. If they do detain and capture anyone, they are to treat them humanely and bring them in so that our justice system can take its course.”

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