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Apr 7, 2017

Gold Panners Caught Again in Chiquibul

Gold panning within the depths of the Chiquibul Forest remains an illicit activity, one that is continuously being carried out by Guatemalan extractors who cross over into Belizean territory in search of the precious mineral.  Earlier this week, a team of FCD rangers encountered a group of men sorting through sediments for gold nuggets in the Ceibo Chico area.  According to Executive Director Rafael Manzanero, upon sighting the patrol, the men fled into the forest, but not without four of them being caught.  Those four individuals have been taken to the San Ignacio Police Station where they were charged for various offenses.  Last week, another detail of officers on duty within the area was also able to apprehend four men.  They too were subsequently processed.  It is believed that a larger team of about seventy persons are operating illegally inside the Chiquibul.  According to Manzanero gold panning has created serious concerns regarding the adverse effects of the activity on the nearby watershed.

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