F.C.D. Continues Fight Against Gold Panning Despite Challenges
Gold panning has evolved into one of the two primary threats to the integrity of the Chiquibul. It’s a high level risk within the national park because of the ruggedness of the terrain and the distance to reach the southern part of the protected area where the illegal activity occurs. Manzanero told News Five that FCD has taken several interventions to counter this problem.
On the Phone: Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, F.C.D.
“Unlike the illegal gold panners that are coming from Guatemala, to reach there, into that zone, it would basically take them some three hours or so, while for us here from this side of the border, it basically would take us some two to three days to arrive on location and to put in any intervention. And so the ruggedness and the distance and nature of this region is what makes it highly complicated for us.”
“What needs to be done to address this issue?”
On the Phone: Rafael Manzanero
“We have always been mindful that the problem of gold panning in the Ceibo Chico area; we have been reporting this from 2011. So we have been looking for the last six years that they have been activities of gold panning in the region. Our recommendations have always been that we have to be more determined in terms of having the efforts put in or the patrols and to be able to have the relationship with institutions, regulatory institutions in order to deal with this problem.”
The men were charged for illegal entry and mineral extraction without a permit.