Latest on Guatemalan Gold Panners Captured in Chiquibul
Despite the presence of F.C.D. rangers, police and B.D.F., illegal incursions into the Chiquibul continue. Over the past three weeks, a total of thirteen Guatemalans have been detained well inside Belizean territory, particularly in the Ceibo Chico area, in the south of the Chiquibul. The most recent detention of four adults and a minor occurred on Monday. The joint patrol was alerted by signs of murky water flowing downstream and would later encounter the men digging into the creek. The illegal Guatemalan gold panners have been identified as thirty-four-year-old Samuel Chuch Kap, thirty-three-year-old Edgar Maas Cucul, twenty-six-year-old Carlos Teck Chub, eleven-year-old Leonardo Maas Teck – from Monte Los Olivos, in Peten – and forty-four-year-old Esidro Garcia Rocke of Valle La Esmeralda. According to Executive Director of F.C.D., Rafael Manzanero, the men were found with vials of gold mineral as well as a pound of pulverized gold mixed with small pebbles.
“We have brought in at least in three patrol that have been conducted in the area of Ceibo Chico, there have been three particular detainments that have been done in the southern area of the Chiquibul and they are all related to gold panning activities. The first detainment was done with four of them and then the second time was also with four and the third one that happened just over the last two days, there were five of them. So that has been the scenario in terms of the detainment. All of them have been brought down to the San Ignacio Police Station where charges have been levied upon them.”
Live ammunitions were also confiscated from the illegal camp site.