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Sep 15, 2017

F.C.D. Steps Up Patrols for Gold Panners

Rafael Manzanero

It is no secret that incursions into the Chiquibul by Guatemalans have been denuding our rich forest. While harvesting xaté is now almost non-existent, Rafael Manzanero says that the issue of illegal gold panning by Guatemalans within the Chiquibul is ever increasing within the forest. Despite the installing of various outposts, gold panners are still being caught by the joint patrols of Police, B.D.F. and FCD rangers. Manzanero speaks about the change in strategy by the patrol since July.

 

Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD

“Since we opened the Caballo, we certainly have been able to put in more of the efforts on the ground with the changing of the tactics and the strategy in the Ciebo Chico area. As how we have noted the gold panning activities continue and as I had noted, we really need to change our strategies because if we don’t do it, we consider that the Guatemalan gold panners would stop until they really have depleted all the gold in the area. You would have noticed that the last couple of weeks, there were more apprehensions, more detainments. And that was really part of the new strategy. We would hope that we can continue doing that. Of course this is not an activity done alone by the FCD; it is really operating under a joint forces activity which includes the Belize Defense Force and the Police Department in this case.”

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