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Jul 20, 2011

Another shooting incident inside Chiquibul

Last Wednesday a team of officers including Belize Defense Force personnel, forest rangers and conservationists came under fire from illegal loggers in the Chiquibul National Park.  The men had already cleared quite a number of mature cedar trees, fifty-six in total, for extraction to neighboring Guatemala.  While incursion from Guatemalan poachers remains a perennial issue for security forces, the incident has once again raised concerns from the public in the wake of a subsequent encounter which also resulted in an exchange of gunfire over the weekend.  At midday on Sunday a patrol team came across yet another group of men in an area less than five miles south of where the first chance meeting took place.  Again gunshots rang out in the dense forest before the outlaws made good their escape across the border.  According to Lieutenant Colonel David Jones charges are expected to be brought against Jairo Orlando Motta in connection with Wednesday’s confrontation.  Meanwhile the B.D.F. continues to work closely with its partner agencies in Guatemala to address the problem.

Lt. Col. David Jones, Chief of Staff, B.D.F.

David Jones

“We had a B.D.F. patrol in the area north of the Caracol ruins about two point, eight kilometers.  I think it was about six and half kilometers from the border.  They encountered some illegal loggers cutting cedar lumber in the area.  On approaching the area one child, probably between the ages of eight or nine, shouted the word ‘negrito’ and apparently that was the signal to alert the rest of the loggers that the B.D.F. were in the area.  After the shout about two seconds or so after a shot was fired towards the patrol.  The patrol in turn got down, returned fire to the area and then they advanced towards where the loggers were.  However, when they reached the area where the shots came from they managed to detain one person.  They noticed that he was grazed by a bullet to the right arm.  He was detained [and] subsequently taken over to the San Ignacio Police Station where he is police custody and I think immigration charges will be levied against him as well.”

Isani Cayetano

“I was made to understand that there was a second or a subsequent encounter with illegal loggers in the general area.  Can you update us on that as well?”

Lt. Col. David Jones

“The second incident occurred on Sunday which was the seventeenth [of July].  It was about 12:10 in the afternoon where we had another patrol in the area.  It was about six or seven kilometers south of where the incident occurred.  South of the ruins two shots were fired apparently towards the direction of the patrol, this is what we know now.  The patrol in turn returned fire and upon investigation in the area they did not see anyone.  So I think initially after the shots were fired one of the patrol members saw someone in the area, they returned fire in the area where they saw the person but after that they saw no one so no one was detained and there is no information in regards to anybody being injured.”

Isani Cayetano

“The issue of xateros and illegal loggers crossing over from Guatemala into Belizean territory is a recurrent one.  What is the BDF doing in terms of stepping up patrols or working with its counterparts to sort of put a lid on it or to decrease the number of incursions?”

Lt. Col. David Jones

“Okay, in particular that area, we have continuous patrols in the area so we’re not going to move out from there.  So every day we have presence in that area.  We work closely with the Guatemalan counterparts [and] we have regular meetings with them.  As soon as incidents like these occur we inform them.  They are informed of the area and we corroborate the information that we got and they try to assist us from their side who may have been committing these incursions into Belize and we work from there.  But we are working closely with the Guatemalans but constantly we’re going to keep patrols in that area.”

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5 Responses for “Another shooting incident inside Chiquibul”

  1. rod says:

    we might as well forget about the minister of defense where is he why is he not made to answer questions about our country being invaded perhaps he is making money off these incursions also i wouldnt put nothing pass this corrupt pm and gov. worse in belizean history nothing going right guan barrow guannnnnnnnnnnnnn

  2. bzn2dabone says:

    more patrols are needed in the area. I say, put in some snipers (I am sure the BDF has some very good sharp shooters) in the area. Have them camouflaged and whenever they see movement, shoot first and ask questions later. These idiot guatemalans need to learn to respect our national sovereignty. That is why I don’t go to guatemala not even to shop or visit. I leave the stupid guatemalans alone in their worthless, run-down, stinking, ugly, dogsidung country…and as such, they should leave us live our lives in the peace and harmony that has existed this crystalatiously beautiful country called Belize.

  3. Elgin Martinez says:

    Dean Barrow will probably hold the title for worse PM in Belize’s history.Crime and unemployment is rampant.The Belizean Citizens are threatened by foreign and dometic enemies.The lands department is full of crooks,what’s next?and how corrupt is this administration going to get?

  4. marco says:

    Poverty in Guatemala is rampant and the government through Propeten, ACOFOP, and CONAP are doing the best they can in bringing in alternative livelihood options in this area of Peten. However, due to unstable markets for products such as Xate and Izote Pony plants exported among others, these people seek alternatives. Timber is attractive and not only Guatemalans are extracting this resource illegally but Belizeans too. In fact, these Guatemalans might be employed by Belizeans to do exactly what is being done. Lets talk to the Forest Department, they know exactly who are logging legally and illegally and these Belizean loggers know damn well what is going on. In fact, a trip made to Chiquibul Peten gave some information last time that Xateros were working for two Belizean Companies.

    Lets get the facts and it is best to kill a snake by hitting the head than the tail.

  5. CEO says:

    How can they cut down 60+ mature trees and not be detected seeing that we have patroles in the area. What about reconesance flights, out flanking the s o b and capturing all of them?

    Why don’t we teach our “negitos” to shoot. How these guys always manage to escape? If I am not mistaken these are guys pochers have no military training and our guys do…help me understand how they always manage to escape except for the no so lucky ……… in lock-up?

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