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Aug 16, 2011

Conservation Group and Mayas want illegal logging to be controlled

The Ya’axché Conservation Trust weighed in on the illegal Rosewood extraction that is rampant in Toledo villages on Open Your Eyes. Cristina Coc of the Maya Leaders Alliance was also a guest on the show where it was explained that the MLA, the Toledo Alcaldes Association and Ya’axché are not saying “no” to logging, they simply want it done in a legal and sustainable manner. Coc also noted that the poor villagers who are engaged in the logging can reap more benefits if there is a proper process in place that would allow the Mayas to export the Rosewood.

Cristina Coc, Program Coordinator, Maya Leaders Alliance

Cristina Coc

“It is not fair to say that the Maya people do not know how to manage their lands. They know how to manage their lands; they are not experienced in commercializing their logs. And so the government has used this as an opportunity to say well we know that part. You go ahead and cut. We’ll pay you the pennies and dimes and we will go and make the bulk. And what is so disheartening is that while a Maya person is cutting and doing all the hard work, they barley make anything enough to cover the cost of school or whatever else their economic needs are. So it’s a rash economic opportunity that they are engaged in. while at the same time, the middle men, the businessmen who are exporting to china are make—from what we hear—about a hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars in profit only form one container. Now we talk about so many times that Toledo is the poorest of the poor. I mean imagine what we could make—and this is the message I would like to send to my people—let’s begin to envision ourselves as the businessman; not as the workers. We’re tired of being exploited in that sense. Why can’t the government create a mechanism as the judgment rightfully called for to regulate and to put a process in place for us to engage in these kinds of activities, but for us to be given the opportunity to be the ones to export if that is what needs to happen, to begin to grant the permit so that this can be done legally. It doesn’t have to be done with people taking risks like they do now.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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9 Responses for “Conservation Group and Mayas want illegal logging to be controlled”

  1. Lucas says:

    Cristina: Like you, I am very angry. I get very pissed up when politicians and special individuals get rich while destroying our natural reserves and to add insult to injury, throw crumps at us like if we were dogs. My fellow Maya Belizeans, you guys need to sent clear messages not confusing. For example you say: THEY ( THE MAYAS) ARE NOT EXPERIENCED IN COMMERCIALING THEIR LOGS. I need not remind you that the law states that: ALL MINERALS UNDER AND ON THE GROUND, ALL ANCIENT ARTIFACTS AND ALL EXOTIC WOODS ETC. ETC. BELONGS TO THE GOVT.AND BY EXTENSION, NOT TO THE MAYAS OF TOLEDO BUT TO THE PEOPLE OF BELIZE. I come to the conclusion that you are toying with the MAYA-HOMELAND ISSUE which to me as a Maya but BELIZEAN FOR TERRITORIAL UNITY FIRST, is ANNATHEMA. It is like if our brothers the MENNONITES would claim ownership of the oil extracted in Spanish-lookout. Now, I may be wrong about your message but whose fault is it?, the sender of the message or the reciever? You tell me. Now, if you as an individual or as a cooperative want to get into the business of logging, that is your PERFECT RIGHT. have you lobbied Belmopan for a Permit? If you have but with no success, then welcome to the real world. You are not the only Belizean being victimized by Dean Oliver Barrow. I will give you my advise, take it or leave it. DROP THIS HOMELAND THING AND THE WORD MAYA FROM YOUR VOCABULARY AND FIGHT LIKE A BELIZEAN FOR WHAT IS YOUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT AS A BELIZEAN, AND I LUCAS AS A BELIZEAN WILL SUPPORT YOU. So help me God.

  2. BelizeanRasta says:

    I live in Mango Creek, I wake up 5am to work hard and pay my damn taxes every month, The forestry at Savanah confiscated many board foot of this lumber, they sell it to many family members and the closest friends from BAHA . I have seen this persons build their houses overnight . Another thing, why BAHA personel at mango creek use the BAHA government vehicle for the damn personal use(going to bars and drinking, carrying this same lumber from point A to Point B using the same BAHA vehicles) . They don’t pay Taxes, I do, I have more rights to use those vehicles) Mr Alegria ,, please see this matter!!!!

  3. Belizean for Justice says:

    Mr. Alegria!!!!Those lazy employees from your staff in Mango Creek are using the vehicle from BAHA to carry the Rose Wood to build their houses. Is this a joke!!!Forestry at Savanah confiscate this wood and sell it to family members and BAHA emplyees. I am a damn tax payer, maybe i could get free lumber and use BAHA vehicle..this will never happen

  4. Belizean for Justice says:

    sorry , its not Mr Alegria…Dr Figueroa or Depaz , please look ath this matter of BAHA emoployees using company vehicle to tranport Rose wood from Point A to point B

  5. Elgin Martinez says:

    The Guatemalans are drinking gallo from monies that they made from illegal logging in the Jewel and we are crying about high unemployment.So how is it that the Guatemalans can create their own jobs using our natural resources.Wake up Belize.

  6. rasman says:

    The problem is no body wnat to do what needs to be done. Lyrics, and lyrics and lyrics like they are hoping for a grammy. F… that and get the work done

  7. Indian woman says:

    As usual, lazy talk too damn much Belize people. Always wanting to be saved by someone else. You do nothing you get nothing. A few thugs in the government have the whole county hostage. Joke is on all you lazy humans living in Belize. Barrow is doing what all world leaders of lazy people do. RAPE THEM!!

  8. Mr. Concerned says:

    I regret to say that first comment is so ignorant and irrational. You don’t get the gist of the real life in Toledo. People work hard to make a living. I support Ms Coc for the she doing. These need people need to be business minded and charge the worth of work they do. Tell me, these wealthy people will get their baby feet and hands into thier forest neither would they try somethings else. things will do get tough

  9. tim says:

    i am from mango creek and let me share my experience.. one day we decided to go fishing at bladen (i forgot how the lagoon name) so we biked from bladen village to get to this lagoon.. and i know it was illegal cause we were going in a nature reserve.. upon riding bike for almost an hour.. we heard some chain saw close the the “lagoon” and out of no where i saw a big truck full off logs.. and these guys chased us.. literally.. fleeing for our lifes.. they drove the big truck behind us.. they DO NOT WANT ANYONE IN THAT AREA>. they are logging in Bladen Nature Reserve.. I thought of my 16 guage to shoot the tire of the big truck.. those bastards from savanah are scumbags.. crooks.. and want all for them selves.. next time i am going to take a video of them.. blog it.. post on GOB website.. and let’s see what will happen!!!! tired of it.. tired tired tired.. Barrow HAS TO GO!!! NOW~~~~

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