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Nov 8, 2011

Illegal logging devastating Chiquibul

The threat to the Chiquibul Forest has intensified; it is well documented that Guatemalan loggers trespass Belizean soil to carry out illegal logging.  The B.D.F. has often surprised Guatemalans extracting our precious resources well within our borders, but that illegal activity has continued over the years.  There is an alarming report tonight from Friends of Conservation and Development that the Guatemalans have advanced significantly into the Chiquibul where the illegal extraction of our precious woods is taking place without hindrance.  FCD says that millions of dollars are being lost from the extraction.

Raphael Manzanero, Executive Director, Friends of Conservation and Development

Raphael Manzanero

“In terms of illegal logging what we’re referring to are primarily the extraction of mahogany and cedar trees from within that jungle and interms of our alarm that we have actually rang out there is because the extension of the activity is now reaching up to some ten kilometers inside of Belize particularly in the area of the Caracol Zone which is of course part of the Chiquibul Forest and so our main concern is that even though there have been efforts undertaken over the last few months, in reality our joint forces unit have not been able to contain that particularly matter on the ground. So what we are observing is that Guatemalans are still actively engaged and in reality they are not really demonstrating any fear of being arrested or being detained. So they are almost about now to reach on the highway now actually leading now to Caracol and that is really of a great concern to us who are operating in that forest.”

Andrea Polanco

“Okay, so can you discuss with us the impacts of the actions of these illegal loggers?”

Raphael Manzanero

“Yes, certainly. In terms of our assessments that was done just about four months in terms of a report we were able to understand that the are of impact would’ve been some fifty five thousand acres across the Chiquibul Forest, that basically means from the Caracol Area to the southern extreme point of the Chiquibul Forest which hits with the Toledo District and so what we are looking at is just basically an extension of an area where people have been operating for, we tried to document about one point five years ago in terms of illegal logging. What we have seen is that this thing is increasing quite rapidly and so our observations have been in a period of that time and based upon our assessments in the field we reckon that Belize would’ve lost about fifteen million dollars worth of Belizean currency in terms of timber extracted as a result of Guatemala operating in that forest. But yet as we reported that in time of four months ago when we conclude that report we are still seeing further increase of acreage being covered and so we need really desperately to look at other interventions that will be able to demonstrate a sound deterrence in terms of these illegal and environmental crimes occurring in the Chiquibul Forest.”

While a number of operations by the nation’s security forces have removed a number of Guatemalans from Belizean soil, Manzanero says that a lot more needs to be done. We will have more with Manzanero in Wednesday’s newscast.

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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 “Illegal logging devastating Chiquibul”

  1. Lucas says:

    This govt. has no desire of stopping such abuses.

  2. louisville,ky says:

    My suggestion on a solution to this illegal logging by Guatemalans is that the Government lease portions of the reserve closest to the border to Belizean Loggers and strenghten the presence of BDF patrols with revenue collected from log extraction. What ?, $15 million lost in stolen logs. Cost of unknown Mayan artifacts and Belizean dignity………..Priceless !!!

  3. fromafar says:

    I’m sorry, but this has been an issue for a few years now, so why the !@#$ isnt this !@#$%^& organization doing something?

  4. belizeanpride says:

    it’s time for the gov. to have the bdf on daily patrols to protect our nation. the nation just got the gift from the batsub so why not use it for that. it is a real concern for us as a nation since we are not being protected as it should be.

  5. blackberry says:

    i keep on saying we are being taken over from within and those who should be protecting us do not care . it wont be long before we are officially declared a department of Guatemala.

  6. oscar cano says:

    THE BDF SHOULD BE DEPLOYED AND PATROL THE BORDER REGULARLY , AND SHOOT ON SIGHT. THE AREAS SHOULD BE DECLARED A CLOSED MILITARY ZONE WITH LIVE FIRE TRAINING.OPEN THE AREAS FOR BELIZEANS TO FARM.RECRUIT ALL THESE GANG BANGERS AND SEND THEM TO ASSIST THEE BDF.

  7. Indian Woman says:

    Hey,,,, there is no money for the BDF girls and boys to patrol. The ministers and everyone else in politics are pocketing all the cash at hand. Belize is in a mess!! It’s the culture man….. in Belize there is no true pride. People say they are proud and love their country,… All talk. Watch what happens when election time….Votes are cheap.Hurry up and learn spanish…….or watch what will happen.So who will we give a chance to be the next PM? the same ?or another worthless human? They cannot even PAVE one street per year in Belmopan. OHHHH… they do PAVE…. around certain areas…Such a disgrace to see the Capital of the country with 90 % dirt streets.. OHHH, sorry. NO MONEY.

  8. KIKA says:

    @oscar cano. you are the right person to recruit the gang banger brother. you seems to have a solution there that any other who are just saying shocks mein. Gud idea yes open the land to do farming and try to bring income for the country. make they do a little agriculture thing back there.

  9. alex says:

    GUATEMALA IS TAKING OVER BELIZE COMON GOVERNMENT LETS DO SOMETHING!!!!

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