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Nov 21, 2011

Deep inside the Chiquibul with joint forces

Illegal logging activities continue unabated in the Chiquibul. This past Friday, the Chiquibul Joint Enforcement Unit, comprising of Friends of Conservation and Development rangers, B.D.F. and police personnel, surprised a group of loggers well inside Belizean territory in what is called the zone of influence. According to FCD which co-manages the area the group of loggers had chainsaws and firearms when they were spotted in the Tunkul area, ten kilometers from the western border, which is an active zone for illegal logging. One member of the group was apprehended and handed over to police. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Just south west of the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, the unit heard chainsaws cutting down trees in the forest. From this video footage you will hear the chainsaws working, as the unit heads into the zone of influence.

But before reaching the zone of influence, the unit encounters this fourteen year old Guatemalan boy on a trail where he was extracting xate. The Guatemalan minor had in his possession, three horses with twelve thousand xate leaves. The minor told the unit that he was cutting the leaves from the Monkey Tail River, which is some thirty five kilometers inside Belize. He says he doesn’t engage in logging and claims ownership of the horses:

Guatemalan Minor, Found Collecting Xate in Belize (Translated)

“Those are mine. That is mine. My dad bought them.”

Arriving into the zone of impact, the unit discovered this chainsaw still powered on cutting through a log after some six to seven Guatemalan loggers fled the scene.  But twenty year old twenty year old Evelio Adelso Romero was left behind and was caught logging illegally.  He had in his possession a weapon and ammunition. He says he is aware that he is logging in Belize because he needs to survive. He is paid to a hundred and twenty five quetzales a day to cut and transport the logs to the capital:

Evelio Adelso Romero

Evelio Adelso Romero

“I do it because it is a necessity to work. It is hard to receive work and to maintain my family. The wood will go to the Capital. I don’t sell wood so I don’t know the name of the buyers. They pay me one hundred and twenty-five quetzal for the day.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

The Chiquibul Forest Joint Enforcement Unit personnel estimated that there were at least 8 persons operating in the area, armed with firearms and equipped with chainsaws. Romero was transferred from Tunkul and handed over to the San Ignacio Police. It is expected that he will be charged for possession of an unlicensed firearm, unlicensed ammunition, illegal logging and illegal entry.

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4 Responses for “Deep inside the Chiquibul with joint forces”

  1. blackberry says:

    Please do not release him in order for him to carry the good news that it is ok to go and rape belize forest.

  2. belizeanpride says:

    until when will the gov. either pup or udp allow this atrocities to our jewel go without trying to stop this. this is a major concern for us Belizeans and the gov. in charge should be more concern. why can’t we have more patrols and show them that we are protecting our nation than just randomly visit the area to show that yes we know they are there.
    come on. minister of national security do something about it. it’s time for you to show your interest in the country’s security as well as our Belizeans.

  3. Abe says:

    So why in the @@@@ did the bdf or whoever deals wit this not just shoot those aleins? What keeps them from doing it????? Everytime they catch a nobody that has nothing to do with cutting!!! Guys, warm up dem M16′S damn it

  4. Louisville,Ky says:

    I am totally convinced that the Government of the day has no intention to seriously address this matter. I know it and so do the Guatemalans. They realize that our own authorities lack the will and determination that it would take to stamp out all that illegal activity. So, why should they stop?

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