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Aug 1, 2012

Ya’axche Conservation Trust confronted by Guatemalan bandits in Forest

The pillaging of our protected national parks by Guatemalan nationals was brought to the forefront recently because of the magnitude of the damage caused by the border incursions.  On July twenty-third, the Ya’axche Conservation Trust attempted to carry out a five day patrol inside the Columbia River Forest Reserve and Bladen Nature Reserve, in southern Belize but it had to suspend the trek because the small patrol group encountered armed Guatemalans fifteen kilometers inside Belize. Marchilio Ack, the Head Ranger of Ya’axche, says that the Guatemalans, primarily Xateros and illegal loggers, are slowly making their way into Belizean villages.

 

Via Phone: Marchilio Ack, Head Ranger, Ya’axche Conservation Trust

“Ya’axche conducted a joint patrol between with the B.D.F., four soldier accompanied by four Ya’axche rangers to the hostile BNR at our border. The purpose of the patrol was to assess the damage and the extent of the activity from illegal xate extraction by Guatemalan Nationals. On the second day of the five day patrol, the patrol heard shots fired on increasing frequent intervals as they got towards BNR. A short while later, Ya’axche Rangers came face to face with Xatero in carrying a sixteen gauge shotgun, who quickly escaped as he realized the presence of the BDF support. Upon reaching camp just inside BNR, one of the rangers encountered another xatero on the perimeter of the camp; this xatero was also carrying a sixteen gauge shotgun; given the danger of physical harm and the lack of man power, the patrol decided to terminate the patrol and return to the base. Over the years it’s not going down, it’s escalating as you mentioned and we’ve got some reports from villages in San Jose and these areas that Xateros came closer to about just couple hours of walk from the villages so there are increased numbers and they are all over the Bladden Nature Reserve and also in the Colombia Nature Reserve right now so the illegal activity that is occurring out there is not decreasing but increasing very, very fast.”

 

Andrea Polanco

Marchilio Ack

“Is it a situation where the villagers probably feel threatened?”

 

Via Phone: Marchilio Ack

“Well, of course, the villages that border the Colombia Forest Reserve, they feel threatened of course because there are reports previously that their horses were stolen; their corn and crops are stolen. The people out here are living in fear of these people.”

 

Ack says that there are four soldiers posted in the south and there should be additional boots on the ground to have an impact on the situation.

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12 Responses for “Ya’axche Conservation Trust confronted by Guatemalan bandits in Forest”

  1. Vuk says:

    As I’ve said before, if Belize is to realistically defend itself in this situation, it’s going to have to obtain some form of military aid as it cannot, at this moment, build its defence force on its own. If this administration and other administrations do not start to take seriously this and other ways to practically address the national security issue, then Belize is finished as a nation-state. As the great Phillp S.W. Goldson said, the time to save your country is before you lose it and this, under these circumstances, is a great way to start saving it.

  2. Storm says:

    It’s sad that our BDF is outgunned and outmanned by these criminal invaders, and we have to retreat from the confrontation. GOB has made us too weak even to stand up to xateros!

    This incident, and all of the other recent ones with gold mining encampments, etc., underscore the threat to our land TODAY. These people were TEN MILES INSIDE BELIZE. Will we ever draw a line that we will defend as our nation? In Belmopan? Belize City? Or will we make our last stand on St. George’s Cay?

    ARM THE VILLAGES AND FORM THEM INTO RURAL DEFENSE FORCES.

  3. blackberry says:

    We are already being invaded by a silent invasion.

  4. Belizean says:

    4 SOLDIERS? That is THE biggest, the BIGGEST joke!!!!! WE need 20 plus soldiers with high power weapons out there and conduct strict border patrols, and hold up the ……..

  5. Seletar says:

    How many soldiers are sitting in Ladyville while we have only FOUR on the frontlines where the invasion is occurring, even right at this minute?

    Ladyville is pretty secure, let’s move a hundred or more BDF soldiers to the invasion zone!

  6. sim says:

    put the gang leaders on the boarder so they can get pay for something.

  7. joe lopez says:

    Who is that idiot incharge of the BDF? Where in the world they send four soldiers to conduct border patrol where a lot of weird things are happening in that area?? They confined the BDF in the price barracks for what? The BDF get paid for that to protect and defend our contry from intruders like the guatemalans!!

  8. joe lopez says:

    Put the BDF on the borders to their jobs! Not confined them at barracks doing nothing!!

  9. Belizean says:

    Like your Idea “sim” hahaha Thats right, if the gang guys love to shoot around and kill, mek dem do wah service ina de jungle!!

  10. BMNJ says:

    Put up a wall along the Belize-Guatemala border.

  11. joe lopez says:

    Mr.PM put the BDF to do their job, to protect and defend our country! Do not wait until the enemy has invaded our country!

  12. BZ DAPPA says:

    If the BDF only had its OWN AIR PATROL or DRONES; who in the government would be smart enough to know HOW TO USE it against Guatemala ???!!! Take Israel vs the rest of the Middle East…

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