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Apr 9, 2013

When minister’s away, the Rosewood Kings getaway

The harvesting of rosewood is illegal and there is a moratorium in place since March sixteenth, 2012, but that has not stopped the highly lucrative trade to markets in China, where there is a huge demand for the precious hardwood. On Monday afternoon, confiscated flitches of rosewood held at the Forestry compound in Belmopan were loaded in two containers. By this afternoon, the containers were moved from Belmopan but its destination has not been confirmed, nor who ordered its release and that is raising eyebrows. News Five’s Isani Cayetano went looking for answers today.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The departure of two, forty-foot containers of rosewood flitches from the Forest Department in Belmopan at midday is raising more questions tonight than it has yielded answers, since the media caught wind of movement on the compound on Monday afternoon.  The cargo is presumably the contents of a sizeable confiscation on February seventh, involving fifteen thousand board feet of rosewood belonging to Kambokin Enterprises.  That import, a twenty, as well as a forty-foot container, was seized at the Western Border, where it was being housed by Belize Engineering Ltd.  The shipment was subsequently relocated to Belmopan.  There the logs remained under security until they were loaded by a team of workmen into containers owned by Little Belize Exporters Ltd., a concern registered to Orange Walk businessman Wilbert Valencia.  When News Five spoke with Valencia by phone earlier today, he told us that he was only contracted to remove the lumber from the Forest Department’s compound.  Who authorized the taking away of the rosewood is still unclear and where it is destined for is another matter altogether.  In the past, Valencia has conducted business with customs broker Raul Cawich for logistics pertaining to the export of rosewood.  Cawich has disavowed any knowledge of the freight or its accompanying paperwork, stating instead that he has not been contacted by anyone, including Wilbert Valencia, for the job.  In the absence of Forest Minister Lisel Alamilla and Chief Forestry Officer Wilbur Sabido, who are both out of the country, News Five attempted to get a comment from Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wendell Parham but we were told that he was in a meeting.  Similarly, we tried contacting Deputy Chief Forest Officer Marcelo Windsor to find out about the suspicious transaction.  He too was unavailable for comment. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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15 Responses for “When minister’s away, the Rosewood Kings getaway”

  1. belizean says:

    not surprised since relative of DPM Vega involved!!!!

  2. Gaz says:

    Lets just hope its going to those that can use it and are working for the betterment of Belize, like Belize Zoo, Belize Bird Rescue, the various dog rescues etc, all of which need it to build more enclosures.

  3. eric says:

    “Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” Leonardo da Vinci

    “Little Belize Exporters Ltd., a concern registered to Orange Walk businessman Wilbert Valencia”. Orange Walk business man and the rosewood was confiscated (for being illegally harvested) from a shady Chinese business. This smacks of our abnormal deputy prime minister. My grandfather said very many years ago when I was still a little boy that one day the Chinese will rule over our country and time proved his words to be prophetic. They came to our country crushed our locally owned mom and pop stores in order to build mega stores right next to each other in order to launder their ill gotten money. They bought all our prime properties just as they bought our politicians and are slowly poisoning our people with the unhealthy foods that they cook in their restaurants. They bring in their own slaves from china to work in their money laundering machines that they call stores and they add insult to injury by dodging paying GST to our seemingly inept functionaries from the tax department. This is but another show of power and ownership, they have our corrupt money hungry politicians hold us down by our hands and feet while they date rape us with not even the decency of buying us a meal. I think the heading should have read “When minister’s are SENT AWAY, the Rosewood Kings getaway”. They don’t even try to insult our intelligence with dignity anymore, it’s almost like they are telling us f you we don’t care what you idiots think of us we will do what we want and there is nothing you can do about it for another four plus years. All I have to say is take that you voting, politically loyal sheep’s you are reaping what you sow last general elections. They have made all of you their !@#$%^&, thank God I don’t vote so there isn’t any guilt of aiding and abetting the rape of my country on my shoulders.

  4. Belizean says:


  5. Truth says:

    And this just like other major government screw up will only live briefly and nothing will be done.

    how many times does this have to happen for us Belizeans to start doing something ..

  6. orangewalkenio says:

    So depressing…..really really….

  7. OH WELL says:

    You get the government you BUY!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. m.price says:

    Barrow silence is deafening.

    Guatemala many violations
    Vega & the land stealing
    Faber brother wrecking the people vehicle
    Rosewood debacle
    OAS bias against Belize
    Baby gets kidnapped
    Belize Visa still for sale

    Barrow has said nothing in regards to these pressing issues.

    BUT some gangbangers get kill and barrow not only hold press conference the same day but he uses the Belize people money to put them up in resort area…smmfh

    I was a big Barrow fan, he has done much more than let me down. I am ashamed of his tenure as the PM. Barrow has to GO, and not later but now

  9. OH WELL says:

    You get the government you BUY!!!!!

  10. Tarasbulba says:

    Nuff said OH WEll!!!

  11. blackberry says:

    new rose wood will be entering the market and will be passing as a part of old stock. Oh ! the games politicians play.

  12. Mad says:

    Not surprised. I hope it will be used in Belize rather than ship to China.

  13. Bear says:

    One day the corrupted ones will be held to account and punished until they regret their crimes.

    Now, let’s get to the amnesty for murderers, drug dealers [and give them back the money or drugs that were confiscated], and robbers [and give them back the money they stole].


    Even if ALL the proceeds are kept by the government, this move is not supported by law. But they call it an AMNESTY, and amnesty means that “CRIMES ARE FORGIVEN.” Who forgives these crimes of Alamilla and Gapi and whoever else is involved? NOT THE PEOPLE OF BELIZE!

    Purification needs to come here, soon and ruthlessly.

  14. Rod says:

    I say do like the Mexicans have done the good citizens arrested the whole gov. And put them all in jail and took back their town people you must act and act now you can’t sit back anymore jail all the corrupt people in this gov. From the pm down I say lock them all up.

  15. Juan says:

    Today i was in the villages and a guy by the name of pitch are encouraging villagers to cut rosewood. Today power saws were been taken out and villagers starting to cut fresh rosewood. Vegas with their !@$$ again

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