Illegal gold panning continues in Chiquibul
And there was another incident on August twenty-first in the area of Ceibo Chico. This time FCD rangers, Police and B.D.F. personnel came under fire as they approached about fifty Guatemalans panning for gold in the Chiquibul. There’s been no official report of the incident from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but according to Manager of the Chiquibul National Park Derrick Chan it was a tense and dangerous situation.
Via Phone: Derrick Chan, Manager, Chiquibul National Park
“We did several reconnaissance patrols in an area in the Ceibo Grande Creek and we found active trail where we suspected that it was gold panning that was happening. So we went to do the reconnaissance and did find that there was people working. We later went back more practically and organized to conduct an operation and arrest the situation and we came upon about fifty persons who were doing illegal gold panning in the Ceibo Creek, very close to a place called fort camp near the Maya mountain main divide. It was a rabble. We had people running all over and we halted the people and tried to arrest them. There were so many of them running around trying to escape the troops, the patrol, and in the process we heard several shots and people shouting up in the hills very close to us. And we also found two firearms in the process.”
News Five asked Minister Wilfred Elrington about the incident. He told us that he is on holiday so hasn’t been briefed. We have been able to confirm that six Guatemalans were arrested and handed over to the San Ignacio Police. They are reportedly on remand at the Belize Central Prison.Email This Story