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Sep 9, 2013

Group of 5 caught illegally panning for gold in Chiquibul

Early last week, a Guatemalan national was arrested for gold panning activities in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul National Park. There is another arrest to report; on Friday, a group of five men, all Guatemalan nationals, was caught deep inside the national park. Twenty year old Jose Ramirez Vicente, thirty-two year old Ruben Ramos Ramirez, thirty-four year old Eliseo Chi Mucuy, twenty-six year old Alfonso Ical Tzub and twenty-five year old Joaquin Acte were also found panning for gold when they were intercepted by personnel from the Southern Joint Forces Unit.  The group was discovered approximately five miles from the Belize/Guatemala border inside Belizean territory.  Vicente, Ramirez and Mucuy were found in possession of gold nuggets inside a vial of tubes. Inside the four vials were over twenty-four grams of gold which reportedly fetches two hundred Quetzales which is the equivalent of fifty-seven Belize dollars per gram; when sold on the Peten market. The men were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station where they were charged for Illegal Entry, Defacing a Protected Area and Extracting and Processing a Mineral without a Permit.  The extraction of gold is currently being done illegally on the higher elevations of the Chiquibul headwaters where the origin of the Chiquibul watershed is formed.

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