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Mar 25, 2014

Flitches of mahogany found in Maya Mountain Forest Reserve

Wil Maheia

Last week, our friends at PGTV reported that a container of rosewood was detected near Trio Village and taken to Big Falls Port ready to be exported. While there is a moratorium in place, government officials told News Five that the rosewood was allowed under the 2013 amnesty program. Well tonight, there is another report from PGTV which says that an undisclosed amount of felled lumber, including mahogany and barbajalote, which are species protected under the forest reserve act and in this case, the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve has been discovered. Activist, Wil Maheia says that the harvesting is being done by Guatemalan nationals at the behest of a Chinese businessman living in Belize.

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Via Phone: Wil Maheia, Belize Territorial Volunteers

“This morning, we put together an expedition that went deep into the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve. When we went in there, we saw a huge probably a hundred and fifty year old tree on top of a steep slope that was cut for timber and then as we continued walking, we saw another one and another one and it was just amazing the amount of huge trees that these guys are cutting in there. And we know that it is being cut illegally because on our way out, we decided to make a report to the forest officer in charge of that area and she told us that no one has permission to be logging in their right now. There are thousands of board feet of mahogany of barbajalote on the ground, being cut already into lumber. So we know that they are going to get ready to transport it soon.  This is deep into Belize’s territory; it is not even close to the border…it is probably more than twenty miles into Belize’s territory. The information that we gathered from some of the people in the area is that they are working for some Chinese who live in Belize. The Guatemalans are being recruited to do the cutting of the trees, but actually the person that they are cutting for lives in Belize, somewhere in Belize and apparently it is a Chinese businessman. We heard the chainsaw, apparently when they saw us, they ran. We found fire where somebody was cooking; we found food, we found a number of fuel containers that was in the area. We know that they even have horses in the area. Apparently the horses are being used to haul the lumber out to a vehicle, a truck and we think that when they heard us, they scrambled into the jungle.”

 

A report was made to the forest officer in the south, but according to the Chief Forest Officer, he has not yet received a formal complaint.

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2 Responses for “Flitches of mahogany found in Maya Mountain Forest Reserve”

  1. Brian says:

    Good Night

    It is said that Rosewood harvesting has stopped but there continue to be a plundering of this precious wood here in the deep south. One there is this ex forest officer by the name Samuel Edwards who has been the head man here in Toledo doing the plundering and delivering of Rose wood to Trio Village. THis man along with illegal alies have been the major players in harvesting during the nights and cutting during the day. Forest officers are not really concered about these event. They only patrol in Town with their fancy vehicles. Secondly, Just Today there was a chinny man in THe village of Corazon paying off money for harvested rose wood going price for a foot is at 4.00 dollars. People be aware, how come we continue to see this chinny man in our village. How have they come to be above the law? We need serious people to investigate what is happing here in Toledo. What is SATIM doing? We have these surrounding villages that have a quota of 200 board fet per family to cut and supply to this chinny man. Wake up people what is this continuing? Where is the MInister of Forestry to have her people look into these illegal activities?

  2. Brian says:

    This chinny man licensen plate is BZ C00660. He is always in these villages encouraging the villagers to cut these rosewood have them stay for a while in the forest so that the wood drys off so that it does not look like freshly cut and have them shipped to Trio where they are load on to containers. Curently Samuel Edwards received 145,000 thosand dollars to pay for cutted rose wood.

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