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May 20, 2014

Medina Bank residents up in arms about rosewood fiasco

Pablo Mis

While Cabinet’s decision is causing a stink, it has also angered residents of Medina Bank. Viewers may recall that in April, residents of that community acted to seize thirty-one pieces of freshly cut, illegal rosewood. They did it to help Forest Officers, but it was promptly taken away allegedly by the Forestry Department, which claimed that it needed it while the operations were ongoing – for record-keeping purposes. Well record this – the thirty-one pieces are gone…sold off allegedly to GIV Enterprises. Today, Maya Leaders Alliance’s Program Coordinator, Pablo Mis, expressed the community’s displeasure especially since they had received a commitment that the rosewood would be returned.

 

Pablo Mis, Program Coordinator, Maya Leaders Alliance

“I had asked him for that commitment in writing and he furnished me with a copy of that letter on April fifteen. Since then, we went back and reported to the village of Medina Bank the response from the forest department and the community was very happy to learn that there were efforts to make good-faith engagement with the community. The village then had a community meeting to decide what they would do with the rosewood once returned and together they decided that they would use those thirty-one piece to build their community centre; they were going to build their community centre on stilts so it was appropriate to use those logs for that. I have since communicated that back to Chief Forest Officer Sabido via email and not too long after I sent that communication, I became aware that there were missing rosewood at the Savannah Forest station and we understand that it was rosewood that was confiscated during the operation. I have since been trying to get in touch with Chief Forest Officer Sabido via email; I’ve left messages with his secretary via telephone and I have not received any response from him as to whether or not the thirty-one pieces of rosewood that were confiscated from medina Bank is a part of the stock that went missing at the Savannah Forest Station. Of course the village is sort of disheartened and to a certain extent becoming frustrated with the silence from the forest department on the matter. I was hoping that by the end of last week I would have gotten a response from him so that this weekend, I could have reported back to the community. Now I would have to go back to the community and inform them that there is no response as yet and the community will take a decision as to what to do next beucase the silence, as I said, they are not really comfortable with. And they would like an assurance that the forest department keeps its words in saying that those logs will be safeguarded and that they were going to be returned to the community.”

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2 Responses for “Medina Bank residents up in arms about rosewood fiasco”

  1. Rod says:

    This is the most brazen thieves in Central America. They even care if you know they are stealing they are doing it in the open telling every citizen in this country I no k if unu see mi the thief I will continue to thief and their is nothing you can do about it. What a thieving pm and gov.

  2. Harold says:

    I enjoy reading channel 5 news to keep up to date with matters in Belize. I have noticed, however this person who goes by the name Rod to be rather rude and mischievous. I am kindly requesting that his responses be screened or edited for the benefit of the public who are getting tired of his endless ramblings about politics and race. And I thank you.

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