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Sep 29, 2017

Big Fines for Illegal Logs in Orange Walk

Pablo Valladarez

Earlier this week, we reported on the interception of four men from Orange Walk who were found in possession of illegally harvested mahogany logs. The Forest Department says that on Thursday forty-seven-year-old Guinea Grass resident; Pablo Valladarez was fined twenty-two thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight dollars after he was found guilty for the unlawful possession of forest produce. Valladarez may face five years imprisonment if he is unable to pay the fine by January thirty-first, 2018. Valladarez, Catalino Copo, Nelson Mosa, and Aurelio Mai, who are residents of Guinea Grass and Santa Martha villages, were detained by police and forest department officials on Sunday hauling illegally harvested mahogany on the Old Northern Highway, in Orange Walk District. A total of thirty-four unstamped logs were confiscated. But the Forest Department is reporting that prior to this incident, its officers also intercepted Carmelita resident Juan Reyes, with multiple timber species including Negrito, Santa Maria and mahogany. He too was fined for Unlawful Possession of Forest Produce on September nineteenth, 2017. The department says that illegal timber harvesting is a lucrative business, but it’s a crime that threatens the future of the local sustainable logging industry and the environment.

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