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Sep 12, 2019

A Spike in Aggressive Cattle Ranching Activities Along the Western Border

Friends for Conservation and Development is reporting a spike in aggressive cattle ranching activities along the western border. F.C.D. notes that in March, more than eighty pastures were documented in an area of ninety kilometers of the western border. This year, the N.G.O. has conducted five aerial reconnaissance trips of the Vaca Forest Reserve, Chiquibul National Park, Caracol Archaeological Reserve and Columbia River Forest Reserve. F.C.D. states that a more aggressive encroachment appears to be made by Guatemalan groups moving further into Belizean territory. Areas in the Chiquibul include Valentin, Retiro, South Cebada and North Rio Blanco where persistent intervention is required to prevent ownership of the land by encroachers. Guatemalan investments are documented in the form of improved pastures, barbwire fencing, corrals and increase of cattle heads. According to the F.C.D., a family identified as Jimenez, has been upping activities and in the last two years investing in major water reservoirs. Encroachments in south Cebada were first detected in 2011and continue though park boundary signs have been were destroyed. Currently, F.C.D. estimates that one thousand three hundred and twenty-five acres of lands are being occupied for cattle and corn plantations on these two priority areas in the Chiquibul western flank.

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