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May 28, 2021

F.C.D. Seeks to Increase Fines for Wildlife Trafficking

Rafael Manzanero

The issue of fines for those caught illegally trafficking wildlife is also of concern.  Manzanero says the Wildlife Protection Act of Belize is being revamped to increase these. He hopes this will act as a deterrent. 


Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, F.C.D.

“The Wildlife Protection Act of Belize is being revamped for quite some time now. Because that is one of the key issues that have been identified, the idea of increasing those fines. As you may know in terms of timber, a person can be charged up to twenty thousand dollars for example. I can tell you though that with the last poacher that was detained in Belize in Chiquibul last year with the seven parrots, that person was charged ten thousand dollars from those parrots. And then other charges for illegal entry, assaults. But there will be people who agree that those charges can be increased. In Guatemala the charges there are also high. In fact they are much higher than the ones here in Belize at this stage. However it is still considered as a minor crime. So in Guatemala any poacher that is detained, and we do have already, over the last two years, people that have been detained with scarlet macaws and other parrots, so that information we have been able to gather from efforts of working together. But there the people are released on bail because it is still considered a petty crime. And so more than likely those people will not appear back in court and the fines are still low in terms of what they end up paying. So we still need to do much more in terms of those fines in the prosecution process.”

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