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Jun 8, 2021

Escalation of Illegal Activities in Adjacency Zone

Rafael Manzanero

The Friends for Conservation and Development are reporting an escalation of illegal activities inside the Adjacency Zone.  FCD notes that they have been using remote sensing, aerial reconnaissance and ground patrols which show that one kilometer of the width along Belize’s border is “heavily compromised.”  News Five spoke with Executive Director Rafael Manzanero.


Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD

“Last week was basically more an indication of the intensity of activities inside the Adjacency Zone, which is basically one kilometer within the country of Belize and of course there is another one kilometer in the case of Guatemala. So, that report is really a report of the intensity in the Chiquibul or Caracol area. So, we are looking at slightly over sixty-seven percent of that adjacency zone that is active with agricultural crops, cattle ranching, and also the destruction that was caused by forest fires. So, that is what you will see along that particular landscape.    It is also important to note that unlike the xatero activity, the cattle ranching is one where Guatemalans are bringing their property to say within Belizean territory unlike the xate that was there in that landscape. So, there is a trend evolving and it has been documented for the last five years.    But today what we are seeing is a sort of extension of those areas being use and even farther away into Belize and even beyond the one kilometer in some cases.  The main activity to do in that area there is certainly more patrols, targeted patrols because we do know that many of the points have been validated by the OAS. So, we do know that many of those cattle trails are occurring within Belizean territory and what needs to be done now is to continue what we began last year. There was an operation to dismantle fences to get rid of the posts, the wires to be cut and so that was last year but it only reached so far. So we need to continue more of those once those points have been validated and we confirm that those are within Belizean territory.”


Manzanero says that beyond the Chiquibul Forest, along the north and south of the border, there is also illegal use of the Adjacency Zone.

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