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Jan 4, 2012

Barranco suffers from rosewood harvesting

The rape of forests in Belize for Rosewood continues unabated. One strong environmentalist and proponent for the end of the trade is People’s National Party’s Wil Maheia.  Maheia has been personally documenting illegal shipments in the south. He lives in Punta Gorda and recently travelled to Barranco Village in the Toledo District. Maheia found that the trucks that export rosewood have also caused damage to the village streets. News Five spoke to Maheia via phone and he says that the Forest Department is not doing enough to stop the pillaging.

Via Phone: Wil Maheia, P.N.P. Candidate, Toledo East

Wil Maheia

“With the coming of the illegal extraction of Rosewood, trucks are coming into the village right now with the oil company using the pier and as you can see from the pictures, they have turned grass streets into nothing but mud holes.  And one of the most depressing things is because the street that they use goes right in front of; it’s the street that the people use to go to the church. So now the people must now use rubber boots to go to church as oppose to the past when they used to go with their good shoes. The people have asked to really bring some attention to this. There has been zero work done on any of the streets in Barranco and like I’ve said before it was just a lawn mower that was used to maintain these streets. Now with the extraction of the rosewood and the oil company using these grass streets as roads, it has really damaged up the village.”

Jose Sanchez

“The Rosewood you saw was not marked by the Forest Department also is that correct?”

Via Phone: Wil Maheia

“That is correct, there were several pieces of rosewood and none of it was marked and actually I only sent those pictures but there are pictures along the coast right now where people are illegally extracting rosewood. This can be stopped if the forest department is serious about stopping this because the way the law is, before they cut a tree, the forest department should inspect to see that it has the required size. Now that is not happening and every log that should, in my opinion, I think, should be stamped before it is extracted from the area that it was cut and this is not happening.”

The Mayan Leaders Alliance has also been monitoring the ongoing illegal rosewood extraction. They claim that millions of dollars have been lost in the exportation.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Barranco suffers from rosewood harvesting”

  1. landi says:

    There is a market for a product and our people supply that market. If there was a market for any product our people would work hard to supply the demand of that market. Why can’t we improve or develop the markets for rice, corn, beans, livestock, ground crops? If that was done, then our people will be producing legally and not “pillaging”

    Where is the Ministry of Agriculture!!!!

  2. home grown says:

    Where is ministry of forestry?
    Belize used to have a government.
    Mostly gangs and criminals run things now.
    I guess we are waiting for the govt of Guatemala to take over.

  3. Earl Grey says:

    Don’t forget… this is OUR HISTORY!!! Remember THE BRITISH FOUND LOGWOOD and NEVER LEFT.

    LOOKS LIKE WE ARE A RAPE VICTIM AGAIN….history repeating…

  4. Villafranco says:

    I totally agree with Landi ! If there was a market for our commoditys we would be farming the ground instead of harvesting trees: IT is time the gov. of Belize listen to the cry of the south. For years we have been treated unfairly by the BELIZE MARKETING BOARD . The people of toledo are farmers at heart and will work hard to do anything to provide for our families . We have been forced to turn to other alternatives for a income at this moment the harvesting of rose wood is that alternative. It is very hard work compared to farming . But we must provide for our families at all cost. IT IS MY PLEA TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BELIZE TO HEED THE CRY OF THE A PEOPLE LONG FOR GOTTEN BY A NATION THE PEOPLE OF TOLEDO !

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