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Sep 27, 2012

Bi-national cooperation with Guatemala can fix Chiquibul problems

Raphael Manzanero

The illegal activities will not be easily deterred since Belize shares over forty kilometers of border with Guatemala and there are sixty-eight communities on the other side. But Raphael Manzanero believes it can be done through bi-national cooperation with Guatemala on an official level, since the FCD, as an NGO, is constrained. That is among several recommendations included in the report; another is the formation of an Inter-institutional Committee to plan and implement interventions in the Chiquibul.


Raphael Manzanero

“The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, we feel are pretty much the main entity that should lead an effort like this. I would expect that by the next couple of weeks, we can really start to organize this inter-institutional committee through that ministry. And looking at it, it certainly can mobilize resources and efforts, looking at interventions to deal with this particular matter. There are more recommendations of course. One of the other recommendations is really to do a synchronicity of the different agencies of government that deal with law enforcement. We need to change our tactics. We need also for the law enforcement agencies to be much better on how to take evidence and how to prosecute people. Because at the end of the day, we have come several loggers and if you ask us how many do we have in prison, it’s only a few. And we certainly believe that we need to do better on this. We believe that you know we need really to be much better in getting the evidence and processing people in court; that’s where we need to be more strong. I think to a large extent, with all the efforts on the ground, with all the risks being taken, eventually they do not end up in prison. We believe that is the strong deterrents that are actually required. Apart from them actually losing the timbers, apart from them actually losing their chainsaws, we believe that we need to demonstrate that we are much better in upholding the law. We are really extremely concerned and we would hope that people are able to appreciate that this thing is not really a simple little problem, this thing is really a major problem and we really need to look at it at a much more determined level and to be much more bold in terms of putting interventions in place.”


Another recommendation is that further assessments need to be done, because there are hot spots the FCD team could not access in the recent study.

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13 Responses for “Bi-national cooperation with Guatemala can fix Chiquibul problems”

  1. Storm says:

    Do you see a problem? It’s like asking the alligator to guard your children in the swimming pool.

    Guatemala’s OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT POLICY is to absorb Belize — in their eyes, WE ARE THE SQUATTERS.

    The quick and inexpensive answer is to train and arm our villagers, maybe even pay them a small stipend for patrolling the border and defending it. If they find a problem, they can radio to bring in the cavalry — that is, a BDF unit.

  2. Uncle Benji says:

    Ask Belizeans why they object being part of Guatemala, and we do not have a lucid answer. Older Belizeans (especially the Obamalites) will approach the idea of being part of Guatemala as treason like. Well it is not treason. It is 2020 economics.

    Take a look at what is happenning in Chiquibul. Belizean authorities are helpless and afraid. We are afraid to arrest, hurt, shoot or maim a Guatemalan citizen for fear of retaliation by the Guatemalan army. It would be a fight that we would not win.

    Now the forestry people are toying with the idea of perhaps bi national cooperation could help with Chiquibul problems. That is another way of saying, if we were part of Guatemala, thier army would stop the poaching. Let’s think about being part of Guatemala.

    Queen Elizabeth, The Vatican, The USA, Israel, Hugo Chavez, Benque Viejo residents, residents of Belmopan, Alejandro Vernon and Punta Gorda, Uncle Benji and thousands of people support the idea of Belize being part of Guatemala.

    Simple as that.

  3. BZ DAPPA says:

    !-@12YMALA wants to own it simple.

  4. surgery14E says:

    Uncle Benji, if you like the Guats so much, why don’t you just move there?

  5. Vuk says:

    The predicament of Belizean government is that the state of the economy is making it impossible to assert Belize’s sovereignty in the face of this unwarranted aggression from the Guats by having an adequate number of troops that could have a chance of repulsing a military intervention.

    So I’ve suggested and will continue to suggest that, since Belize is in bad economic straits, it should try its hardest to obtain military aid from a capable and friendly country for its forces until it can support them out from its own financial means.

    With military aid, Belize would be capable to swiftly bolster its forces to at least 35,340 soldiers*, which, in turn, would immediately improve the unemployment rate, consolidate Belizean sovereignty and turn the situation of the Chiqibul around.

    It would also help the situation of illegal immigration because illegal aliens would have a harder time entering our territory of there was a dramatic increase in BDF patrols along the western border.

    While I like Storm’s idea of arming the villagers near the border, I can’t accept it as it being a local phenomenon wouldn’t be conductive to the further development of Belizean patriotism.

    Instead, I would suggest the organisation of a part-time militia that would enable patriotic youth and adults to volunteer one day of their time with the usage of Storm’s suggestion of stipends as an incentive that would serve as compensation.

    It would enhance the BDF’s capacity for national defence, build Belizean patriotism and, best of all, it’s something that can entirely financed by the government.*

    * I say that because, if the government can give the gangsters that are ruining the country a stipend, then it can finance a part-time militia to defend our territory.

  6. Vuk says:

    And Uncle Benji, It seems that you’re like the Cruffies that love everything America in that you love the enemies of our people just as much.

  7. Uncle Benji says:

    @Vuk – you were doing just fine until you decided to put your befuddled thoughts on paper. First you cling onto Storm words. Storm’s an old fart who is on brrowed time here on earth.

    Secondly, you confuse yourself. You allege that Belize’s economy is weak, yet you propose the government paying villagers a stipend. Next you start hollering as though you are on castor oil, arming the villagers. These border villagers all believe that they are Guatemalans, not Belizeans.

    Finally, my rolled on the floor laughing my @$$ off. You are suggesting bringing in a friendly foreign army to help Belizean troops. First you supported to get rid of the British, thirty years later, you are screaming about help from a foreign army.

    If your post was not senile in comprehension, it would have been a funny post; but it simply is an assinine post. Come on man, you are a Belizean, you can do better than that. Now go back and rewrite what you really wanted to say. Keep away from the old fart….Storm. Brush your teeth and pray before you go to bed.

    I luv ya!

  8. Seletar says:

    Maybe I’m an old fart, too, but I think there is merit to @Storm’s suggestion. Why not defend ourselves? Why rely on some other nation? Or, as Uncle Benji wants, why live on our knees and become Guats? I’d rather die on my feet, defending my nation for my children.

    I heard that the Brits did something like that in Malaya long ago, and the US did it in Vietnam [Iraq and Afghanistan, too, but those are Muslim countries that have much different religious and cultural issues that complicate the examples.]

    It is easy to find info about the concept. In Vietnam the original US project was called “Buon Enao,” and later evolved into the Civilian Irregular Defense Group [CIDG].

    Here is a simple explanation from wikipedia:


    The CIDG program was devised by the CIA in early 1961 to counter expanding Viet Cong influence in South Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Beginning in the village of Buon Enao, small A Teams from the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) moved into villages and set up Area Development Centers. Focusing on local defense and civic action, the Special Forces teams did the majority of the training. Villagers were trained and armed for village defense for two weeks, while localized Strike Forces would receive better training and weapons and served as a quick reaction force to react to Viet Cong attacks. The vast majority of the CIDG camps were initially manned by inhabitants of ethnic minority regions in the country (especially Montagnard), who disliked both the North and South Vietnamese and therefore quickly took to the American advisers. The program was widely successful, as once one village was pacified, it served as a training camp for other local villages.

    By 1963, the military felt that the program was a great success, but also that the CIDG units and Special Forces units were not being employed properly, and ordered Operation Switchback, which transferred control of the CIDG program from the CIA over to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. The CIDG Program was rapidly expanded, as the entire 5th Special Forces Group, U.S. Army Special Forces, moved into Vietnam, and the CIDG units stopped focusing on village defense and instead took part in more conventional operations, most notably border surveillance. Most of these were converted to Vietnam Army Ranger units in 1970.

    Do we want to fight for the country or surrender? I don’t think there is any other real choice today. Everything else is a dream.

  9. Vuk says:

    @Uncle Benji:

    1.) I’ll admit that my first post may not have come across clearly, but these were errors on a scale that I rarely make.

    2.) Just because Belize’s economic situation is bad, that doesn’t mean that they can’t find some way to provide stipends for a military purpose.

    It would just have to be framed within the financial boundaries that exist.

    Now, as to Storm’s concept of “arming the villagers”, I said I liked the idea, but, if it were to be implemented (successfully, that is), it would be a local phenomenon and it wouldn’t be conducive to building patriotism in the minds of the country’s citizens.

    It’s for this reason why I said “I can’t accept it” and instead suggested the idea of forming a countrywide militia as a better means of assisting defence forces if they so required.

    *How*, exactly, do my statements amount to “clinging on his words”.

    3.) On the villagers themselves: yes, it’s true that there are villagers in the border regions that have no loyalty to us.

    At the same time, however, I’d say that making the statement that all of them are like that is a generalisation to a certain degree, especially when you take into account that many of these people have families that go back in Belize to as much as five generations.

    That was the primary factor in leading me to say what I said on the subject related to this.

    4.) I think you misunderstood what I meant by “military aid”.

    By “military aid”, I’m not talking about “bringing in a foreign friendly army to help Belizean troops”.

    Rather, by “military aid”, I’m talking about the government obtaining whatever financial assistance it could from whoever is willing to provide it for the purpose of enhancing the country’s military capabilities until it’s capable of doing that entirely on its own.

  10. Vuk says:

    *not “they can’t find some way”, but “it can’t find some way”.

  11. BZ DAPPA says:


  12. Uncle Benji says:

    Vuk……you did an excellent job in your repost. Excellent! It is beautiful to read posts that are precise and to the point. Congrats!

  13. Uncle Benji says:

    @Seletar….. what are you doing? Copying and pasting from Wikipedia? Wikipedia and Google go hand in hand………… nothing but trash.

    Please don’t do that. You are a smart Belizean. Don’t stoop to Wikipedia’s level. That’s for dumb@$$ Americans, who never learned anything in school.

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