Guatemalan farmers caught inside the Chiquibul

By on June 28, 2018

Oroman Perez & Elder
Danilo Oroman Perez

San Ignacio, CAYO. Thursday, June 28, 2018. Guatemalan farmers continue to violate Belize’s western border to carry out illegal farming in the Chiquibul National Park.

Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD, today reported that on Wednesday a team comprising FCD rangers and Belize Defence Force (BDF) personnel encountered two Guatemalan farmers 2.7 kilometers inside of Belize’s territory in the Chiquibul.

They are 42 year old Benigno Oroman Perez and a 17 year old boy.

Location of illegal incursion by Guatemalan farmers

An official release from FCD says that when the two were interviewed, they reportedly told the FCD rangers that they had been farming in the area for the past eight years.

The two Guatemalans have been taken to the San Ignacio police station where formal charges of illegal entry and illegal cultivation are to be laid against them.

The FCD statement asserts that due to the remoteness of the Cebada area of the Chiquibul it is difficult to maintain a steady patrol program.

However, with thee recent establishment of the Cebada Conservation post, this hurdle is being addressed.

According to FCD statistics, an aerial surveillance mission carried out in the Chiquibul Forest in February of 2017 found that 1,320 acres of vegetation had been cleared, ostensibly for illegal agricultural purposes due to illegal incursions.

FCD concludes that the organization, in collaboration with its Guatemalan counterparts, has been running radio announcements in the Peten area of Guatemala to inform residents of the rules and regulations governing Belize’s protected areas, including penalties for infringing of Belizean laws.

This is being done in an attempt to reduce the number of incursions ino the Chiquibul.

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