Over the past few weeks rangers of Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD, with the help of BDF Soldiers, have managed to capture and arrest a number of Guatemalans who have illegally entered the country. These Guatemalans set up camp within the Chiquibul Forest and conduct gold panning. As of recent, FCD has changed its strategy in arresting gold panners. Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero explained.
Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director FCD: “Well since the last time when we opened the Caballo we certainly have been able to put in more of the efforts on the ground with a changing of the tactics and the strategy in the Seguchico area. As we have noted the gold panning activity continues and I also had noted that we really need to change our strategies because if we don’t do it we consider that the Guatemalans would not stop until they really have depleted all the gold in that area. So we have to change the strategies. You might have noticed that over the last couple of weeks there were also more of the detainments and that was really part of the new strategy. We would hope that we could continue doing that. Of Course, there is not really an activity done alone by the FCD it is really operating under a joint forces activity which includes the Belize Defense force and the police department in this case.”