Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Illegal Wood Harvesting by Mexican Thieves Continues

More than 15,000 cubic feet per month of precious hardwoods are being illegally harvested by poachers in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Petén. The contraband wood is then transported illegally into Mexico.

The wood is cut with chainsaws. Planks and logs are then loaded onto trucks that move on dirt roads that connect with roads in the Mexican state of Yucatan.

Citizens and environmentalists are complaining about this activity which is aggravated by the fact that the poachers are often heavily armed and commit other crimes against the local citizens.

There is a police force whose job it is to protect the natural resources of Guatemala, verify that wood harvesting is conducted legally, and collect data for ecological studies, but most of the officers are unarmed. Recently an officer was kidnapped by the poachers.

Citizens live in fear of the poachers and hesitate to report illegal activities for fear of reprisals.

Recent reports indicate that poachers are setting up operations near the El Mirador archeaological site.

At least six checkpoints need to be set up and manpower from the Army and military police is required but the resources are hard to come by. There is a plan to begin building the first checkpoint in about three months but the predators are moving so quickly that some fear that within a year there will be little left to protect.

No comments:

Post a Comment