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More Gold panners detained in Chiquibul Print E-mail
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Written by Melanio   
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 00:00

Cayo District, April 11, 2017: On the 10th of April, a patrol Unit comprised of BDF, Police and FCD Park Rangers detained 4 adult gold panners and one minor found gold panning in the area of Ceibo Chico, Southern Chiquibul. These four adults and the minor were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station for charges to be laid on the adults for illegal entry and mineral extraction without a permit.

The patrol unit detected human activity due to the signs of murky water flowing downstream which indicated there was activity in the creek upstream. On approach the personnel observed two adult male persons digging with a long iron bar in the creek. As the team moved closer they spotted six other, adult male persons, and a minor 6.5 kilometers inside the Chiquibul National Park.

Once detained the person gave their names as 34 year old Samuel Chuc Kap of Monte Los Olivos; 33 year old Edgar Maas Cucul of Monte Los Olivos; 26 year old Carlos Teck Chub of Monte Los Olivos, 44 year old Esidro Garcia Rocke of Valle La Esmeralda; and 11 year old Leonardo Maas Teck of Monte Los Olivos, Peten, Guatemala. On the minor, a plastic vial with apparent gold mineral was found under his arm. The adult males, all claimed the vial belonged to the four of them. On further check, a red Tshirt wrapped contained about 1 pound of pulverized minerals, including what appeared to be gold mixed with small pebbles. Likewise, 4 live rounds of 12 gauge ammunition, labelled TRUST CAZA and blue label TRUST 4, 34 g, 70 mm was found on the camp. This was labelled as found items.

Gold Panning has been identified as one of two main threats to the integrity of the Chiquibul National Park. As a result, FCD has taken several steps to counter this issue. The various interventions include:
1. Raising awareness about the present condition and impacts on the Chiquibul headwaters;

2. Macro-invert research to establish the state of Chiquibul’s streams and river;

3. Strengthening coordination among key institutions;

4. Sensitizing Guatemalan counterparts about the challenges faced; 5. Conducting punctual monitoring and law enforcement actions on the hotspot area.