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#419727 - 10/25/11 01:16 PM Xate Camp Found Deep Within Southern Belize
Marty Offline
The Y'axche conservation trust is reporting the discovery of a huge Xatero camp well inside Bladen Nature Reserve. Shockingly, the camp is almost 20 kilometers, about 12 miles inside Belize's territory and shows the extent to which illegal Guatemalan Xateros are harvesting and selling the ornamental leaf.

The camp was discovered during a 10 day research expedition, funded by PACT, which was intended to help the Ya'axche's staff get a better picture of the natural value of the previously undisturbed area of Snake Creek.

Channel 7


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#419730 - 10/25/11 01:21 PM Re: Xate Camp Found Deep Within Southern Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
GUATEMALAN XATERO CAMP FOUND IN SOUTHERN BELIZE

Over the years Belize’s forests have been victims of Guatemalan Xateros who come to rob us of our healthy environment. This time a research team consisting of members of the Ya’axche Conservation Trust, BDF soldiers, guides from San Jose and lead Scientist Mr. Paul Walker discovered an illegal camp while conducting research in the Snake Creek area, deep inside the Bladen Nature Reserve. Bartholomew Teul is the Community Outreach and Livelihoods, Advocacy Programme Manager.

Bartholomew Teul - Community Outreach and Livelihoods, Advocacy Programme Manager
“They came upon a camp that is used by Guatemalan xateros, a camp that could easily accommodate 15 persons. While they did not find anyone, there were signs of recent occupation and they are very concerned, we are very concerned because we co manage Bladen Forest Reserve with the Forest Department that this area is systematically being raped by these Guatemalan xateros. These people had such a high confidence that nobody would disturb them, nobody would go and take away their personal beginnings that they leave personal effects such as clothing, even shoes, food, Super Cola which they brought on horses all the way into the area with no fear of being arrested or even detected.”

The Xateros don’t seem to worry about their illegal entry into the country and they keep venturing deeper every time, in fact this camp comes close in comparison with others they’ve erected in the jewel.

Bartholomew Teul - Community Outreach and Livelihoods, Advocacy Programme Manager
“I think this is almost in line with what happens in Chiquibul because some of them come as far as Natural Arch and that is a good distance in, this could probably be a little further inside.”

Teul says that based on their reports they are trying to disseminate the information to those who have authority and who can help make the people aware of these happenings, since they are mostly overlooked by our citizens. When asked what solutions they have in mind, this is what he had to say:

Bartholomew Teul - Community Outreach and Livelihoods, Advocacy Programme Manager
“What we are recommending is more frequent patrols in that area, it is a very rugged area, very difficult to get into but I believe it is our responsibility along with the Forest Department and the BDF of course, we are hoping that they will continue to assist us in providing security to go into this area and try to discourage these people or even better to catch them. According to the patrol it would seem that catching them can be done, it is not easily done because they have people out there watching and waiting but they can be caught if we spring a very good ambush, that is the only way they could be arrested. We would like much more presence of our military in the area, along the border. We know that it is very porous, it is difficult to manage every portion of our border but I think the main entry point for these guys would be in the vicinity of the Machiquilla Conservation Post and if more patrols are put between that post and the Rio Blanco Post I think, and then of course patrolling the area and actually arrest them and make an example of them, not arrest them and then next day escort them to the border and send them back home because before the security force gets to their base, they are already back inside the protected areas.”

LOVEFM

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#419737 - 10/25/11 01:46 PM Re: Xate Camp Found Deep Within Southern Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Huge Xatero camp discovered in the Bladen Nature Reserve

In our recent poll on the security of our borders, an overwhelming number of persons did not have confidence that the Belize Defence Force could man the borders. Well tonight, there is a new report of incursions into Belizean territory by Xateros that come across the border from Guatemala. During a recent research expedition funded by PACT, a team, including personnel from the Ya’axche Conservation Trust, scientists and B.D.F. soldiers, discovered a large Xate camp in the Bladen Nature Reserve. The camp was located twenty kilometers into Belizean territory and while no one was in the area, there were signs of recent harvesting. Ya’axché Program Coordinator, Bartolo Teul, says there is a need for more frequent B.D.F. patrols in the reserve to deter the xateros.

Bartolo Teul

Via Phone: Bartolo Teul, Program Coordinator, Ya’axché Conservation Trust

“The team stumbled on a very large Xatero camp in Snake Creek and, as you may know, the xateros are from Guatemala. This particular area we are talking about is between fifteen and twenty kilometers from the Guatemalan border. We also discovered the use of horses to take out xate leaves from this area into Guatemala. There was a wide trail, however, they did not find any persons during their visit, but there were recent signs of activity. The patrol leader mentioned to me that the confidence of these people is very high apparently. They are leaving personal effects such as clothes, footwear, food and even cola in the camp site with no fear of being detected or even arrested. It’s alarming to us really. Not that this is the first time we’re seeing their presence. We saw them couple years ago when we were doing patrols, xateros camp and horses were found. But we did not realize that they were moving further west and further inside Belize.”

Delahnie Bain

“What happens when you all discover these camps?”

Via Phone: Bartolo Teul

“Well, when they first found it, they didn’t want to make any signs of detection or to be detected that they were in the area because they still needed to do this rapid ecological assessment. But on the way out, the camps were destroyed. Because of that, I think one of the things we’d like to see, we’re recommending frequent patrols in this area to discourage this or at least to show that authorities are in the area and better yet if we could capture them.”

The expedition was intended to help the managers of the reserve get a better picture of the natural value of the Snake Creek Area, which was determined to be one of the healthiest forests in Central America. Instead, Ya’axche found that xateros were engaged in harvesting the xate.

Channel 5


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