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#496403 - 10/04/14 10:49 AM Tensions In Caracol Reserve: Guats Threaten Arson
Marty Online   happy
Tonight the Ministry of National Security Ministry and the Belizean Military are on high alert at the Western Border after a group of Guatemalans barged into Belizean territory making threats to civilians and BDF personnel inside the Caracol Archaeological Reserve.

We've confirmed with official sources that at around 9:30 this morning, there were 4 BDF soldiers along with several carpenters and builders who were at the Valentin Camp. They were working on the Valentin Conservation Outpost. Viewers may remember that this is one of 3 facilities which the Prime Minister committed to see to completion in an effort to help safeguard against Guatemalan incursions.

A reported 40 Guatemalans from the border village of La Rejoya, came armed with machetes and sticks and threatened the Belizeans present. They were angry with the construction of the conservation outposts, and reports say that they threatened to burn it down because they did not want it there.

Valentin Camp is about 1 kilometer from the Belize/Guatemala border, and it is inside Belizean territory. The experts tell us that this is a very serious situation developing because it could become volatile very quickly.

This afternoon, the Prime Minister, who had been briefed by the CEO in the Ministry of National Security, told us about the steps being taken following that confrontation:

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I spoke to the CEO in the ministry of national security. He and the commander of the BDF has just done a fly over of the camp in a link helicopter. They didn't see the presence of the Guatemalan civilian invaders and so their senses that these people have now gone away, but it is quite clear that their earlier presence was in furtherance of a threat that the villagers in the nearest adjacent village had made that they will burn down the observation post or the conservation post. Reinforcement from the incisive gallop exercise are being dispatch to the area and our general has spoken to his Guatemalan counterparts telling them that they need to get a handle on the Guatemalan villagers, so that we can avoid an incident that will result in the spilling of blood. Hopefully it's under control now, but it is still fluid. They know what they are doing when they come into Belize and they know exactly where they are when they come into Belize. So really it is outrageous that not only do they come across and do the horrible damage that they do to our resources, but that when now we seek to construct an outpost to help us to better patrol and protect our national territory, that they should be so facey as to think that they can prevent us from so doing. Well that's not going to happen. The BDF will do what it has to do, but really, I think it is high time that the Guatemalan authorities step up and discharge their responsibility."

The Friends for Conservation and Development says that the Guatemalan Village of La Rejoya is one of locations from where illegal loggers originate, and the Valentin Conservation Outpost was strategically placed there as a means of securing the forests in that part of the Caracol Archeological Reserve, which is a part of the Chiquibul.

Channel 7

#496412 - 10/04/14 11:51 AM Re: Tensions In Caracol Reserve: Guats Threaten Arson [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Tensions at the Western Border

Approximately 40 Guatemalan Citizens threaten to burn Valentin Camp near Caracol -

Valentin Camp Coordinates:
UTM : BD65 Geographical coordinates in decimal degrees (WGS84)
Latitude : 16.766 Longitude : -89.162
Geographical coordinates in degrees minutes seconds (WGS84)
Latitude : 16 45' 59''
Longitude : -89 09' 45''

According to reports, construction work on an outpost at the Valetin site near Caracol is on going. This morning near 10:00. a.m., Guatemalan villagers, armed with machetes threatened the construction workers and the Belize Defense Force Soldiers. They also wanted to burn the construction which was for Friends for Conservation and Development. The OAS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are both expected to address the issue.

Corozal Daily

#496501 - 10/07/14 10:49 AM Re: Tensions In Caracol Reserve: Guats Threaten Arson [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

BDF Swarm Valentin Camp Area, Tour Guides Talk With NICH

When we left you on Friday night, things were very tense at the Belize/Guatemala border after some 40 armed Guatemalans from La Rejoya Village confronted the Belizean Military and threatened to burn down the Valentin Conservation Outpost, which was under construction. Well, at this time, the Belize Defence Force remain on high alert.

7News has confirmed that since the confrontation on Friday morning, the BDF has increased the number of soldiers at the Valentin Camp. Things have cooled down considerably, and according to our sources, there have been no further confrontation between the military and the Guatemalan civilians. The increased deployment will remains in place indefinitely.

In other related news about the Caracol Area, this weekend, the Cayo Tour Guides Association got that stakeholder meeting that they were agitating for in Belmopan outside the House Sitting. Representatives from the Association met with the Belize Tourism Board, NICH, the Institute of Archaeology, the Tourism Police Unit, San Ignacio Police, and Friends For Conservation and Development. The topic of discussion was about the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and the Chiquibul National Park. This meeting happened on Saturday in San Ignacio where all the government agencies and the NGO listened to the concerns of the tour guides.

The main points coming out of the meeting are that all sides agree that the underbrush at the Archaeological Site will be cleared and maintained so as to help in dealing with any bandits who may use them for ambush tactics, and the outposts are of course already under construction, the first being Valentin. Finally, the Tourism Police Officers who will be posted at Caracol have all been issued with bullet proof vests, a suggestion that the Commanding Officer of the TPU made in January.

There will also be discussion about when Caracol will be re-opened for tours, and all sides agree to meet quarterly.

Channel 7

#496548 - 10/08/14 11:31 AM Re: Tensions In Caracol Reserve: Guats Threaten Arson [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Bold Guatemalans went way across the border

A visual look at Valentin‬ Camp and the ‪Guatemala‬ Village by the border.

Click HERE for a detailed map of the area with details of the incident overlaid on the map

Guatemalans attack at Valentin

On October 3, 2014, a mob of about 40 Guatemalans threatened to burn down a new conservation post which Belize is building at Valentin Camp, Cayo, inside the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, in response to incessant illegal incursions by Guatemalans who penetrate the area to carry out a range of illegal activities, including logging, hunting, looting of Mayan artefacts, and gold panning.


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