The Guatemalan Border with Belize

Posted By: elbert

The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/14/09 11:36 PM

Its hard to imagine the space of rainforest that contains the border of Belize and Guatemala.
We think of people and the evidence of peoples presents as being everywhere. A place where there are no people or evidence of people for miles in every direction is almost a lost concept.
This shot is overlooking 600,000 acres of rainforest from the Belize side.
[Linked Image]
Posted By: klcman

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 12:56 AM

Great image!

You think it likely there may be evidence under that mound?
Posted By: collyk

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 01:59 AM

Funny, I thought exactly the same thing. I suspect there is plenty of evidence.
Posted By: klcman

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 02:23 AM

wanna go explore? I too highly suspect.
Posted By: elbert

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 03:12 PM

They are is just full of suspicious looking hills, and yes its exciting thousands of people obviously lived here a long time ago.
Belize is having renewed problems with its border with Guatemala.
yesterday channel 7 had a very interesting story.
Some unfortunate young man with his 22 rifle hunting Gibnut was on the wrong side of the border and the BDF had an overreaction that might escalate into a major Belize-Guat. problem.
Posted By: Phil

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 03:29 PM

No sign of man - with not a tree or bush in sight for hundreds of yards..............Guatemalans are pushing the boundry every day into Belize and felling acres and acres of Belizean forest. I think it's high time these poor Guatemalans saw an overaction, most of them are armed prepared to use their arms and destroying milleniums of growth.
Posted By: elbert

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 03:41 PM

Yes its a mixed emotion, Illegal loggers are dangerous men armed with automatic weapons and should be confronted by the army but i felt sorry for this young man with the two gibnuts hunting for food.
I don't know how to calculate into acres from square Kilometers but 16,000 km˛ is a lot of territory to police.
Posted By: elbert

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 03:47 PM

He will be kept in jail until his hearing in march. We should hear a lot about it from Guatemala.
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 05:10 PM

Originally Posted by elbert
Belize is having renewed problems with its border with Guatemala

The problem's never gone away, nor will it. Somehow they interpret history as giving them an inalienable right to occupy this territory, and no amount of "political negotiation" is going to change that. Belize has to accept that this border has to be effectively defended into perpetuity. Rather like the Russian-Chinese one, it'll never be agreed.
Posted By: elbert

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 07:09 PM

From channel 5 news
For the past three nights, we’ve taken you inside the Chiquibul forest – to show you a place that cameras have never seen before. As we’ve shown you it is a protected area only in name as Guatemalans use it freely, chopping down trees, hunting animals, harvesting xate, littering and farming. It is a forest under formidable pressure – but what can be done? There are no easy answers in this massive 264 thousand acre expanse – but Jules Vasquez tried to come up with some.

Jules Vasquez Reporting,
A garden of Eden where I drank water from the vine, in this case from the plant known as the water vine, or is it a paradise at risk of being lost? As we trudged back the 6 kilometers to our drop off point between bouts of exhaustion I contemplated Chiquibul

across the horizon those bald hills that’s Guatemala, and we watched form what is now a bald hill in Belize, and I wonder will it someday be that what is over there is over here.

To make sure it doesn’t happen, The BDF and the FCD park rangers walk the line right past Xate leaves that fell off some Xateros’ horse – which brings into focus how difficult this really all is – they are Belizean soldiers on Belizean territory – but the terms of engagement are determined by armed Guatemalan outlaws who use this archaeological park as a free range area – forcing the BDF to tiptoe through their own forest – and not just in the adjacency zone as much as 6 kilomteres in.

Lt. Justo Velez,
“Well really these encroachments have been happening and there is no military solution to it. It is more of a civilian and a diplomatic one.”

Rafael Manzanero, FCD
“Normally it would take really a ground verification, people to come and do it. It would seem as though it is automatic that we can just come and do whatever we think we can do or traditionally what we can do. Really there is an aspect where in the context of the adjacency zone, there are certain things that it just requires other institutions to come in and verify.”

Jules Vasquez,
“But as a Belizean you can’t help but be filled with a kind of rage because we can’t come here, if I came here I would be arrested the next day because I am a Belizean and this is a national park but these people have come here.

Is this frustrating for you and your team, you all encounter these things and you these crops are going to extracted, they are going to be sold in Guatemala, it is exploiting a Belizean archeological park and you know also that you didn’t find anyone there because they heard us or they left early. Is it frustrating for you all?”

Lt. Justo Velez,
“Well really and truly I would say we follow orders and this is our and we abide by it.”

Rafael Manzanero,
“Being able to document this, what you can see is only one of the area because this is not like a singular activity, there are multiple other or similar camps like this.”

Jules Vasquez,
“Moving south along the border?”

Rafael Manzanero,
“South of this location.”

Jules Vasquez,
“So you have bald, denuded, milpa-ed areas like this all along our borderline.”

Rafael Manzanero,
“That’s correct yes.”

Jules Vasquez,
“How do we fix this or reverse this, I mean look at this, this is a major area of cultivation, the BDF doesn’t have the manpower to uproot and destroy all this corn, all the new shoots of corn, how do we fix it?”

Rafael Manzanero,
“Well certainly I think one of the key things is certainly for the public to understand the magnitude of the problem.”

And therein lies the intractability of this problem – because its not just this milpa – the problem stretches along a very border punctured by multiple pressure points.

Rafael Manzanero,
“What it would take like for example right now with those young corns, if you could come in and destroy all of this, people would get the message but that not would not mean that they would not open another swathe either north or south.”

Jules Vasquez,
“Is it still salvageable?”

Dr. Colin Young,
“Well I am a pessimist in some cases and I think this problem is not new. It has been ongoing for a very long time and I don’t see the kind of urgency being given to this situation and the funding because this face is incredibly expense to manage. In fact this park is probably the most dangerous park to manage in all of Belize and that requires a tremendous amount of personnel and financial resources and without those two things in place and the political will and diplomatic negotiations, it is very difficult to say to stop.”

A problem with no simple, short term solution and on this day, mine was just getting out – a total of 12 kilometers – 7 miles hiked in a day and I was just grateful to be protected by the capable and professional men of BDF Alpha Company and the FCD park rangers.

All told, our team hike about 12 kilometers thorough the jungle, that’s about 7 miles – in a day...our thanks to the Friends for Conservation and Development for facilitating our visit.
Posted By: MisterB266

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 10:19 PM

Elbert, isn't that news story from Channel 7 News, not Channel 5?
Posted By: elbert

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/15/09 10:46 PM

I think your right!
Channel 7 News did it and I found it searching channel 5.
i'm sure we will all be hearing a lot of this young mans plight over the next few months.
Posted By: Short

Re: The Guatemalan Border with Belize - 12/18/09 06:03 AM

Tension rises along Belize/Guatemala border

The settlement of the Belize/Guatemala dispute may one day land before the International Court of Justice in the Hague, but that does not mean the end of incursions or conflict along the borders. And this is what prompted a meeting in Washington between the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala this past Wednesday. Both Wilfred Elrington and Haroldo Rhodas met under the umbrella of the Organization of American States which administers the Adjacency Zone along the western border. Guatemala recently raised concerns over an observation post built near the Guatemalan village of Machaquilla, south of Caracol. News Five is also reliably informed that the Guatemalan military continues to stop B.D.F. vessels in the Sarstoon and that as recent as this past Tuesday there was a standoff which only ended when the B.D.F. vessel withdrew and returned to sea under Guatemalan escort. The high tensions led to the urgent meeting in Washington, which has now agreed that the OAS would deploy a team to evaluate the confidence building measures and further that a high level group would be mandated to deal with controversial issues that may cause tension along the border.
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