no-photoWith its mandate to promote the conservation of the natural heritage of Belize and to promote wise use of its natural resources, the Programme for Belize organization is in the news tonight, but this time by a group of men who are alleging that they were wrongfully accused of stealing logwood from the entrusted lands managed by the organization.

According to Manuel Dominguez, one of several men at the time of ranger’s arrival, yesterday around 10am, forest rangers accompanied by soldiers caught up with them on their property which they were clearing for planting corn. Dominguez claims that the rangers confiscated their chain saw and took away two bikes which were those of Mike Novelo, Neri Dominguez and Jose Manuel, alleging that they took logwood from them.

Today, Dominguez explained that when they went to inquire about the reasons, all the men were brought to the police station for detention. Dominguez claims that the move was ‘unjust’.


Neri Dominguez

“Ellos dijeron sus motosierras en el terreno que limpiamos para sembrar allí estaba la sierra y las dos motocicletas entonces Program for Belize llegaron y solo levanto las bicicletas y entonces nosotros fuimos con el policía en Blue Creek y no estaba entonces nosotros fuimos a Hill Bank a reclamar porque se llevaron las cosas de nosotros y entonces ellos nos empezaron a decir que ellos sospechan de nosotros que agarramos madera de ellos y entonces cuando venimos de regreso encontramos el jefe de ellos y ordeno que nos sierren y ahora nos tiene preso desde ayer y ahora se fueron con otra familia y les dijeron que como mi primo está hablando mal de ellos y que mi primo reporto que aquellos son los que sacan madera que no somos nosotros y ahora tenemos problema con la otra gente porque piensan que nosotros lo estamos acusando también y nos están metiendo en grave problema con la otra familia también.”

Dalila Ical - Reporter

“Ustedes saben de madera que se esa sacando de esa área?”

Neri Dominguez

“No, no sabemos absolutamente nada porque nosotros no nos metemos en su terreno de ellos, cuando no tenemos nada para hacer trabajamos en Blue Creek con los Menonitas y a veces cualquier trabajo.”


And while tensions and finger pointing are running high amongst the families in the surrounding areas, we checked with police who stated to us that the men were released. Our attempts to get word from the Programme for Belize officials proved futile.  We’ll follow up on this in tomorrow’s newscast.

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