By Marion Ali, Staff Reporter
A joint foot patrol, comprising Belize Defense Force (BDF), Police and Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) rangers last week Wednesday in the Chiquibul National Park resulted in the apprehension of two Guatemalans.
FCD, in a press release, stated that the men were nabbed 250 meters inside Belize, in an area of the reserve known as Sapote II. They are Ever Melkesivex Lopez Zuchitte, and Juan Antonio Cabrera Saldivar, both 25 from San Jose, Las Flores Peten, Guatemala. Zuchitte was also armed with a black nine millimeter pistol with several live rounds ammunition.
The men are from a village in San Jose Las Flores, whose 33 families or 200 residents frequently plant corn and pumpkin inside the Chiquibul. The village has no health services or electricity, and its residents rely on wells to get clean water.
The men told authorities upon their capture that they did not know they were in Belize because there is no clear indication where the lines are dividing our two countries. They reported that they rent the land to plant their crops, but did not indicate from whom.
The men were taken to FCD’s main base at Tapir Camp and then to the San Ignacio police station, where they were charged with Illegal Entry and Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition without a Gun License. They were remanded because of the nature of the gun offences.