Another Guatemalan shot by BDF in Chiquibul

Another Guatemalan was shot in the Chiquibul reserve on Friday night. This latest illegal poacher survived the bullet to the arm that he received after aggressive behavior displayed to the Belize Defense Force patrol that was on duty near the border. According to a government press release,  a joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of 10 – 15 individuals engaged in what appeared to be illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This encounter took place around 7:45 p.m , 13th May, 2016 approximately 7.9 kilometers east of the border. The patrol reported that 23 year old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete and the officer fired a warning shot in the air but Hernandez continued to advance. The officer then fired a second shot in self-defense and wounded Hernandez in his left upper arm. Two other persons were detained along with Hernandez;  17-year-old Edin Alexander Escobar Garcia and 21-year-old Solomon Martinez Pasqual. The patrol rendered first aid to Hernandez’s wound after which all three captives were escorted to the San Ignacio Police station for processing. Hernandez was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was treated and released back into police custody.  This incident occurs less than a month after another Guatemalan was shot and killed in the Chiquibul; 13 year old Julio Rene Alvarado. That incident sparked outrage from the Guatemalan President who declared sovereignty over the entire Sarstoon and began the amassing of troops at the border.  In response to this latest incident, the Gautemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said

The consular staff of Guatemala in Belize is making appropriate inquiries and reported preliminarily that they will be imposed charges of illegal entry to a forest reserve. The Government of Guatemala regrets and denounces to the international community a new fact of excessive use of military force by Belize and rejects the official version that a Guatemalan farmer can attack a properly equipped Patrol of the Belize Defense Force with a machete.”  

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