Today 10 months after the senseless killing of Special Constable Danny Conorquie, presumably at the hands of Guatemalan’s, the Ministry of National Security is beefing up security at the Caracol Archaeological site by opening a Conservation post (CP) right near the site which will be inhabited by 12 BDF personnel on a rotational basis. They held an opening ceremony this morning at the entrance of the Caracol Archaeological site. Honorary Guests included the Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar, the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security Hon. Frank Papa Mena, the Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia, the Director of the Institute of Archaeology Dr. John Morris and Executive Director of the Friends for Conservation Raphael Manzanero.
“It is timely and perhaps certainly a little too late in terms of what the minister had said earlier about the death of Danny Conorquie. But it is a step in the right direction to protect those that now come to this facility. And I am happy that my ministry and the B.D.F. and the police department that are also a part of this effort, we are able to be partners in this conservation post.“
Ít had been in the planning stages for a long time and got hastened after the incident with Danny Conorquie. Basically, the BDF provided the technical expertise in terms of the layout, as mentioned in there as to how they want to see the place. After that its to move in there now and provide that security.”
“That is the reason we lobbed for building it here at Caracol, because this is where fifteen to twenty thousand people come every year. This is the road many tourist and local… in fact, on some days, we have many school children coming back here and we do not want to have more school children in anymore danger. Having the BDF here is a security measure for Belizeans. “
Lt. Col. Luis Sutherland – Acting Deputy Commander, BDF
“This CP is a part of our operational commitment. We’ve forecasted the amount of personnel, the amount of soldiers that will be used to man this. So, it shouldn’t be a problem, because currently we have enough man power to provide three proper rotations.”
The Belize Defence Force will have personnel on standby at 30 minutes and one hour notices to move. One organization that benefits from added boots on the ground in Caracol which is a part of the Chiquibul rain forest is Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD, which, with its limited resources, monitors the entire one thousand square kilometres of the Chiquibul.
“As far as I understood, this particular CP is truly more to have a presence in the area of the temples in terms of the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, but as we discussed about … for example the Valentin, which is the other CP inside the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. In that case we ill have more coordination and more cooperation in terms of the deterrence that we are referring to. “
Minister Saldivar has promised more conservation and observation posts along the length of the Chiqibul. This includes a reinforced San Valentin Conservation post which was threatened to be destroyed by Guatemalan commoners living on the other side of the border line. This incident happened days after the shooting death of Special Constable Danny Conorquie. That project however is still in the pipe line.