Forestry Minister Alamilla promises Consultation before combustion of captured rosewood

The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development continues in an almighty battle with illegal exporters of the precious commodity rosewood in the South. After numerous busts and one very controversial burning, the Ministry can report some success, but there is still much work to be done. First, Minister Sen. Lisel Alamilla provides an update on one of the most egregious offenders, Hilmar Alamilla, who is no relation to her. His license in the Deep River area allowed him to cut various woods, but not rosewood – and now it has been taken away. Here is the Minister’s statement:

vlcsnap-2013-02-07-19h51m52s7First of all let me state categorically that Mr David Hilmar Alamilla is no relative of mine, because apparently people have been suggesting that he is.  He’s not in any way or form related to me. In regards to his license for deep river, that has been cancelled.  In addition to that, we have laid charges against him, for breaching of the terms of the concession.

And will there be any more public burnings like the one in January, which critics claim was unnecessary and robbed deserving enterprises of benefiting from the confiscated goods? The Minister says that this time, she will consult before she burns:

We haven’t decided yet what we will do, because we continue to find Rosewood.  In fact there are regular reports, and we’re confiscating 20/30 flitches at a time.  The amount of Rosewood that we have on our hands is increasing, almost on a weekly basis, and we definitely have to put something forward to Cabinet for them to consider.  So that decision won’t lie with just my Ministry.

Chief Forest Officer Wilber Sabido also provided updates on some other outstanding cases:

WILBER SABIDO – Chief Forest Officer:

Now the situation with that particular container is that, the exporter had reported that they wanted to export only Granadio.  However, when we opened the container and we found the Cerecota,in round or log form, that is against the law essentially. A month or so ago, we got reports that there were two containers in Belize Engineering yard, that had Rosewood in it.  We contacted Police.  We contacted Customs, BAHA, the law enforcement agencies, and it was so.  We actually had a 20 foot container and a 40 foot container.  We took it to our compound, and when we offloaded it was a total of about 15 thousand board-feet of Rosewood that we were able to document.

The confiscated wood allegedly brought in from Guatemala remains at the Customs compound in Belize City.

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