Toledo community leaders unhappy with amnesty program for Rosewood

On Monday of this week Plus TV broke the news that the confiscated rosewood flitches which were located at the Forestry compound in Belmopan, were being moved.  That report triggered a press release from the Ministry who informed of a new amnesty period for Rosewood vlcsnap-2013-04-09-20h20m22s203harvesters. Well today The Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) sent out a press release saying and “that they are deeply disturbed and utterly outraged by the government’s decision to allow persons who illegally harvested rosewood in Toledo to now export the wood and share the illicit profit from these sales with the government. By doing this, the government of Belize is saying to the entire country and to the international community as well that it will allow so-called loggers to violate the laws and regulations, steal from legally recognized Maya lands and be rewarded and even embraced as business partners by our elected officials.”  According to both organizations this decision by government ranks among the worst of vlcsnap-2013-04-10-20h03m08s11the many recent improprieties and injustices surrounding the rosewood and larger logging industry. We emphatically state that government’s conduct regarding rosewood and its extraction from Maya lands is intolerable. In closing the release says that and “The original rosewood logging permits are in violation of the 2010 Supreme Court injunction in the Maya Land Rights case that prohibits the government from issuing permits and concessions on Maya land without the consent of the Maya villages. The government has compounded this wrongdoing by allowing the sale of the illegally harvested wood after its confiscation and diving up the profits with the very people they should be prosecuting.”

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