Guatemalans caught inside the Chiquibul National Park

Guatemalans caught inside the Chiquibul

Monday, July 31, 2017. Two more Guatemalans have been caught illegally panning for gold in the Chiquibul National Park.

Rangers from Friends for Conservation and Development were on patrol on Saturday morning when they found the Guatemalans sleeping in a makeshift camp about six kilometers inside the Chiquibul National Park.

They have been identified as forty year old Thomas Gomez and thirty seven year old Domingo Pana. Both are from Naranjon, Dolore, Peten.

Tools found with Guatemalans in makeshift camp

The rangers report that inside of the camp they have found tools for gold panning, some marijuana and half a dozen 16-gauge cartridges.

According to FCD officials, Domingo Pana had been captured before in the Ceibo Chico area with two other men some 4 years ago.

They had been gold panning and possessed at the time an unlicensed firearm.

The Guatemalan gold panners were handed over to police in San Ignacio on Saturday night and charges are expected to be brought against them by the Forest Department and the Immigration Department.

FCD notes that the illegal practice of gold panning remains one of two main threats to the Chiquibul ecosystem.