Illegal Gold Mining

Illegal mineral extraction occurs due to the severe poverty of the extractors and the high value of minerals. In the Chiquibul, illegal gold mining occurs when Xateros travel throughout the Chiquibul Forest in search of Xate palms. Gold mining causes great environmental damage due to the pollution of rivers from the Guatemalans trash and sedimentation.14 The sedimentation comes from a new method of gold panning used by the Guatemalans in which they dig deep trenches nearby streams.14 The areas panned are remote and their location near streams makes them slippery and dangerous.14 In addition, the number of Guatemalans panning for gold is quickly rising, making it difficult for the rangers to slow the illegal activity. 

Required Reading:
15A biodiversity research, inventory and monitoring (BRIM) framework for the Chiquibul Forest– Mining and Oil Concession p. 30-31
14Field report- Illegal gold panning on the highlands of the chiquibul/maya mountains
16Conceptual Ecological Model of the Chiquibul/Maya Mountain– Oil and Mineral Extraction p. 324-325
Macroinvertebrate Study
Gold Raiders More Determined Than Ever in the Chiquibul
Guatemalan incursion is a major threat to Belize’s pristine forests

FCD. Field report- Illegal gold panning on the highlands of the chiquibul/maya mountains. Friends for Conservation and Development.