Saturday, July 25th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Almost ten months after the murder of special constable Danny Conorquie killed at the Caracol site while on duty, allegedly by armed Guatemalans, the Government completed a conservation post intended to serve as a base for defense of the surrounding reserve and Chiquibul area by the Belize Defence Force and police.
Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture, said, “It is hoped that we placed more infrastructure and presence in this area that louting, pillaging and exploitation of national forest and heritage will seized. It is also very important to address the tourism aspect of this particular initiative.
Safety of our visitors is also of utmost concern and this conservation post will go a long way in making our guest, our tour operators, our tours guides and our valued partners to feel much safer, knowing that our security forces are nearby to assist in any way possible.”
Hon. John Saldivar – Minister of National Security noted, “The Ministry of National Security is happy to be a part of this collaborative effort, that will see us provide more security for the Caracol site, its visitors and staff and employees. But, while it will better secure the Caracol Park, slain Lawman Danny Conorquie will not enjoy that benefit. The Government freely acknowledges that, and the fact that his murder fast tracked this facility.”
According to Dr. John Morris, Director of the Institute of Archaeology, “It is design to house the members of the Belize Defence Force, so that they can patrol the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, the site core and also the surrounding areas, because remember that we are very close to the Guatemalan border and we have always had people coming across interfering with our operations here at the reserve or looting and damaging some of the sites in the reserve.
And so with the BDF out here and with the Tourism Police and other Police constables, we have beefed up the security measures here to prevent all of those kinds of things and we have seen a very sizeable decreased in movement of people from across the border within this area.”
The BDF will rotate 12 soldiers with four members of the Police’s Special Patrol Unit and a Tourism Police officer.
NICH staff built the conservation post for a total cost of 100 thousand dollars.
Apart from providing security for the Caracol National Park, this facility serves another strategic purpose. It will assist the police, soldiers and the Friends for Conservation and Development to protect the larger Caracol area.
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