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Belmopan. May 14, 2016. A press release from the Government of Belize has confirmed that three Guatemalans were detained after being caught in the Chiquibul area during the weekend. The release stated that a joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of 10 - 15 individuals engaged in what appeared to be illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This encounter took place around 7:45p.m. Friday, May 13, 2016 approximately 7.9 kilometers east of the border.

The Belizean patrol detained three Guatemalan nationals: 23-year-old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17-year-old Edin Alexander Escobar Garcia, and 21-year-old Solomon Martinez Pasqual.

The patrol reported that Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete and the officer fired a warning shot in the air but Hernandez continued to advance. The officer then fired a second shot in self-defense and wounded Hernandez in his left upper arm.

The patrol rendered first aid to Hernandez’s wound after which all three captives were escorted to the San Ignacio Police station for processing. Hernandez was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was treated and released back into police custody. The investigation into this incident continues.

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