A state delegation confirms serious violations of environmental laws in the San Rafael Reserve
Illegal activities, in particular invasion of land squatters and extensive clearing of trees to obtain agricultural land in the San Rafael Rainforest Reserve, were confirmed on 21 July 2021 by a delegation led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADES) in collaboration with the National Forestry Institute (Infona). The delegation from different state institutions discovered 120 squatters with tents in a sub-area of the protected area and the trees they had logged (photo).
However, parts of the protected area are still private property. One owner was confronted with these violations of the law and could not provide environmental impact proof that these activities are legal on his land.
This continued violation of environmental laws in the San Rafael protected area requires urgent action: Purchase of the rainforest from the private owners, immediate eviction of the land squatters and prosecution. Crimes include at least 3000 hectares of marijuana plantations established in San Rafael.
Illegal squatters in the San Rafael protected area. Source: Gentileza (Antonio Rolin, UltimaHora, 21.7.2021)