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Conafor looking to toughen penalties for those who intentionally set forest fires

Chetumal, Q.R. — Through criminal complaints and disciplinary proceedings, Quintana Roo ejidos and authorities of the National Forestry Commission (Conafor) seek to toughen the penalties for those who start fires.

By law, a piece of land that has been burned is subject to a 20-year ban from any type of development, however, this has not been enough to dissuade those seeking to set fires, said Román Uriel Castillo Carvallo of Conafor.

He says last year, they filed three criminal complaints against individuals who caused forest fires in the Protected Natural Areas, a strategy that he says, will be repeated this year.

“Through the Prosecutor’s Office and Profepa, we seek to advance the complaints filed, since these fires imply a loss of biodiversity and an enormous expenditure of resources in their liquidation,” said the official.

The state has already recorded its first forest fires for the 2021 season.