Bad news from the Galapagos

Michael Dawson freeman at connect47.freeserve.co.uk
Mon Dec 25 14:44:19 EST 2000


See related news item here

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/12/10
/ED22254.DTL

Mike

"Hans Sluiman" <h.sluiman at spamprotector.rbge.org.uk> wrote in message
news:3A30AF79.5D6FF0 at nospam.rbge.org.uk...
> Can anyone confirm this story just received, quoted verbatim below?
> Hans
> email: h.sluiman at rbge dot org dot uk
>
> >    Dear Friends of Galapagos:
> >
> >    Today we have the worst news of years, for both obvious and more
> >    subtle reasons.  The "fishermen" in Isabela are "protesting" limits
> >    on lobster fishing in the same way as they did against limits on sea
> >    cucumber fishing, plus other matters  they do not agree with.  They
> >    have destroyed both National Park and Darwin Station offices, cars,
> >    equipment, records, removed all the tortoises (we don't know to
> >    where) from the Centro de Crianza (tortoise raising center), and even
> >    rammed dingies full of tourists to prevent landings (so far as I
> >    know, no injuries).  Of course, the State Department has already been
> >    informed and will undoubtedly issue a travel advisory against any
> >    Americans coming here, which affects absolutely everybody EXCEPT the
> >    fishermen, including all conservation projects (because the funding
> >    disappears almost immediately).  My news is only a couple of hours
> >    old, at most, so I will try to revise as more comes in, and I cannot
> >    yet guarantee all details, but I will.
> >
> >        In the long term, I would say the effects
> >    are even worse than they first appear.  If the President of the
> >    Republic himself is not willing and able, at this point, to send in
> >    the troops to haul these criminals off to the continent and pitch
> >    them in the pens, it will be yet another lesson to them, one in a
> >    long line of EXACTLY the same lessons, that they can get whatever
> >    they want by acting against the law.   There is nobody left at a
> >    lower level,  UNLESS IT IS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, who can undo
> >    these lessons, because all other authorities right up to his level
> >    are heavily compromised by the industrial fishing sector.  The local
> >    authorities--our own mayor, our own deputies to congress--have
> >    fishing boats and march and protest right along with the fishermen,
> >    supporting them in EVERY way, right up to using the trucks of the
> >    municipality to block the roads.  If any among you know of anyone at
> >    all who might raise his voice--in the newspapers or anyplace else, be
> >    my guest.  Tourism, and our own business, will be shot regardless, so
> >    I am only hoping to see some radical action which will be a help five
> >    or ten years down the line.  I only have another hour now before we
> >    close the store so our family and employees can go form up with the
> >    few others who understand what is happening and have our own little
> >    protest march, but it is useless.  I cannot TELL you how many of
> >    these bleeding marches I have participated in, and the result so far
> >    has been DIDDLY SQUAT.  SINCERELY YOURS, Christy
> >                          BODEGA BLANCA
> >
> >    Jose Luis Gallardo
> >    Propietario
> >
> >    PHONE: (593-5) 526338
> >    Fax  : (593-5) 526615
> >    ADDRESS:
> >
> >    Calle Piqueros y Manuel Sanchez
> >    Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz
> >    Galapagos    - Ecuador
> >
> >
> >    Dear Friends of Galapagos
> >    Yesterday I promised to update you all.  So here it is, and it is
> >    only worse. The terrorism in Isabela yesterday took place mostly
> >    around midnight.  The marines were flown in to Isabela, but did not
> >    arrive until about 4 am, too late.  And, of course, they are only
> >    there to prevent further obvious depredations, but no arrests so far
> >    as I know, by the police nor anybody else.  The damage was far more
> >    extensive than I had thought---even the private homes of the
> >    directors of park and station operations were totally destroyed,
> >    right down to breaking up the toilets and burning all their clothes
> >    and distributing the Christmas presents ( that were stored in one of
> >    their homes) to everybody in the streets.  the Park sent a couple of
> >    boats over there to rescue their employees, and this was totally
> >    necessary ---they had been hiding in the mangroves and actually had
> >    to swim out to the boats.  In other places, including at Hood,
> >    divers and tourists have been prevented from landing or leaving
> >    their boats by the flotillas of terrorist-"fishermen."  I still have
> >    no reports of injuries.  We are without regular phone connection to
> >    the mainland because the repeater on Cristobal has been damaged, so
> >    the cell phones are in heavy use.  Here on Santa Cruz we have escaped
> >    the worst of it because we have the largest population, outnumbering
> >    the "fishermen" by far, and also larger numbers of police and navy
> >    and so on.  Still, it has not been pretty.  I have no idea whether
> >    anything will be done to the perpetrators of all this, but the track
> >    record indicates that it will NOT.  We have not seen the last of it.
> >    I will keep you all posted, if I can..  Please pass it on.  Christy
> >
> >                          BODEGA BLANCA
> >
> >    Jose Luis Gallardo
> >    Propietario
> >
> >    PHONE: (593-5) 526338
> >    Fax  : (593-5) 526615
> >    ADDRESS:
> >
> >    Calle Piqueros y Manuel Sanchez
> >    Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz
> >    Galapagos    - Ecuador
> >
> >
> >Sincerely,
> >
> >James S. Albert
> >Assistant Professor and Curator of Fishes
> >Florida Museum of Natural History
> >University of Florida
> >Gainesville FL 32611-7800 USA
> >Tel: 352 392 6572
> >Fax: 352 846 0287
> >







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