The homepage of the cooperative

I found a relevantly new homepage about the Carmelita Cooperativa, under the umbrella (they call themselves a "trademark") of Mayan Land.
The site is a perfect example of professional design and PR language. It gives the impression that all the problems of local villages are solved through community involvement, forest certification and enthusiasm.
Reality, as always, might be a bit different. About certification (they boast the FSC logo): one can see personally the clear cut areas in the La Gloria and Carmelita concessions on the Flores-Carmelita road, a practice definitely not certification-compatible. Well, that is not unusual anywhere else in the world.
But, they also make a great deal of advertising beneficial xate collection practices. It is probably all true, but let me post an opinion of a local "xatero" from Carmelita (Walter Mendoza):
"When we could sell the xate directly to the international buyers, we made a fair amount of money. But now, since the cooparative manages all sales, we receive much less for our work. Of course, we would be happy to sell it again directly, but we are afraid. My friends have been threatened by gunpoint, and one pick-up has been smashed up when we tried going around the local cooperative. I don't want any trouble, better to give it all to our organization" (smirks).
I don't know if this is true or if it is just a local guy complaining about nothing, but it might be important to listen to the "other side".
He also mentioned a figure for chicle, another local product, explaining that the Japanese company buying all the chicle from Carmelita pays 10Q for a "brick" (probably 1 pound), but the cooperative pays him only 6Q.

An investigative, independent, professional reporter would be needed to get all the facts straight, we just channel local voices to the internet.

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