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all forestry activities within their unit. Each regional office and some unit offices have

SFS employees. Most unit offices are quite small and only have two or three employees.

Some of the weaknesses of AFE/COHDEFOR as an organization have already

been mentioned; they lack financial resources, material resources, and human resources.

Their scope of responsibility is broad, and the resources they have are not sufficient for

the job. These limitations are exacerbated by AFE/COHDEFOR’s reputation for

corruption and incompetence (Richards, 1996). Among agroforestry cooperatives, people

believe that AFE/COHDEFOR employees only cater to loggers or people with money.

Informants in Protección complained that their management plan had been awaiting

approval for three months, while loggers and sawmill owners received next-day service.

“They make things difficult for us. We travel all the way to the unit office, and they tell

us to come back the next day. They never make the loggers wait.” Cooperatives feel that

they are subject to greater scrutiny from AFE/COHDEFOR than the loggers as well. The

President of Cooperativa Guadalupe mentioned AFE/COHDEFOR policy regarding

invoices and harvests as an example. “When a harvest has more wood than the plan said,

we always report to COHDEFOR even if it’s only two cubic meters. Then we get

charged extra. [Emilio] (truck driver) has worked with lots of loggers. He says they

never report those things, and they even take extra on purpose.”

AFE/COHDEFOR’s treatment of the cooperatives is a source of frustration,

especially when they know that the rules are not the same for everyone. They also know

that following the rules puts them at a disadvantage because of the added costs of

operating within the law. An informant from Villa Santa said, “We follow the law and it

costs money. Then all the illegal loggers just go to the forest, cut down the trees and sell


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