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Sep 18, 2014

Subdivision on North Ambergris Caye on Indefinite Hold

Tonight, News Five can confirm that a subdivision planned in Northern Ambergris Caye, about four miles from the town, is on hold. That subdivision – forty acres of wetland and lagoon divided into three hundred and nineteen house lots – is underwater, which makes that development idea somewhat misguided or perhaps even ludicrous. One immediate environmental concern is that the subdivision lies directly within an area proposed as an extension to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. And another immediate concern is that…well, the lots are all under water. The idea, for what it’s worth, is the brainchild of Belize Rural South Area Representative Manuel Heredia. So today News Five travelled to San Pedro to ask him about it. Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This morning we ambushed Manuel Heredia as he came out a morning show on the island because we needed to know what’s up with this subdivision. It’s located about four miles north of town in a prime fly-fishing spot known as Los Bajos. The lots are literally underwater, as you can see from the survey posts. In some spots those posts are completely submerged.

 

Manuel Heredia, Area Representative, Belize Rural South

“Yes indeed I will not deny that there was a subdivision that was happening over there through the San Pedro Town Council and myself for the interest of the people. The way it works is that ever since, with both administrations, they pay for the survey and the subdivision is executed.”

 

With ownership of the bright idea established, the next step was to try to get to the rationale behind it. According to Heredia, they need land to give out to residents. But he’s never been to the site of this subdivision, so he didn’t know that the proposed lots were underwater.

 

Manuel Heredia

Manuel Heredia

“There is nothing that you can call high land today. Most of it is land that you would have to reclaim. So this area I will visit. Saturday I will be going personally over there and look at the area. I think I said it yesterday in a short interview while boarding, that if the area is indeed with water that is above normal, then definitely I will revisit that. I promised the Cabinet…we discussed it…that if that is the case I will revisit, and if there is anything above normal, we will remove from the subdivision.”

 

Heredia says that there is a Plan B, but he refused to disclose it because – get this – he doesn’t want the P.U.P. to get wind of it.

 

Manuel Heredia

“What I am telling you is that if anything is above normal we will not issue because nothing has been issued. We are looking at Plan B which we have already identified which I will not disclose to you because I know how the P.U.P.s behave. As soon as you disclose it they start with this and the other.”

 

Reporter

“But if you have disclosed another area which will need another survey, how will you pay for the additional cost of that survey?”

 

Manuel Heredia

“This is not your problem. That is my problem to see how I will pay. And that is not the people’s problem…it is my problem to make sure that they get something in return for what they have paid.”

 

One hundred and fifty persons have paid five hundred and fifty dollars toward the cost of the survey of the underwater subdivision at Los Bajos. They were to have picked up their leases and pay in additional monies at the end of the month. Heredia, who seemed to have a bad case of P.U.P. on the brain, again blames that party because the subdivision has been put on hold.

 

Manuel Heredia

“At this point, because of the People’s United Party, we have to put it on hold. I’ve told the people you have to wait. The People’s United Party has always been this way….anything good we’re trying to do for the people, they are trying to disrupt. So it is on hold at this point. And I have said it to the people that come now, that came yesterday to see me.”

 

Reporter

“Sir so again, let me get this on the record. You are blaming the P.U.P. for the lots being under water?”

 

Manuel Heredia

“Nothing has been given. They are the ones saying this, that and the other. If I had gone, or anytime that I go, and I saw that that is that way, I would not give it.”

 

Reporter

“So it is the fault of whoever went out there to do the survey, whatever?”

 

Manuel Heredia

“Yes the surveyor…I must say probably the surveyor misled us a little…because I don’t think anybody practical, if that is the case, would have surveyed anything if they say it is three feet or so…I don’t think any surveyor would have surveyed that or recommend that we survey that.”

 

Daniel Guerrero

So there you have it – the project is on hold. But whose project is it again? Remember Heredia told us way at the beginning that it is a joint initiative, between the Town Council and him. But what’s the Mayor saying?

 

Daniel Guerrero, Mayor, San Pedro Town

“I have no comments on that. I am not involved. I have no clue what the deal is. All I know is San Mateo from this side in.”

 

Reporter

“You have said that the project is a joint project between the Town Council and your office. The Mayor has on the record categorically denied any association with the project.”

 

Manuel Heredia

“I will not get involved with what the Mayor has said and so…I know what I am saying. I know what I am saying. If the Mayor said so, that is the Mayor, not me.”

 

According to Heredia, while money has been collected for surveys, no lease applications have been filled out so for all intents and purposes, no land has actually been given out yet. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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4 Responses for “Subdivision on North Ambergris Caye on Indefinite Hold”

  1. Belizean Soul says:

    Manuel Heredia- go back to being a welder.

  2. Peter says:

    Heredia, an old San Pedrano, wants you to believe he isn’t familiar with san pedro, that he didn’t know where the land is located….what a bunch of bull&*^%. He devises the crappy idea to give out land under water and then blames the PUP for it’s failure???? SO is the mayor lying or is heredia lying or both??? Man the entire UDP is getting crazier and crazier by the minute.

  3. Belizean not PUP OR UDP says:

    Heredia brags about being a fisherman before and knowing the water from point to point but as a San Pedrano he was unfamiliar with where the land is located! He is a wolf in sheep clothing! I truly believe that the Mayor will not comment as I suspect he might have known but not in agreement with Junior. The mayor is a very arrogant person and he is not afraid to show his true self- ‘telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling lies and making someone smile” which is what Junior is doing-LYING, LYING, LYING!!! He would sell his own mother, wife or child for votes!! He doesn’t care about anyone but himself! He can fool some people, some stupid people who believe that being barefooted makes a person humble! WAKE UP my belizean people lets get the leadership we deserve and become Belizeans with the upper case B!!!

  4. Timber says:

    DA GOOD!!!! INNA MI BEST CREOLE. I’ve said on several occasions that Creole like too many handouts. Both parties do this to garner votes and the ignorant people fall sucker to this every time come election comes around. A lot of us grab for land as some sort of payment for votes. Ninety percent of us have never seen the land, will only go look at it a few times after getting a lease, and will never do anything with it because we have no financial resources to build anything. Why do you think we have so much land tied up by leases for years while people with the funds can’t get a decent place to build a home? Also, when they dole out these properties to get votes, you don’t know who’s getting them and the next thing you know you have someone throwing up a piece of plywood shack besides a house you’re building which will cost you at least $200,000. Not to discriminate, majority of the time the type of people putting up that plywood shack are people you don’t want anywhere near you because of their character. Also, what does that do to the value of your house? Answer, it devalues it tremendously. The million dollar question is, who gets those monies that these people pay to get these surveys done? It would be interesting to know if it goes into the Ministry. I doubt that. That’s another hustle that the UDP devised. Castro is boss of that. He keeps doling out land and tell people to go deposit $600 in an account at Belize Bank for the survey. I know, because I paid for two for relatives of mine. Channel 5, let these ministers tell us where that money trail leads. Let’s see if PUP is to blame again.

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