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Feb 2, 2015

BGYEA Back in Court

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

From the streets to the courts…The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, better known as BGYEA, led by President Nigel Petillo, was back in court today to give an update in ongoing mediation with the Government of Belize.  Both parties have been embroiled in a legal dispute over the use of crown land near Harmonyville where residents of that roadside community were prevented from planting and harvesting corn.  Despite an initial order by Justice Courtney Abel to settle the matter through mediation, in December of last year BGYEA went on record to voice its discontent with government, following a collapse in negotiation.  This morning, they reappeared in the Supreme Court for a pre-trial review and while attorneys for the litigants deferred comment on the proceedings, Audrey Matura-Shepherd told the media that they are satisfied that the negotiation process has resumed.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for BGYEA

“Today was a court date that was set so we had to come and update the court and tell the judge where we are.  So he extended time to continue mediation up to March twentieth and we’ll see what happens there.  In the interim we’ll keep on preparing should there be a trial and the provisional trial date is May nineteenth and twentieth.  That’s about it, you know, it’s still a live issue and we are in mediation.”



“Okay but has that mediation started with all the issues of finding a mediator that was acceptable to both sides and all of that has been settled?”


Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Yes, mediation has officially started and we’ve settled who is the mediator.  We’ve actually had one session already and we are looking forward to the other sessions.”


A trial date of May ninth has been set should mediation be unsuccessful.

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