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Oct 14, 2015

Did U.D.P. Cronies Benefit from Land Grab in Orange Walk?

It is no secret that there is corruption in the Lands Department…in fact, even the prime minister has gone on record to say that the department is, “a hotbed of corruption.” Well tonight, there is yet another report of fraud at the highest level in Orange Walk and operatives of the Minister of Natural Resources and Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, are being named. According to the documents, prime parcels of land within Orange Walk town have been sold and transferred to three persons for as low as eight hundred dollars. Now the properties are located next to large businesses and their market values are significantly higher than the prices for which they were sold. The parcels, from what News Five was able to gather through investigation, were designated for the expansion of the Orange Walk market, but were sold to these persons between 2008 and 2009. It’s a damning revelation, which Orange Walk Mayor, Kevin Bernard, says is a slap in the faces of farmers of the Orange Walk East constituency.

 

Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Mayor, Orange Walk Town

“This has been lurking around. We did not get access to the document until recent as you yourself have gotten now to show the blatant land grabbing that is taking place under the current deputy prime minister and the minister of lands. I mean these people that are getting these main and prime property in an area that should have been designated for a market area for the people of Orange Walk East is a slap to the face of these many Belizeans who want a parcel of land and have to be paying we are talking about three thousand, two thousand five hundred [dollars] for a piece of land in other areas. In other private subdivisions, people are paying almost twenty thousand [dollars] for a piece of land. Now, at a location like this where you have these U.D.P. cronies getting a piece of land for eight hundred dollars and I think one paid a thousand dollars. Names like Mister Emir Cruz whose name appears on one of those documents; everybody knows who he is. He is the right hand for the deputy prime minister. I mean it is a shame.”

 

Duane Moody

“As mayor of Orange Walk town, were you privileged to the fact that these spaces that were designed for market place were sold?”

 

Kevin Bernard

“We had been hearing rumors because at one point we had started to look at where we can divert some of the market congestion that we had downtown. And we knew that the P.U.P. at the time, under the P.U.P. government, they had designated those areas so that they could expand the market area for the people of Orange Walk East because a lot of the fruit vendors come from the rural areas in Orange Walk East. And so we wanted to provide access to some location for them just to hear that these things have been sold. We did not get to know who it was sold to. Names were popping up and the Emir Cruz name did pop up. But now we have the documents. We have seen it where indeed these people got these land for a buck of anything. I mean eight hundred dollars for prime property like what it is; I mean it is a shame, it’s a real shame.”

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1 Response for “Did U.D.P. Cronies Benefit from Land Grab in Orange Walk?”

  1. CEO says:

    The lands Department in Belmopan should become a repository land deeds and all recordings of land transactions.

    Land distributions should be managed by the Town or village where the real property is located.

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