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Jun 26, 2017

G.O.B. Wants Settlement But How Much Can They Pay?

Bryan Neal

Neal told us that his client has basically been ignored by Government for several years, even as the Mining Unit forced shutdown of the quarry, costing him his livelihood. While Castillo has a right to legal action, Neal contends that he would prefer to see the matter settled without having to resort to the courts.

 

Bryan Neal, Attorney for Felix Castillo

“The request to sit down and negotiate has been flatly refused or ignored. I haven’t received any response. I have had private conversations with certain people who I will not name but I have not received any written or formal response to our rejection of the offer.”

 

Reporter

“How has the building of the bridge hurt, in any way, your client’s operation?”

 

Bryan Neal

“It has taken away their livelihood, quite simply, because that is where they used to mine from and sell the aggregates; now, recently, the Mining Unit has shut them down because the place that they were mining eventually would cause the bridge to collapse and we have had that experience n Cayo already. So it was a situation where he was shut down, so he has now no livelihood and the Government will not pay him a dollar – I think that is totally unfair.”

 

Reporter

“And you have reserved your client’s right to legal action, should in case you get no further way in terms of asking for this matter to be settled.”

 

Bryan Neal

“The Constitution guarantees them that right – it says that if you are not compensated then you have a right to redress in our Supreme Court. So if we don’t hear from the people in a reasonable time – if this medium does not jerk them to respond positively and fairly and compensate these people, then yes we reserve that right to enforce the Constitutional provision.”

 

Reporter

“Now, you’ve said that the valuation gives you eight point three million, maximum; they’ve said a reasonable value would be seven point five million; the compensation came in far lower than that at three hundred thousand. What range of figure is your client expecting compensation? Is that going to include the loss of livelihood; is that going to include other penalty or so on for what the Government has done?”

 

Bryan Neal

“You have just given me a lovely list of questions that I intend to ask them if they sit down to negotiate.”

 

This evening, we reached C.E.O. Errol Gentle, who says that all of the other landowners in the area – though he was unable to give a specific figure – had reached settlements with the Government. Gentle says the ministry is willing to settle with Castillo at the Government rate of valuation, rather than a private one. We intend to have more on this story in a subsequent newscast.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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