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Aug 29, 2017

Amy Forte calls on P.M. to clear her name in alleged land fraud and forgery

Amy Forte

There are more revelations tonight concerning the extent of the Vega family’s grab for land across the country. Not only was there land swapping with seemingly willing accomplices, but new documentation indicates that relatives of former deputy Prime Minister and Lands Minister Gaspar Vega engaged in alleged forgery in a land scheme involving compensation for lands improperly acquired in Caye Caulker. The land in question was later flipped for public land on Mosquito Caye as “compensation” following a dispute with the prior owners. But tonight, one of the persons involved, a Belmopan resident, has asked Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources Dean Barrow to intervene to clear her name, denying involvement in the extensive land hustle. Amy Forte says she never bought any land on Caye Caulker, much less sold it to Andre Vega, Gaspar’s son. The allegation that she did sell the land, she says, is causing her grave personal and professional distress, and she wants it behind her. News Five’s Aaron Humes takes a look at the latest twist in this ongoing saga.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

It’s one thing to have acquired hundreds of acres of valuable property across the country through good friends and acquaintances, as the Vega family did – Carmelita in Orange Walk, Ramsey Caye and Spanish Creek in the Belize District, to name a few. But tonight there are revelations that the alleged land fraud also involved forgery. Amy Forte of Belmopan, through her attorney Deshawn Arzu Torres of McKoy Torres LLP, has written the press and Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources Dean Barrow, stating that her signature was forged to facilitate a transfer of land she never owned, specifically just under an acre of land on Caye Caulker, in particular the section north of the Split.

The Deed of Conveyance provided to News Five purports to say that Forte got this land in May of 2009, for just two thousand five hundred dollars, and agreed with Andre Vega in February of 2010 to convey it to him for thirty thousand dollars. The document carries her signature and that of a justice of the peace, one Darlene Padron, who News Five understands is closely linked to the Vegas. Forte states clearly in the press release that she has never met Andre Vega, and applied for land on Caye Caulker around 2007 which she says she never got a response on. It follows that she could not have purchased the land in question, and that the signature on the papers is forged, since she never saw it, therefore never signed it.

But the story doesn’t end there. There are other persons named who got lands on Caye Caulker and sold them on to members of the Vega family, in a familiar pattern repeated elsewhere. But this time, there was a twist. The lands were already owned by a private company and had to be given back.

So, the Government apparently decided to compensate the Vegas with public land on Mosquito Caye, which is located approximately eight miles northwest of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Ignacio, Karen and Eduardo Vega between them received more than fifteen acres of land there, many times more than what they had sought on Caye Caulker. There is no indication of what Andre Vega’s compensation was. It was reported that in 2007, the entire Mosquito Caye was leased by then-Lands Minister Florencio Marin, Senior, to a Corozal resident, which lease was subsequently canceled by Gaspar Vega when he took office.

Amy Forte says the incident in which she is named has caused her, “extreme embarrassment, loss of personal and professional reputation, emotional distress, brought into question her integrity, and threatens to jeopardize her career,” She asks the Government to cancel the Minister’s Fiat Grant of 2009 and Deed of Conveyance of 2010 and fully clear her name. She also reserves the right to take legal action against the Vega family and the Government of Belize. Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Attorney Deshawn Torres declined comment this evening on behalf of herself and her client, who has asked that the process be allowed to run its course before making any public statements. 

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3 Responses for “Amy Forte calls on P.M. to clear her name in alleged land fraud and forgery”

  1. carlos says:

    They said that the Musa government was corrupt. Well we see that this government is the most corrupt government of all times in Belize. Its a shame of P M Barrow to have tolerated this scam. He says nothing , he dose nothing, he is part of this corruption.

  2. Ambergris Gringo says:

    Why is it that none of the Vega family are still not in jail? And what has happened to the $400,000 Andre Vega was to be sued for?

  3. spike says:

    Through personal experience, I knew the Lands Dept. was bad, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS THIS BAD! I am sure Wilbur Valejos must have had something to do with all of this.

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