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Jan 23, 2018

Belize City Family Picks Up Pieces after Surprise Eviction

Two Saturdays ago, a Belize City family claims it was forcibly separated at the decision of a landlord who reportedly called the Gang Suppression Unit to help evict them from their rental property on Kelly Street. Brenda Augustine, who lives and works in San Pedro Town, admits to have been behind on rent payments due to personal misfortunes. But she says she was never called by the landlord before Saturday afternoon, January sixth, when a G.S.U. team showed up to remove their goods from the residence. Some of the items are now missing as they have not been able to remove all of them. The landlord’s decision left Augustine and her daughter Jennena Alfred with some hard choices as they explained to News Five’s Aaron Humes today.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

The proverbial “maaga” season is not the ideal time to be out of house and home. But Jennena Alfred and her mother Brenda Augustine have no choice after their landlord allegedly went behind their backs and removed their goods from number twelve, Kelly Street, with three Gang Suppression Unit officers watching.

 

Jennena Alfred

Jennena Alfred, Evicted

“I left from work – I forget weh I mi di do – and I jump in a cab and I reach. And when I reach da because most of the stuff done deh outside, only my room dehn neva gaan touch because they said they noh want anything fi go missing, but deh mi done gaan een and tek di mattress dehn off the bed. So I done get uptight – I said, why dehn wah come and tek out things when nobody deh ya and dehn no bring no written notice seh we have to come out a di house. And the landlord said that he rented the house to another man; the man who says that he da di landlord, he neva deh yah when the three G.S.U. and the next landlord weh say he da di owner of the whole property deh yah. So I ask the landlord, so weh paat di man weh have dealing with my ma and the house business? He say dat ih wah come directly, must mek we wait if we wah wait. I said alright. He still had two young man di up and down eena di house di tek out di stuff.”

 

The “stuff” is all of Augustine’s worldly possessions. She is a housekeeper in San Pedro Town, having moved from Belize City shortly after renting the house last September to seek work. At the time she was two months behind after paying the landlord what she had owed. But the news of the eviction hit the single mother of four like a physical blow, made worse by the fact that some of her possessions are now missing and her family is living in scattered dwellings.

 

Brenda Augustine

Brenda Augustine, Evicted

“I know to a fact these are some of my stuff whe I find because I had more stuff than this: my stove, refridge, washer, bed, my clothing; I can’t find most of them. This is what I came and find; my mattress weh de deh neva deh so; dah my new mattress weh de deh and deh dah whe I find in dis area. Now the thing is, I wah know and I need help from somebody fi help me out, because at the end of the day it’s totally wrong for the landlord and dehn G.S.U.  Right now, my kids and me just split up: [my daughter is] staying with some friends; my son, we manage to get some money from Mr. [Cordel] Hyde, dah no much but still thanks – he get a little room where he is staying, nothing big, nothing proper. My son deh between that room and my sister-in-law because he still di go da school. Right now I have one of my next sons with me. As you basically see I deh back and forth because I need someway – I tiad a dis; I just need a area to settle now to get my kids back together. Because I feel like I am neglecting my kids but it’s not that. It’s just that the money noh deh deh; I no have no support, I noh have no help eena nothing right now.”

 

Augustine told us she plans to sue both the landlord and the police. Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

We have been advised that police are typically only called on to assist with evictions when a landlord believes there may be trouble, and in any case an order must be made at the courts with some notice given.

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