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Mar 31, 2011

Squatters instant eviction from Western Highway homes

An entire community of squatters was evicted earlier today. They had set up shop at an area near the Faber’s Road junction with the Western Highway where a road is being built for a bridge that would connect the south side to the north side of Belize City. Police showed up heavily armed and blocked access to the shanty houses when they delivered the eviction notices. There was turmoil and News Five’s Jose Sanchez picks up the story from there.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

An access road pushed from the Western Highway to the river began as a means to build a bridge that would connect Western and Northern Highway near Belama. But while the road was being cleared, some families began to build along the clearing. This morning they received a notice that they would be evicted immediately for squatting. Some of the squatters are on private and others on crown land. Nevertheless they are mad.

Felipe Martinez, Evicted from Home

Felipe Martinez

“They call us squatters and soh and we just try to use a piece of land that we find up that is government land. We tried to use the land, but find out the land to make us go to the government and try to apply to survey because we willing to get wah lee piece of land fi we Belizean pikney because they di grow up.”

Jose Sanchez

“But if they say the land is private, are you willing to go somewhere else if the government finds land somewhere else for you?”

Felipe Martinez

“Yes, but like I say, I got a map of the place. And here it is. So we know that some of the area is private, but most of it dah government land. So we find out this and we want to come to the minister to see what we need to do or make he or what he can do for us because we as Belizeans need a spot to set a house. We di suffer. Everything is hard right now. We can’t pay rent again. If we get wah lee job, you only get like one hundred and fifty, two hundred dollars and then if you pay light bill, water bill, who can pay a rent. We really worried. Well imagine fi we pikneys and what they gonna do later.”

This afternoon the returned to find out if they could access their homes, but they met a police vehicle blocking the entrance to the area. The well armed officers were following orders.

Voice of: Evicted from Home

“Early this morning, after nine, minutes to ten,  six jeep load of police just roll up pan we like we dah criminal or we do something—we commit and offence. And when I tell you dah big man, the officer commanding the eastern division come and serve we wah copy of this letter—this dah the letter weh deh serve all ah we with big gun and all kind ah thing. All ah we entitled to a piece of land; all Belizeans entitled to a piece of land. Dah only fi we piece ah land we di try get and dah still problem fi get fi we piece a land. They say Tommy Shaw own thirty-three acres of land. He noh even pay tax fi so long and dah still problem fi make we get wah land mi bredda. We noh  entitled to a piece of land? Just give we weh belong to we. We done work, we done put wi work.”

Jose Sanchez

“How many people live in that area?”

Voice of: Evicted from Home

“Bredda right now you have like wah hundred and add people done live back deh and you have so much more weh done chop out and sone di start put up deh house. Dah noh easy work that deh mi bredda, dah noh easy work back deh. Dah hard work. You got some mangrove weh bigger than you, weh taller than you, weh man have to the move and taller than you, big like lamppost weh man have to di chop down.”

Alston Picart

Jose Sanchez

“How long have you been living there?”

Alston Picart, Evicted from Home

“Year and change big man. That unfair mein. Make we just build fi we house—clear wah land, build we house and then they wah just come tell we mek we move? That noh right mien. What they expect? We to move on street with fi we pikney dehn? That noh right mien. That da no kinda justice.”

Melostic, Evicted from Home

Melostic

“They should have a sign in front there before they ever think about shubbing wah road. If they even had wah negotiation with government, if this land dah even fi dehn and the government and the government tell dehn that di land dah fi they and decide to push wah road through yah. They suppose to inform the people because government know ih people deh. Government know that if they push wah road through yah, we noh wah play, we wah invade. They noh even push road and years we di travel through then yah road yah.”

Jose Sanchez

“And your hands themselves show how hard you’ve been working right?”

Melostic

“My hands could prove it—years in and years out we work they land yah. What we need today day, dah fi make the government get di sense that hear what; we noh fool again. You know wehg ih wah cause?  It will cause civil war and murderation. You see how the police and they di kill we out yah—the lee po man weh di fight hard and they di blame wi and with we ugly looks, they say we are criminal. Dah they dah the criminal you know. Remember once this country start ‘round, they don’t know weh day we wah start to kick and start to kill them out and fight they back and shot them up and kill too. Belizeans ‘fraid fi say this, but I no ‘fraid cause one life to live and Jah deh with me, they can’t play with me.”

While the access road from the Western Highway is under the control of heavily armed officers. Closer to the river at the end of the Gungulung Area, homes are still being constructed. Although not yet affected, some families are clearly afraid they too will lose their homes.  A police patrol with back up officers patrolled deeper in the clearing and spoke to people they may soon evict.  Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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26 Responses for “Squatters instant eviction from Western Highway homes”

  1. Aint fair says:

    this is totally unfair indeed, even if their are just squatters, the government should compensate all the residents in that area with land title.. We always hear promises from the politicians, people honestly put their trust in them, u think the lands are for Belizeans, regardless of what ur status may be hell no…I got kick back a couple times tryin to apply for land, with a worthless area rep. for griga. I almost start thinkin about squatting myself, the government is not doing nothing for the people, their divided among themselves, just some bunch of wolves filling thier own pockets… I HAVENT GET NO INSPIRATION FROM THESE SO CALLED LEADERS TO TRY UP-LIFT MYSELF…Always quarreling like a bunch of spoil kids in house meetings….We should get thinkers to be our leaders…Professors not these JACK@$$ lawyers….bunch of hypocrites….real LIARS indeed….

  2. Sugar says:

    HaHAHa…….seems like somebody in GOB suddenly wake up. Here comes the media and gives coverage of some land clearing leading to squatting and the folowing day, GOB responds in the only way it knows how….intimidation and big guns. Didn’t anyone in GOB know that these people were clearing land there for so long?? do we have to rely on the media now to uncover things that GOB should be doing?? (like the butane scam)..it is my opinion that many dis-honourable ministers should resign instead of sitting like simpletons in the House laughing and giggling and yawning while Cardona brings out the truth….they are the ones to go, not Cardona

  3. defend BZ says:

    Congratulations mister Belize Authority , now can you kindly use the same zest and zeal to evict the thousands of recent migrants who are illegally squatting on private lands through the entire Belize.

  4. belizeanpride says:

    so much @$$hole police tryin to move the people who are trying to live a life and when crime is crazy you don’t see them doing these roaming the streets to find the thugs they only do these for petty things like what is happening. why so much damn police when we need them on the strets day and night andnot evicting people from their house. that’s why police dem dem a fraud too. they are only for the looks becuase they don’t act as they suppose too. i like what Molestic said we fed up with the goverment taking people for fools and if civil war needto start when we’re ready to do that also.

  5. FEDUP! says:

    SO WHY THE HELL THEY CANT EVICT ALL THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE SQUATTING ON OUR PRIME LAND ON THE WESTERN HIGHWAY IN THE VILLAGES LIKE COTTON TREE AND ALL ALONG THAT STRETCH OF HIGHWAY. THEY ALWAYS QUICK TO KICK DOWN THE BLACK POOR PEOPLE BUT NOT THE ILLEGAL HISPANICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Boledo Town says:

    Squatters bring benefit to no one, not even to the sqatters themselves as it places them in an environment that is not conducive to good physical or mental health. It will be london bridges again, no drains no septic tanks, no sewer lines , an eyesore which is bad for business and for tourism. This area should be designated to new schools, primary and High Schools. Look at schools like Salvation Army and James Garbutt and Bethel, absolutely no yard for the kids to recreate and excercise. what about a sporting complex, remember the Civic is falling apart and the PM did promise a new center after our basketball team was victorious in Cancun.
    lets do the things right people or we will be Haiti in the next 20 years.

  7. From the West says:

    Dont understand all the anger towards government and police inforcing the law. Harmonyville is not so harmonious after all. Anybody heard of the concept of buying a piece of land??

  8. ruth says:

    i say check all the squatters for their papers to see if they are belizean. and if they are not deport them.and the ones that are belizean let them go to the lands department and pay for a piece of land just like everyone else.life is hard out ya. nothing is for free.

  9. germs says:

    squatters: one that settles on property without right or title or payment of rent
    : one that settles on public land under government regulation with the purpose of acquiring title

  10. Disgusted! says:

    My comment is on the way the untrained police responded like dogs to the people’s simple queries. These $tupid @$$ B@$%&#DS don’t have kind of public relation skills and most of them can’t even read and write proper English! What they do know is how to do is bully and oppress the poor and underprivileged though. All this militaristic intimidation should be used to combat the gangs and solve the horrific murders and greusome crimes that are plaguing the country. What a !@@#$ING shame and disgrace. This is going to turn ugly for these poor people. Watch and see!!!

  11. Xaan says:

    I agree with everyone who mentioned about moving all the illegal Hispanics from Belize. Belizeans cannot go to Guatemala and squat, they’d be moved quickly or probably be killed. aye.. this Government…….

    The thing is with these illegal immigrants, they don’t buy their land, they just clear down and start building. next thing you know, the entire village is filled with lone bloody aliens. lawd man, send deh r@$$ back weh deh come fan! All weh dem di do da tek up land weh belong to the Belizean People.

  12. Disgusted! says:

    In defense of the naturalized Belizeans and legal citizen of this country, stand up and fight together by any means necessary. If you can’t get a piece of land the legal way by following the right procedures then TAKE IT BY FORCE!!! !@%% What anybody says. Only you who are living in poverty and squalor know what you and your children are going through. Most of us who post our opinions on these blogs are living comfortable lives and therefore can criticize and suggest brilliant ideas that will not solve your problems.

  13. little boy says:

    when the government starts to take out women and children out of the homes using the police and military its time for belizeans to pick up arms and start to fight back. belizean people u are the government those people taking u off ur land are thieves, pick UP arms and diffed ur land. i bet u dean borrow and his ROYAL FAMILY all own lands and islands.

  14. Wild Rose says:

    I am very dissapointed in the decision to evict these squatters and without as much as a notice. Where are they suppose to go? many of them have children. All of us who live here knows the peril and the hardship to get a piece of land; it is no joke when u live in a country where average citizens feel that they dont stand a chance to own a piece of land. This situation is vexing, and a blatant reminder of the situation that politics has brought about in this country. Belizean politics= injustice! plain and simple. Now i agree that squatting is a problem that needs to be addressed but i say enforce it accross the board and where it is possible allow for these people to at least get a house lot man; thats all they want! When it comes to the illegal aliens, i have no sympathy for them; they inhabit land like they have a right. this government needs to get serious and stop playing politics with serious bread and butter issues affecting Belizeans!

  15. Disgusted! says:

    Look beyond the issue of the squatting and see the ploy by these diseased minds in political office. They knew all along that these poor people were developing lands to “squat” on and nothing was done to stop them while they toiled and laboured. Now that that most of the hard work is done and the squatters have sacrificed to build their little shanties, they want to take the land away from them to sell to foreigners or siphon off to their sweethearts, whores, concubines and their extended families, cronies and political @$$ki$$er$. WHY NOW??? WHY WEREN’T THEY STOPPED BEFORE THEY SACRIFICED THE LABOR AND THE PENNIES THAT THEY DID??? MY HEART WEEPS FOR THESE POOR PEOPLE!!! !$#% the issue of squatting, these are poor people surviving on minimum wages and in most cases, hustling. All they is a place to call home for their children and families. Have a heart people, they can’t take the land with them when they die. My God!!!

  16. Hear Ye says:

    All unuh @$$ %^le Belam weh di rite fool bout alien, can you all go and squat and build a shack on public lands in New York, Chicago and LA, NOOOO!!! squatting is illegal here there and everywhere.

  17. Xaan says:

    “Hear Ye” it seems i might have hit the nail on its head. You’re being quite defensive about the alien situation which u seem to perceive all wrong. We are simply saying, the “illegal Immigrants – Aliens” are taking up lands that belongs to Belizean citizens. Most of us would agree to the fact that those immigrants clear down land and just build without even paying for it. Look at it this way, those immigrants are taking up land space that does not belong to them but to the BELIZEAN PEOPLE whether by birth or naturalized!…………

    What is there not to understand about this?

  18. Xaan says:

    And BTW the Government should grant all these people the land their on. Hell man! as long as they’re Belizeans they deserve a right to own a land!

  19. my 2cents says:

    @ Hear Ye, you’re also an @$$ because that’s how most Belizeans acquire their property. They squat and later on the government gives them a chance to purchase it so if you don’t what you’re talking about,I suggest you shut the hell up. Like i’ve said from the beginning,all they wanted was for the these poor people to do all the hard labor and when they were finished,they came back to take it all away.They could’ve kicked them off long before ut actually became a community. They people should fight and bring forth bloodshed if possible but I would not give up the land I work so hard for.

  20. A.E.C says:

    No need for insults Hear Ye…yes squatting is illegal in every part of d world eh..but these poor people squatting over these area are not doing to cause harm..dey need it to be able to shelter there kids and families..only God knows the hardships they are going through..Prime Minister your priority shud be give land to the poor, to the very needy before u allow all those greedy pigs of ministers u have take the few pieces of land we have….they should come first!! my heart goes out to those persons and i hope God can warm the hearts of all those evil politicians who only think of themselves!!! No wonder Belize is becoming the country we now see, crime afterr crime..and corruption after corruption!!

  21. Earl Grey says:

    THEN………EVICT ALL SQUATTERS……………….LET’S BE FAIR ABOUT THIS.

    HOWEVER……….They should have been treated in a MORE PROFESSIONAL MANNER.

  22. hmm says:

    they are all Belizeans. they got papeles. to prove it.

  23. lisa says:

    they are evicting the wrong people (born belizeans) while the hondurians live free on private people land. by the way im taking from experience.

  24. I AM BELIZE says:

    MY PPL HAVE FINALLY REALIZE THAT WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WAY OUR LEADERS HAVE BEEN HOLDING US DOWN. I AM SO PROUD OF THE STAND THEY ARE TAKING. TAKE THE LAND BACK.

  25. TO DISGUSTED! says:

    GOOD TO SEE THAT U FINALLY REALIZE WHAT BGYEA IS GOING TRU

  26. BZNinCALI says:

    Free is deceptive & can be the most misleading word in the English language. Every village has it’s idiot & I hope none of these folks follow this fool who is threatening violence. You’re a squatter, you have no right to the land & if the Shaws have not paid their property taxes, it is the Government’s responsibility to demand payment plus penalties to be paid within a certain period or lose it. Only then should it be auctioned or subdivided, whichever they feel is best.

    I won’t even address the aesthetics but for basic safety, the City Council needs a master plan. The Government has every right to tear down buildings that were placed on the land without permission, people cannot give themselves permission to take what does not belong to them. We have seen one wooden home after another destroyed by fire over the last few months, earlier this year, Miss Supal was killed in a fire started by a candle or whatever she was using in lieu of electricity. Health & safety must be addressed & if there is little or no access for emergency vehicles, these same people will turn around & complain because the firemen just stood by & watched their home burn.

    We need affordable housing & since these few have shown initiative & are willing to work, why not take advantage of their sweat equity along with using some of the money offered to us by other countries to build mixed use 3+ bedroom town homes from noncombustible material with each unit having its own fenced in backyard. Each buyer must agree to live in his or her unit for a minimum of 5-10 years before they are allowed to sell or pay for construction costs & split the the accrued equity with the Housing Department. They pay their own property taxes & monthly association dues so that there is money for exterior repairs when necessary. With some common sense we can have working class neighborhoods where people actually want to live & not the eyesore that will be created by shacks along what will become a main thoroughfare after the bridge is completed.

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