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May 12, 2011

Fence blocking peace for four Succotz families

Tonight there are four families in Succotz Village in the west who say that come the rains, they will have no way out of their yards.  It has to do with a recently erected fence that has been built by neighbors which blocks the exit to their properties.  The four families say they have been living in the same property for over thirty years without problems but now their only way of access beyond their yard is over a small creek that is expected to overflow when the rainy season starts. Emotions are running high across the fence and when News Five’s Andrea Polanco visited the area, police were on patrol.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

For fifty three year old Felipe Valencia and his family, when his neighbors erected a fence this past Wednesday it became a vexing issue. The Valencia’s say that the fence, not only blocks his exit from his yard in Succotz, but it also boxed in three other families in adjoining lots.

Andrea Polanco

“Did they consult with you guys before they started putting up the fence”

Roberto Valencia

Roberto Valencia

“They didn’t they just put like the corners, the first umm poles, the corners. And then we told them why they want to fence this place?”

Andrea Polanco

“So you tried to talk to them before the fence was up?”

Roberto Valencia

“Well we leave it like this.  But this Wednesday when we see they are putting up all the barb wires, the bush sticks and we cannot do nothing about that.”

Rosa De Castellanos

“So I am not in agreement for them to fence up here because when the creek floods it gets really big and high and then afterwards they can’t take us from out of here. My grandchildren who come from school pass here and a lot of other people too. One time in the past this creek flood and when I got up early I couldn’t pass so I had to eat until two the afternoon because there was no way to pass.”

But the Valencia’s say they have a real concern, because right in front of the properties is a small creek, which is dry right now but will soon be gushing with water when the rainy season sets in.

Roberto Valencia

“Whenever it gets rainy it gets ugly.”

Andrea Polanco

“That’s the little creek that passes through?”

Roberto Valencia

“Yea that’s the little creek and uh we cannot come out from this place from my own yard.”

Felipe Valencia

“It’s very dirty because lot of dirt and everything, its muddy,  muddy sometimes it smell bad and everything because it comes from way up the mountains.”

Andrea Polanco

“So now they have erected the fence and you and your family basically you don’t have any where to exit from there?”

Felipe Valencia

“Yes because before it was just flooded and now you got that fence there it will bring more problem because them people there, all the water will have to extend more and then we will have more problem.”

Andrea Polanco

“So for now where are you guys exiting from?”

Roberto Valencia

“Umm for now we’re exiting from out entrance which is dry right now, but wait until September  those rainy season we won’t be able to come out from here.”

And the problems started on Wednesday.  The families said there was constant police surveillance and when Rosa De Castellanos accidentally stepped on a wire, the police picked her up immediately:

Rosa De Castellanos

“Well this fence is really affecting us because those men who were fencing yesterday, it was day before yesterday that they got closer with the fence and they put a very thin piece of wire that I didn’t see. I passed nearby and the piece of wire got loose because I stepped on it and quickly police came by and took me to the Benque Police Station.”

The affected families say that they just want a small access area.

Roberto Valencia

“We’re, we don’t want them to take them out of their property. What we want is just an alley way whereby we can come out of here because we have one exit.”

Felipe Valencia

“Well the map showing just where the people’s have their lots and we don’t see no other people’s lots by the creek. That’s, no nothing see there.”

The families involved in this dispute say that they have consulted with their area representative and the lands office and so far they have been instructed to collect names of those affected, which will later be used to make a determination; a decision they hope will come before the start of the hurricane season. Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

While Gonzalo Rosado owner of the fenced property didn’t want to give an on camera interview, he has issued a release to say that the land in question has been in his family since the late nineteen seventies. Rosado went on to say that the property has never been a street or alley although the neighbors have always been using it as access to the road instead of the alley which is allotted as the entrance and exit point. The Rosado’s say they decided to fence their property after consulting authorities because the neighbors have been using their land as a garbage site.

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9 Responses for “Fence blocking peace for four Succotz families”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Not liking our neighbors does not give us permission to deny them safe access & egress to their property. The Government & the offending property owner can & should be held liable if someone is injured or killed because of this selfish move. The other homeowners are entitled to an easement & an owner does not have the right to take away reasonable access to another persons property & 30 years of allowing them to use his alleyway makes his argument.seem baseless.

  2. carlos says:

    Very disgusting of mr. Rosado. This land along the creek is reserve land. Nobody should have access to this land as property. When the rainy season comes this creek overflows and the ministry of work usually has to clean it or else the water flows over the highway. A few month ago I saw people from Mr. Dean Williams from San Ignacio surveying this land. I did not know that he got the pemission from lands department to survey it for mr. Rosado. But surveyor should know that land around the creek is reserve land. Nobody should own it. From where did Mr. williams got permission to survey it — from the minister of land? from the area representative mr. contreras? People would like to know. Another problem is that around that area in question there should be an alley for exit for these people involved. A surveyor, mr. G Valdez in surveying a lot of land included this alley as part of this persons property. This is bad because this alley should have been the outlet for these people now. I think that government should be carefull when granting permission to these two surveyors to survey land. They can put people in problem. We have seen how people kill themselves just because of land problem. I ask the govenment and the representative Mr. Erwin Contreras to do something for these people before it is too late.

  3. B Groovy says:

    Like a good neighbor u r in good hands (GOD)………if u do the right thing…….

  4. islander says:

    You got issues BZNinCALI. Who is to stop me from fencing my private property?

    If it is private property it is to be respected. I sure as hell wouldn’t want any free grazers using my private property as a street or alley. I am an average Belizean who has busted his rear working hard for the land i have and now to have some inconsiderate neighbours use it as a road, no man you crazy

  5. Grant says:

    So BZNin CALI, you would welcome people crossing your land, and apparently dumping garbage on it ? You are not that selfish ????

  6. MACAL RIVERA says:

    HEY WE HAVE A RIGHT TO FENCE OUR YARD, YOU KNOW, THE LAND IS PRIVATE PROPERTY, AND IF THE OWNERS CHOOSE TO FENCE IT SO WHAT?????

    THESE PEOPLE WERE USING PRIVATE LAND AS A STREET OR WALK WAY, SOME PEOPLE AE JUST TO LAZY TO WALK AROUND THE RIGHT WAY THEY ALWAYS LIKE SHORT CUT, WELL NOW THEY JUST HAVE TO WALK THE CORRECT WAY

  7. CEO says:

    I hope Belize have laws on the books that prohibits one from denying Ingress and egress even if it is your land.

    As if there is not enough problems in Belize already.

  8. brave beattle says:

    i am a villager and i know that piece of land has been there for more than 50 years that’s a reserve of the village and only because the owner of the property Gonzalo Rosado and only because he is a BIG supporter of the U.D.P. just recently he got the land.

  9. BZNinCALI says:

    @ Islander & Grant, we all got issues but talking to my neighbors is not one of mine. For public safety, occupied dwellings or any dwelling that is meant to be occupied by people must be accessible if for no other reason, public safety. My neighbor’s dog turned my front yard into his personal toilet, after telling his owner about it a few times & she failed to act, I picked it up & placed it at her front door. It stopped. When a property I owned became inaccessible because the owner of the adjoining property with whom we shared a road/driveway did not want “US” in her community, we sued her & the dismembered pinhead she calls a husband. If we all liked our neighbors & could get along, we would not need policemen or courts.

    In Belize City, homeowners are fined for trashing their yards & while this did not happen in the city, if the issue was their trash, it should have been addressed & could have been resolved. The court will now issue an order giving these people & future occupants an easement that will probably affect more land than if the parties had worked together to reach an amicable agreement.

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