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Jun 2, 2011

Is government justified in using force to evict the Chetumal Street squatters?

How do you rate the government’s handling of the bus crisis? That’s the question we asked after a nationwide shutdown of public transportation and a blockage of the Northern and Western highways by bus operators. Things came to a head over road service permits that were taken from members of the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative and given to Sergio Chuc, a well connected UDP supporter. Eighty-seven percent of voters who responded don’t think that situation was handled properly while the remaining thirteen percent were satisfied with government’s reaction. This week there was more civil unrest by squatters who were forcibly removed from the site of a bridge that will connect the north and south sides of the City. So tonight we ask: Is government justified in using force to evict the Chetumal Street squatters? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to

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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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15 Responses for “Is government justified in using force to evict the Chetumal Street squatters?”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Yes. They were there illegally, told to vacate numerous times & chose not to. Three bridges connecting both sides of the city is not enough for the amount of traffic we have in the city, we cannot allow their demands to override the law.

  2. BelCap says:

    I tink di gov’t handled this situation in di most disgusting manner possible, dis cold-hearted gov’t has shown time n agen dat dey dont care about di ppl only a selected few. Its deja vu al over agen.

  3. Pablo says:

    I believe first and foremost that Belizeans need to stand up for their rights, be it born or naturalized. These people standing up have just shown us Belizeans what should be done. We sit aside too often and let everyone dictate to us. People complain about land and the frustration they face to get one but still do nothing about it. These people are showing us what should be done, same as the BIGYEA group out of Belmopan. HATS OFF TO ALL OF THEM!!!
    My people “REAL CHANGE” will only come when we stand together and not be pointing fingers and accusing each other, or looking down at each other, we are all the same, God’s Children. We deserve better but continually we allow politics and politicians to divide us.
    Definitely i do not agree that the force used was necessary, these are women and children, standing up for a small piece of what they would want to call their own. There must be another way to handle this situation. Finding a new place for them and assisting with the relocation would have been the best option to use instead of going in and destroying what little they have, then leaving them out there in the rain to sleep, what a calamity has been done. If there was a plan in place for these people they would have been relocated after being evicted. That is why they did not leave, they were given no other option…
    Belizeans, WAKE UP!!! Look at what occurred in Egypt, “TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THINGS” “JUNTOS PODEMOS CAMBIAR LAS COSAS”

  4. Janet says:

    I believe the matter could have been handled in a different manner. From the videos one can see that the majority of people who are homeless are women and children. Hon. Martinez should be ashamed to show his face or even give an interview. A plan should have been in place to relocate these people prior to the destruction of their homes. The way the houses were taken down can be classified as outright destruction. These people have no heart. To hell with the amount of traffic in the city, human life is way more important. Some idiot stated that the strucures that was taken down were some little little houses. Some of us live in homes with extra bedrooms and a bathroom to go go with each rooms. Most of these people want just a shed to call their own. The people in power are too small minded. They need to start thinking outside the box. My heart goes out to the women and children; even though they were living on the land illegally, who have lost the only real thing they could call their home.

  5. LARGE AND SEXY says:


  6. Storm says:

    As I said previously, although it is true that the way these people were evicted was, to a certain degree, brutal, I support the actions of the current administration in this situation and I support their actions because of the implications that continuing to tolerate this behaviour will have for the future of the country.

  7. EMS says:

    Emphatically no, they did not handle this situation in a justifiable manner and very sadly, so it is amazing the way some people think, basically from reading some of the comments some people write, it appears as if most of these people hasn’t got a clue about anything, in terms of the world we are living in, Historically, squatters has been the way of life in almost every part of the globe. Begining with Columbus, Pilgrims, Israelis in Palestine, Garifuna and an array of people including the so-called creoles and their descendants were squatters at one time or another over the centuries. So called African Creoles and Garinagu people are not the original land owners in the original so-called British Honduras. Even the Brits were squatters at one time or another. Lets render to Caesar what is is Caesar, and stop the bickering about Squatters. Our current GOB should be ashamed of the actions taken on these poor unfortunately people. The rich gets richer while the poor gets shafted/poorer. Finally, laws are not itched in stone, they should make some accommodations for some of these people. Especially those with school age and younger children

  8. Roy Yates says:

    Even if some some of these people were Aliens, since Belizeans have some respects for the Bible, in that very book we are reminded to be corteous to the stranger within our gates. Howver with all this nationalistic hype we do the uposit to the stranger. Every government will be faced with the same old problem about land because there is no free land in the country that government can give away. Only if there are able to buy land from the foreign land owners of Belize, period.

  9. Storm says:

    Firstly, I understand and sympathise with the collective sentiment of those who are stating that the squatters shouldn’t have been treated in this way. As I have said, the way that they were treated was somewhat brutal. However, it is the case that these people broke the law by squatting and ignored the warnings that the current administration constantly gave them. Thus, despite the way this action carried out, it was, in the end, something that was legally justified.

    And secondly, I would like to say the following to those that wish to tolerate this kind of behaviour: so what if we were all squatters at some point in our history? The fact of the matter is this: Belize is a country that is guided by a constitution and a set of laws, so, in order to breed a sense of respect for the laws that exist, or rather, to create a legal culture in the general mindset of the population, the laws have to be enforced in their entirety, otherwise, they will cease to have their effect and whatever sense of stability that continues to exist in the country will eventually be lost. In this situation specifically, this means that those who are squatting ultimately have to suffer the consequences of their actions by being evicted. If they didn’t want to go through this suffering, then, they should have followed the laws that existed in regards to land usage.

  10. Elgin Martinez says:

    Yes,however this situation could have being handled in a more civil way.These are not the only people who are squatting in Belize.It’s so ironic that the immigrants who were squatting in Harmoneyville were protected by this said Government and yet they’re victimizing these other immigrantsand disclosing their immigration status so asto justify their act.Bunch of hypocrytes. Even if these people are living in Belize undocumented who’s fault is it?”THE BELIZEAN Government”Stop diverting the Belizean people’s attention from the real problem that is affecting them.which is crime and unemployment.

  11. carol williams says:

    It is so sad to read our news poor people are the ones suffering and will continue, to read our ministers do not care about our childrens, because if they did they would not tear down houses, like animals live in there, for the minister his bread is butter on two sides even if they were warned “That Is Not Way ” some of us forget where we came from and it do not matter if they are migrates or not a lot of them are in america getting a lot from the goverment by having children born there.

  12. Carlos says:

    They were warned…. There are laws to access land…. if government facilitates them it will only make the problem more prevalent…… Beyond the issue of land it shows that our process of becoming a citizensh is questionable…… most cant speak english have no technical skill as a result cant imrpove the standarding a living in belize… they will become a burden on social programs resulting in taxes dollars being allocated to them whilst the taxp base gets smaller.!!!! We need to review how people becomes citizens example bachelors degree, speak english, X amount of kids… some skill that can contribute to a more productive society….

  13. Sasha says:

    No ones opinion really matters, especially if it is GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, in no country can anyone go and OCCUPY IT without getting permission from GOVERNMENT. PLAIN & SIMPLE.
    This is the reason why so many nation are at WAR BECAUSE OF ILLEGAL LAND OCCUPATION, OPEN YOUR EYES OR LISTEN TO THE NEWS.

  14. Roy Yates says:

    There are certain things that are common in human physic, and instinct tells uss when something is not riight, such as the way government went about breaking down those people humble places of shelter. I see my Boots Martinez spuing off at the mouth without any act of humility, and talking about breaking the law and that he will put his political lifeon the line, well Mr. Boots Martinez, you should know that you political asperation is already is in the balance. You may want to see if you can do some damage repair. You are quite lacting in the kind of political management skills that is necessary for these times. First of all you need to show more humility, and realize that you are the people’s servant, not the other way around; the people collectively is the government, since they hire you to look after their affairs.

  15. Agreed says:

    Elgin your last comment makes a whole lot of sense. The crime situation in this country is FAR GREATER than the land for a new bridge (hich in this day and age will probably lead to more crime)…
    Let us hear a solution to the senseless murders occuring in our country day in and day out!! GSU?? They appear to be legal criminals – shooting after people in their own homes, and breaking into peopls homes “legally”!! What a crock a @#$%!!!

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