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Jul 18, 2012

Land grab in the Ministry of Natural Resources exposed

Before the sitting of the senate to ratify the national budget, there was the debate in the House that lasted two days. We could not cover all the members of the House but there were first time speakers who stood out from the fray. Issues other than the budget were also raised; one such involves a land grab at the Ministry of Natural Resources. It was raised by the member from Corozal Southeast, Florencio Marin, but was stopped by the House Speaker on a Point of Order. Subsequent to that presentation, News Five has received copies of documents of parcels of land issued to family members of the Deputy Prime Minister and his inner circle in the days leading to the last general elections. Here is a tip of the iceberg which has to do with the brother of the DPM, Ignacio Vega. Parcel 260 in the Colonia San Diego Phase II area of San Pedro Town was acquired by Ignacio Vega in February 2012 for a rock bottom price of a mere one thousand five hundred dollars. Another ten acre parcel in the Mountain Pine Ridge Area was also transferred to Ignacio at around the same time. Heading north, the DPM’s brother bought at fire sale prices one hundred and nineteen acres in Carmelita, for a little over eleven thousand dollars,  a twenty-six point three parcel also in Carmelita for only three hundred dollars, another thirteen point five acres in the Indian Hill area for two thousand two hundred dollars, parcel number 04308 in another unidentified area of Orange Walk for eight hundred dollars; parcel number 01507 located in the Progresso Area of Corozal District for eight hundred dollars, forty three acres in San Estevan Village for which the price is not known and another twenty-five acres in Carmelita Village. That was before February seventh. And if the quantities and the giveaway prices make you cringe, then we can say that since then there have been other land transfers to other family members. But we will have more details later this week.

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12 Responses for “Land grab in the Ministry of Natural Resources exposed”

  1. Storm says:

    Corruption will be the main motivation of politicians until we get some laws that [a] make it illegal to conduct government business with family members, [b] criminalise conflicts of interest, [c] require full public disclosure of finances by public officials, and [d] mandate prison for public officials who receive or solicit bribes, and people who offer or pay them.

    Sale of public property should ONLY be done after public notice, hearing, and sale open to all.

    If these allegations are true, Hon. Vega should resign immediately, and be investigated for criminal activity.

    From time to time it’s necessary to hang an Admiral in order to encourage the others. [Voltaire]

    I think some citizen reform groups should draft a referendum to adopt these laws by popular vote, since the politicians will never vote to close the national cookie jar to their sticky fingers.

  2. Karl says:

    It’s a scandal! It’s an outrage! Naked land grab! Unforgivable!

  3. greenhauler says:

    My wife and I own some land in Warrie Bight area (Corozal District) and we think that we have been victim of this land grab scheme. Apparently someone has “reclaimed” the 66′ seafront and more into the water of our waterfront land adjacent to Corozal Bay. Unfortunately, it seems we’ll have to get a land attorney involved in this. This reclaimed land was not established before we bought our titled seafront land. Why does this stuff happen? Why can’t we all just do what’s right?! It just pitiful when we try to do the right thing and something like this happens. Hopefully all the land grab issues get exposed and are revoked. Huh..wishful thinking.. God doesn’t sleep!

  4. Lucas says:

    Belizeans, have patience. Justice will be done.

  5. Ranto says:

    Each area/village must set committees to establish the needs of its community. This committees should work closely with each ministers and ministers should respect their recommendations.

    A Land Committee is very important on each place and this committee should manage the distribution of land. Priority should be given to the people residing in that area.

    Like “greenhauler” is crying about some land in Warrie Bight…I’m sure he is not from Sarteneja. In addition, he must have purchased this from some corrupted individual. All this land belongs to the people of Sarteneja.

    Sarteneja has beautiful seafront land and none is for the villagers. All this land belongs to white people, government officers and their families.

  6. KRTDIAZ says:

    The DPM should be forced to resign. Simple. If dean is serious about teh buzz words of transparency, openess, anti-corruption and good governance…he should go….

  7. OH MY says:

    If the villagers of Sarteneja does not own any seafront land it is because they were so hurry to sell to the white people, it happens all over Belize on waterfront land. The villagers love money and they sell and then get mad because the white people buy up their land cheap and turn around and sell high. Start developing your land and parcel it off to YOUR own family members and build and stop selling then the white people can’t own it.

  8. stopthebs says:

    DAMN.. What a Shame…

  9. stopthebs says:

    i’ve been trying to get a piece of land for the past 2and a half years ,it seem like they tore my application up , because i haven’t heard sh@t from these clowns…now this this land grab scheme …AMAZING

  10. Reader says:

    Again with the racism! You’re forgetting/ignoring the point.

  11. Vacuity says:

    Dean barrow can not and will not do annything to vega nor his ministers they have him by his ???? His ministers can do as they please. He needs them or his governmet will collapse.and he also sick himself.

  12. Bel Can says:

    Transparency is the key word. Where is there a list of the steps required to purchase, apply, transfer or any other action that requires the assistance of the Lands department. We should be able to access an online system for all of the gov departments that allows us to follow the process step by step. To receive updates regarding our land and the ability to check on fees owed and land application status. The theft of land by Ministers in Belize is a problem that needs to be resolved. How can someone take a piece of land that they have never even set foot on nor done any work on the land?

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