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Feb 6, 2014

Another prime property in Orange Walk East ends up in the hands of political affiliate

As recent as two weeks ago, we reported that the Guadalupe Park in the Orange Walk East constituency ended up the hands of Adin Aragon, the son of the former area representative, Elodio Aragon Senior. In the days leading up to Sunday’s convention for the constituency, contested by the other Aragon, Elodio Junior, the prime piece of land acquired by the Aragons for just under nine hundred dollars was handed back to the government.  Tonight, there is a similar story of another land grab of public land. And as in the case of the Guadalupe Park, the property ended up the hands of another highly placed politically connected affiliate. The story takes us again to Orange Walk East, and the parcel involves a tract of land designated for a public market.  The land was originally gifted to the government by the Castillo family; it was split in two, a portion was used for a new road, and it is the remaining portion that went into private hands. The land documents show that property number four-one hundred and two, four three zero three was originally registered on second September 2009. It involves six hundred and twenty-seven square meters. According to the documents, on May fifth, 2010, title for the land was given to Derrick Gillett of Orange Walk Town. Gillett is known to be highly connected to the Orange Walk political bosses and is a close affiliate to the powerful Minister of Natural Resources. Earlier today we spoke to the area representative for Orange Walk East, Marco Tulio Mendez, who said that an additional public space, a clinic in the Louisiana Area, has also been privatized.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep., Orange Walk East

Marco Tulio Mendez

“It is lamentable, I would say, rumours that I’ve been hearing about certain land within the Louisiana area that they’ve told me have been given to certain persons, privatized. There are some papers that have been made available to me where it shows that certain areas, for example, this area in front of the Castillos that was being planned by the Orange Walk Town Council as a small marketplace has been given to somebody. And it is something that doesn’t need to be done because these are the areas that have been specified for public use, especially the Louisiana area which needs a lot of space area and also infrastructure to provide certain needed functions within this region.”

 

Reporter

“We are understanding that right now, where we are standing, was designated as a marketplace and now it has been privatized and mortgaged. Have you heard anything like this and what does it say to the process to the plans of the council to ensure that they are catering to everyone in this area and especially your area, Orange Walk East?”

 

Marco Tulio Mendez

“Well that is what we are trying to go in depth with all of the information about specifically this part of the Louisiana area if definitely it has been privatized. It is shown in the map that it is in the process and we’ll be inquiring more about that. Of course this was an area that had already been designated as a marketplace for the town. So it is something that really saddens me because the purpose and the use of it is not being channelled to what it was supposed t have been done. It is a serious allegations that are being done, but as I told you, the detail information, I think that we need to ask the Minister of Natural Resources if it is true.  You would realize that it is basically being like a practice, a recurrent events that have been occurring with pieces of land that have been designated for public use. You heard yesterday within the House of Representative, the lot that where we had a polyclinic that is very close to the Louisiana Government School. Now apparently papers are already in processing, being done for Miss Liu; this was asked to the Minister of Natural Resources and he says that he is going to investigate.”

 

Gillett’s name came up in another story last year because he was paid one hundred and forty-eight thousand dollars in compensation for a property to which he and another person had titles too. At the time, the explanation was that because of a computer glitch, they were both issued titles to the same piece of land.

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2 Responses for “Another prime property in Orange Walk East ends up in the hands of political affiliate”

  1. ceo says:

    When will this crap end?

  2. Merlene Hyde says:

    There’s lots of prime properties all over Belize. Abandoned government houses from way back in the PUP days, just sitting there. Several are in the Lousiana area. The yards aren’t even kept clean. If it’s too much for the government to maintain these properties, then they should be privatized. But please, not to Derrick Gillett. He already has a lot of lands. Give it to poor deserving families.

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