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Oct 17, 2016

Current Lands Minister Admits G.O.B. Did Not Have Authority Over Parcel

Vanessa Retreage

The entire transaction outlining the initial acquisition of the property in question, as well as its allotment and subsequent purchase by Pitts and Vega was presented in great detail by Lands Minister Vanessa Retreage, corroborating our reports last week.  In the case of Pitts, there were missing documents from the file. But Retreage admitted that government had no legal authority to sell or provide compensation of close to a million dollars for that parcel of two point two acres to begin with.


Vanessa Retreage, Minister of Natural Resources

“It is clear that the Government of Belize did not have the right to issue title to land which it did not own.  Based on the contents of the files I have sent a memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer and the Commissioner of Lands requiring that further information be given in relation to certain issues which remain unclear.  I have given a deadline of the close of business on Wednesday of this week for the information to be provided to me and thereafter a final decision will be made as to what action will be taken in relation to this matter.  From the perspective of a minister of government, whether in the capacity of Minister of Natural Resources or that of minister with responsibility for legal affairs, the focus must be to ensure the protection of government resources and where it is found that monies have been paid out wrongfully, such monies must be recovered.  Unjust enrichment at the expense of government cannot be countenanced. On twenty-fifth August, 2011, Sharon Pitts applied to lease two point seven-five acres of land along the Northern Highway in Belize City and obtained approval to survey one point five acres of land on August thirty-first, 2011.  In October 2011, an unknown person within the Lands Department provided the Commissioner of Lands with information, including copies of the cadastral maps that a survey for the said parcel of land was already in existence and was recorded as entry number seven-seventeen in Survey Register Number Nine.  The minutes of the file indicate that instructions were given to the National Estate Officer by the Commissioner of Lands at that time to revoke the permission to survey.  The file contains a copy of a letter dated third November, 2011 addressed to Sharon Pitts informing her that the permission to survey had been revoked, as the land, quote, is not available to let, end quote.  Despite the above, a survey plan done at the request of Ms. Pitts was examined, approved and authenticated by the Lands Department on eight November, 2011 and recorded as entry number one-three-four-six-four.  This survey stated, quote, that it, quote, supersedes entry number seven-seventeen, Register Number Nine, end quote.  The survey is dated twentieth October, 2011.  There is no indication on the file as to who authorized what effectively amounted to a cancellation of the original survey done by Mr. Carlton Russell.  It is important to understand therefore that from the day this plan was authenticated, whenever a search in the mapping section was done the only survey which would show as being valid would now be the Pitts’ survey.”

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1 Response for “Current Lands Minister Admits G.O.B. Did Not Have Authority Over Parcel”

  1. spike says:

    Mrs. Retreage, I wish you would take a closer look at Mr. Wilbert Vallejos. His signature was on authorization papers for three(3) illegal titles on my land.

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