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Dec 15, 2016

Why Investigation is Needed in Carmelita Land Scam

One thousand six hundred acres of prime farm land gobbled up by a powerful family in five years, at great loss to the Government and people of Belize. That, in brief, is the story of the land grab in Carmelita village, Orange Walk, broken by News Five and spurred on by the People’s United Party. And it is just one instance because there are indications that many other cases of land scams took place. Today in the Senate, speaking on the adjournment, lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay went even further than Lake Independence area rep Cordel Hyde did in talking about the scam last Friday. Courtenay alleges a possible conspiracy to defraud the government of rightful duties to be paid. He had a suggestion for how Prime Minister Dean Barrow as new Minister of Natural Resources and his soon-to-be predecessor, Vanessa Retreage, for how to handle it.


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“It seems to me from what I have seen and from what I have been told, that there was clearly a conspiracy within the Ministry, in which the Minister was involved and other public officers were involved with members of the Vega family; to get one thousand, six hundred acres of land to the Vega family, at a price that is way below the market price; way below the price that ordinary Belizeans are paying for lots; way below the price that people who want to go into farming are paying. Not only has the Government lost substantial amounts of money on those transactions; but in addition the Vega family has benefited, off the backs of Belizean people, on these transactions. Against that background, it seems to me to be rather clear – first of all, there must be an investigation by the Police, to determine, with the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions, whether any criminal offense has been committed – and it appears quite clear that criminal offenses were committed. And secondly, it seems to me, based on the same C.C.J. case, that a claim brought by the Attorney General for misfeasance in public life needs to be brought against the Honorable Gaspar Vega. He should not be allowed to get away with this type of plundering of the nation’s resources.”


Courtenay also directed reporters and interested Belizeans to the Caribbean Court of Justice decision in the historic misfeasance case involving former Ministers Jose Coye and Florencio Marin Senior, both of whom were exonerated.

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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2 Responses for “Why Investigation is Needed in Carmelita Land Scam”

  1. aldo says:

    I Never Ever take things at full value. I always look at the practical and reality of things. Yes there was a big scam but government figures are way way way off . nobody and I say nobody declares what they buy and sell in full value to the government. PUP using these figures are misleading and they know it. But there was definitely a scam

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