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Nov 20, 2019

Lands Minister Hugo Comments on Guatemalan Squatters

A group of about thirty Guatemalan families continues to illegal settle on a piece of land along the western border in Benque, unwilling to relocate because they are of the firm belief that they are on Guatemala’s side of the border. The land in question is owned by businessman Jorge Espat who has written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address the very sensitive issue.  The ministry told him that they had no objection to him seeking legal action, but given the location of the land and the nature of this illegal settlement, resolving it requires diplomacy by both countries.  Forcible eviction of the squatters might cause an intentional incident.  When asked about it, Minister of Natural Resources Hugo Patt limited his answers, saying he does not want to prejudice any kind of ongoing negations.


Hugo Patt

Hugo Patt, Minister of Natural Resources

“We know personally the issue between Belize and Guatemala. It is a problem that is bigger than any of us and so I want to limit my comments onto that. I don’t want to prejudice any activity, any kind of negotiations that it happening at the present time. Let the relevant authorities do what they have to do and then we will intervene at the appropriate time.”


Hipolito Novelo

“But that particular he says that it has been in his family for about three generations. So he does have title to that one hundred acres.”


Hugo Patt

“I fully agree with you and so determining the precise boundaries is an issue that both countries, both authorities would have to engage.”


Hipolito Novelo

“According to Mr. Espat, the O.A.S. has determined that they are within Belizean territory.”


Hugo Patt
“Look, the relevant authorities are there and as much as we going to do is provide that support to them.”

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