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Nov 21, 2019

Jorge Espat Meets with Opposition Leader to Discuss Removal of Guatemalan Squatters

John Briceño

Guatemalan squatters who continue to illegally occupy private property belonging to businessman Jorge Espat on the Belizean side of western border, near the Adjacency Zone, continues to be an issue.  Despite having reached out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the matter seems to be treated with little to no urgency on the part of government.  On Wednesday, Espat met with Opposition Leader John Briceño who has since considered providing legal assistance through the party’s attorneys to take up the matter in court.  According to Briceño, Espat has been in direct communication with Ambassador Said ‘Badi’ Guerra and efforts are being made to include the Organization of American States to have the squatters evicted.


John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Mr. Espat had asked to meet with me to discuss about the challenges he is facing with his own private land on the border with Guatemala.  He expressed not only dissatisfaction but he felt almost that the government was leaving him on his own because he, for some time, has been calling up, you know, has been talking to people in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to say that these people are starting to squat on his land for several months and nothing has been happening.  It’s only when he decided then to go to the police and then he wrote a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that’s when the ministry finally responded to him and basically the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that, almost as if you are on your own, go ahead and take legal action or go to court and do what you have to do.  He has been meeting with Mr. Said Guerra, Ambassador Said Guerra and trying to get some kind of advice as to what they can do and they got the OAS involved.  But up to when I spoke with him, nothing definitive has been worked out.  But what is very important to point out is that once again the government is seen to either be falling asleep at the wheel or not being aggressive enough when it comes to defending the sovereignty of our country.”

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