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May 20, 2020

Nigel Petillo – “Where Does a Land Owner Pop Up From?”

There has been a turn of events in respect of a huge tract of land on the George Price Highway. The Belmopan Land Development Corporation has come forward to claim ownership of the land being sought by residents of Cotton Tree Village and other interested parties from across the country.  The B.L.D.C. is represented by former Central Bank Governor, Glen Ysaguirre, who says that an initial two thousand, six hundred acres of land have been in private hands since the early nineties.  But tonight, land activist Nigel Petillo is asking where has the company been all along since the property in question has reportedly been farmed for the past twenty years.  On Sunday, hundreds showed up at the mile forty-four on the George Price Highway at Petillo’s invitation.  After that meeting ended, Petillo was arrested and charged for offenses related to the state of emergency. Just prior to the meeting, a written notice had been given by the Ministry of Natural Resources in respect of that parcel of land.


Nigel Petillo

Nigel Petillo, Activist

“All of a sudden wahn name pop up now, wahn land owner pop up now.  Weh he mi deh all di while.  Dehn di hyah bout this good while, dehn sih farmer di farm pan dis land over twenty years now, over twenty years dehn di farm pan da land and all of a sudden now you da di owner?  Where do we get that proof from?  How is it that, maybe dehn gaan mek up dat last night.  All of a sudden.  How I could know that that backtrack and trace back to dehn.  Again, the C.E.O. of Lands, Mr. Belisle, did say that the government or at least the Lands Department has no authority in moving people affa no private property and that is right, that is rightly so.  If I deh pan your land Paul, only you could come tek me affa da land or along with the assistance of the police department and the Lands Department at your request.  But nobody else cyan come tek me affa da land deh.  Now, da noh like I just wahn deh pan yoh land but I had reasons fi gaan pan da land deh.  I was trying to bring a point where the land has been neglected, there is land law such as adverse possession in place where you could acquire back this land and make it available for Belizeans.  I’m not trying to go around and just say tek anybody land.  Ah need fu unu stop play di fool, wahn lotta unu out yea educated, some ah unu da lawyers and unu di provoke di situation and dat da because unu noh really care.  The problem here is that the government noh really care about the grassroots people.  All we are trying to do here is to make avenues available to the grassroots people.  Don’t provoke the situation.”


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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