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Jan 5, 2021

A Shady Land Deal Involving the Former Commissioner of Lands?

Former Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos made headlines on Monday following a raid on his property in Patchakan, Corozal District.  During the operation, officers assigned to the Mobile Intercept Team seized over sixty-nine thousand Belize dollars in cash, as well as assorted currencies in Pesos and U.S. dollars.  While the Financial Intelligence Unit is investigating that matter, another allegation is being made against the embattled Vallejos.  Andrea Chavarria-Requeña states that she was duped out of a property she purchased in Big Falls, Toledo District.  According to the resident, she was led to believe that a land document, sans the official seal and stamp of the Ministry of Natural Resources, was an authentic title.  That is until she had a rude awakening that someone else had bought the same piece of land and she had to discontinue construction.  Chavarria-Requeña told News Five that she believes that the erstwhile Commissioner of Lands is aware of the dubious transaction.


Andrea Chavarria-Requeña

Andrea Chavarria-Requeña, Resident, Big Falls Village

“I went to the lands office and I meet Mr. Serrano, the lands man who was in PG, and I asked him about a land and he said, “We are here to help people.”  He said, “This land is private.”  But I tell ahn well which one is available, and he told me, “This one is available.”  So I tell ahn, well how can I do it to apply for the land being that it’s available?  He told me that you need to apply for a survey and then you get a sketch and then you take it Belmopan or bring it here to PG.  So my nephew told me about a woman that helps to get things to Belmopan, to get papers, property papers or lease.  So I said well I trust the person because she is my nephew’s neighbor and I said well, I will try it and I will go ahead.  So I started and I paid and just before elections I gave her – I don’t want to call the amount that I gave her, but I gave her a good amount of money saying that I will get, in six weeks time I will get my certificate; my title for the land.  So Thursday, which was December thirty-first, 11:30 a.m., Ms. Amelia Johnson and Andy Johnson and a police officer [whose] name was Titus Parham, they told me that we have to stop doing what we’re doing on this land otherwise we were going to lose everything.  But he never did, the police officer never did show me any property paper from Ms. Amelia Johnson, but he wanted to see mine.  So I took him home with a clean heart, I didn’t know that my paper didn’t have any stamp on it, so I showed him the paper and I told him, “This is what I have.”  So he went back and he told my husband, he said, “Yes, your wife has a receipt but she needs to go and check at Belmopan on what’s wrong because it doesn‘t have a stamp from the Belmopan office.”  So he told me that you have to go and check and I said, well I will go and check.  So I came to Cayo, that was yesterday, Monday the fourth, and I went to San Ignacio Police Station and I showed them the paper and they told me that it’s not a perfect paper.  So they told me that you have to do so and so and then well, right after that, before the day was over I heard they called [out] the Commissioner of Lands.  I mean to say this nastiness that is taking place in Lands has to stop.”

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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