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Apr 16, 2021

Brother Gone 35 Years Claims Ownership of Cattle in Dispute

Many Belizeans have family members who migrate to the U.S.  But what happens if they leave property back home expecting to someday recover it? Well, that is at the center of a dispute in the village of May Pen that has the Moody brothers tussling over a herd of cattle that stayed in Belize in one brother’s care almost forty years ago.  Clifford and Buntin Moody have been bucking heads since 2015 over a group of animals that grew from sixty-nine animals to over two hundred.  Some of the original have died, and new ones have been born.  The case has already gone to court, yet despite a ruling, the brothers have yet to come to an agreement about the number of cattle each of them actually owns.  New Five’s Paul Lopez travelled to May Pen Village to try and makes heads or tails of the situation.

 

Clifford Moody, Cattle Rancher

“I am a cattle rancher and owner of all these cattle.”

 

Paul Lopez

“The court ruled that the defendant is to make necessary rebranding within three months, and so no further order is necessary with respect to the cattle. So basically, what the court is saying is that your brother is to make necessary rebranding to a certain amount of cattle. You are saying that your brother does not even own any cattle to make necessary rebranding?”

 

Clifford Moody

“I said four. Now, the problem with that is that he lied to the judge. He said that when I left my cattle with him in 1984, he had twelve head of animal and that is a lie. Number two, he said eighteen heads of cattle was left behind in May Pen after I moved some of my cattle to safety, that is a lie. I am standing right in front of my place here where this corral is. Seven head of animals that belong to me, I feed them, and they survived here. The next seven head survived in this Government road, all the way up by Flowers Bank. Now, he says he owned cattle. The seven head that survived in Flowers Bank went in a gentleman’s milpa. The gentleman went to him and told him the situation; he wants to pay for the damages. He said, I do not own any animals. He said go to my other brother, Alrick, because he is the caretaker of my animals when I’m not here. So, we had to pay the gentleman seven hundred dollars for his damages. That is the reason why the judge made a ruling like that. The judge says whatever you have in your possession belongs to you, whatever I have in my possession belongs to me. From what I said, so he have anything in his possession? No!”

 

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Clifford Moody claims that he had to pay twenty-nine dollars to move the herd of cattle to safety late last year when flood waters threatened their life. His brother, Buntin Moody who did not want to speak to us on record disputes Moody’s claim. According to Buntin, there is a seven thousand six hundred dollar outstanding bill the transportation of the herd back to the farm.

 

Clifford Moody

“Now these hundred and twenty-five heads of cattle that is here in May Pen, I am the one who paid the transportation to bring them back. He did not pay a dime. That is the reason why all the cattle belong to me.”

 

Paul Lopez

“It is a battle of numbers. Who own how much heads of cattle? You are here saying again your brother does not own anything and you own everything. But going back to the court ruling it says that there was absolutely no inventory or sign over of cattle at the beginning. Claimant, you, did not even know how much cattle you gave the defendant initially. So, you are guessing, you are making an estimated guess?”

 

Clifford Moody

Clifford Moody

“I do not know how the judge says that. What did I have in my petition? Sixty-nine head of cattle. So that is what I gave him. I said sixty-nine so I am not guessing. I said 69 head of cattle I left with him. I will say that again, sixty-nine head of cattle that is in my petition to the court that I left with Buntin Moody in 1984.”

 

Based on the Court Order, over the weekend Buntin Moody added his BM brand to several heads of cattle that were already branded with Clifford’s CM brand. When we spoke to Buntin off camera this afternoon, he did not deny these reports, adding that he branded what is rightfully his.

 

Clifford Moody

“Listen the rebranding is totally illegal on his behalf because he knows he has nothing in his possession. I am going to stick to that because that is a fact that he has nothing in his possession.”

 

Paul Lopez

“You court ruling, you are saying that because it is vague in some people’s eyes, you have a court date on Tuesday to clarify? Speak to us about how that came about.”

 

Clifford Moody

“I do not know what the judge is going to say about the clarity. But I have an injunction on him that he cannot brand or touch or nothing until Tuesday at one-thirty at the courthouse. I am waiting for that ruling from the court and then I am going to move forward.”

 

Buntin Moody told News Five that he will reserve any further public comments until after Tuesday’s ruling. Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.


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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