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Oct 5, 2021

A Land Dispute is Brewing in Santa Cruz

There is a brewing land dispute over acreage near the outskirts of Santa Cruz Village, where residents are concerned that a private land owner is developing real estate they say was set aside for the expansion of the community.  Since assuming chairmanship of the village, Vincent Scott, has visited the Lands Department in Belmopan on numerous occasions in attempt to have the lands returned to the people of Santa Cruz.  He says that while the village council was initially successful in reclaiming the property, another individual has since entered the picture and is using the acreage as farmland.  News Five spoke with Scott who says that a cease and desist order was originally served on the new land owner.


Vincent Scott

Vincent Scott, Chairman, Santa Cruz Village

“Wind Mill is the company that has the least for, I think, one thousand nine hundred, close to two thousand acres.  So we met with the minister and Wind Mill and we were trying to work out something so that Wind Mill, the land could be returned back to the village because Wind Mill had the lease.  So we have been going through that process, we have been waiting patiently to get something resolved and while we were doing that, you had this doctor, Mr. Hailu from Independence who came in and started to plant some orange trees near the village.  As soon as I heard about it, I drafted up a letter and I went to Independence Police, one for the Forestry Department and one for the Lands Department.  So I went in and I issued one to the inspector at the time, Mr. Zuniga.  He sent some police back there to check out things.  I went to the Forestry Department and me and the forest officer went back there.  We met a tractor that was cutting logs, you know, and there were a lot of trees felled on the ground, so I asked him to check and see what’s the situation.  He got back to me and said that there is no document why they should fell all those trees. As the election was over, Mr. Hyde came to Santa Cruz.  He brought Wind Mill and he explained to them that they couldn’t get the land, so that was good.  So now, while that was happening Mr. Hailu was still getting in, sometimes seven o’clock in the night and planting, planting in the area and that area is an area where we have for future expansion of the village because there is no more land around there.”

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