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Nov 16, 2021

Krooman Lagoon Squatting Issues Resurface

The ongoing problem of squatting, purportedly on private land in the Krooman Lagoon area of the Collet constituency, led to a blockade of the access road leading to their houses on Monday.  Belize City Deputy Mayor, Allan Pollard had the boulders that blocked the entrance removed, but the problem is far from solved.  Reporter Marion Ali went out to the area today and found out that while the solution is a ways off, there is a move afoot now to try to definitely end the dispute between squatters and developer.


Elias Pech, Squatter, Krooman Lagoon

“Many governments come in and come, come in and come out and I never get a piece of land soh now I decide I wa come and tekwa piece. And now this da the problem.”


Marion Ali, Reporting

The problem that Elias Pech is referring to is the controversy that has perpetuated for over a decade where people who need land and housing have squatted in the Krooman Lagoon, purportedly on land that is privately owned. The landowner is believed to be the one behind blocking the entrance to the road that lead to their homes. While Deputy Mayor Allan Pollard intervened and had the boulders removed, the problem still exists; the squatters have nowhere to go and have built their lives around the location they have called home over the years.


America Jiron

America Jiron, Squatter, Krooman Lagoon

“I have my lee business yah so I help and I have my three kids in school, soh I can’t help because I nuh have nowhere fi goh and if this place da fi the government we could buy a lee piece only fi mekwi have wi house.”


Elias Pech

“I fifty-three years old and I born and grow da Belize and I entitled to a piece of land.”


Elias Pech

Marion Ali

“Have you tried to apply to get a piece of land?”


Elias Pech

“Over and over. It’s just fruitless.”


Area Representative for Collet, Patrick Faber, blames the problem on his PUP opponents and went on to point out that the area where the squatters reside is a flood-prone zone.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Area Representative, Collet

“Unbeknown to me there was some settlement with Jack Charles, and they allotted him legally the portion of the land that actually extends into the lagoon without consultation with me as the Area Rep. and I made known my position then, so if you ask me, even the portion that Jack Charles is now claiming that is not on the periphery of the highway and extends back into the lagoon, should never have been distributed and my position as it relates to persons who continuously squat on the lagoon, that is not a safe place to be, and as the Area Representative, while I have not led a campaign to remove those people for obvious reasons, I cannot and have never supported them staying there.”


But while the area is a hazard zone for the squatters, we gathered from those who assembled at the road entrance that a significant number of them are reluctant to move.


Marion Ali

“If you get the chance to own a house, own a piece of land, but it’s not in this area – you’d have to relocate – would you be willing to do that?”


Emperatriz Portillo

Emperatriz Portillo, Squatter Krooman Lagoon

“Well it’s a lot of money to move, mami. (Chuckling) We cyaa move the lee old houses weh we have right ya.”


Marion Ali

“So you’re not willing to relocate?”


Emperatriz Portillo



Marion Ali

“What is it that you’re asking for, then?”


Emperatriz Portillo

“Everybody have to come together and seh what we wa do.”


What Deputy Mayor Pollard and the City Council have done is to begin talks with international funding agencies to explore the possibility of getting assistance to address the problem. Pollard says there is also a committee set up to look at the problem.


Allan Pollard

Allan Pollard, Deputy Mayor, Belize City Council

“We have to look at it and say what’s the way forward. Will it be relocation? What will it be; what will the area be designated for. Is it going to be a natural catchment area? Will there be a plan in place to alleviate flooding and have it mixed with residential – what is the plan? But that needs to first be identified.”


Marion Ali

“But how long will that take? It’s been years already. If this man owns this land, is it also fair to keep him from developing his land and opening his own business?”


Allan Pollard

“I agree it’s been years, but it has been years under a previous administration. Our administration is a fairly young administration and we understand the situation at Lands Department with all the backlog, but from my understanding, there is a committee already established who is looking at these particular subjects.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Marion Ali.


News Five reached out to the land developer Jack Charles for comment, but he reserved those comments for another time.

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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