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Jan 5, 2023

Land Dispute in Succotz, Is it Politically Motivated?

A resident of Succotz Village is alleging political victimization after police were called in to forcibly remove him from a property he claims to have been occupying for the past thirty-five years.  Miguel Angel Lopez visited our office earlier this week to share an incident with us during which he was being evicted from a piece of land that he says was passed on to him by his parents.  According to the villager, despite growing up and living on the land since his childhood, he has made several attempts to apply for ownership, to no avail.  The twenty-five acre plot, he says, has since been subdivided and the land he has been living on is being given to a political supporter.


Miguel Angel Lopez

Miguel Angel Lopez, Resident, Succotz Village

“It is a house lot situated in the new area of Succotz Village where I have my house which is of concrete foundation and made of zinc and lumber.  I have been there living on that property for thirty-nine years, almost forty years and my parents were [there] before me, twenty years before I was born.  [It’s been] more than fifty years that we have been in possession of that land.”


Isani Cayetano

“So what is the actual issue?”


Miguel Angel Lopez

“The issue is that recently, last year a lease was issued to a lady in Succotz, a lady that is a PUP supporter.  The area rep, despite the fact that I applied, the land for four times: in 2013, in 2015, in 2021, I submitted an application for that lease, it wasn’t granted to me.  This lady didn’t do anything on the land and she was granted the lease.  I went to see the area rep a couple of times and I told him, I informed him about the situation and that we had been working the land for many years and it was a land that wasn’t granted to us by any PUP, neither UDP, and he still recommended the land for the lady to get the lease and the Ministry of Natural Resources issued the lease to the lady.  Now the lady has taken the police, you know, for the police to force me to go out of my land and leave my house.  That’s unfair.”


Isani Cayetano

“Was there ever any move to acquire the land?  I know you’ve made several efforts to do so as of 2013, but if you’re saying that your parents were there long before and then you came afterwards, during that time that your parents were alive, during that time where you took over, was there any move to try to legalize the ownership of the land?”


Miguel Angel Lopez

“Yes, it was a twenty-five acre private property belonging to a Chinese [national], Mr. Fu.  He went to China and then he told my father, I mean, that if he doesn’t come [back] in twenty years, the land will be his.  So my father submitted an application to lease it in 1997 and then it wasn’t granted to him.  So he went to see the Minister of Natural Resources, by then it was honorable Johnny Briceno in 2007.  And up to date, the land was subdivided by the Musa administration in 2007 and many PUP supporters got many lots.  One person got three lots and so.  They divided twenty-five acres and the PUP supporters received land back there.  Thank God, that lot that I have right now with my house, it wasn’t granted to nobody.  So I’ve been there on the land for many years.”

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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