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Jan 27, 2023

Municipal Delineation Exercise To Change Town and City Boundaries across the Country

Earlier this week, News Five took you to Benque Viejo del Carmen and San Jose Succotz where we were able to take a closer look at a land dispute which originated from an ongoing municipality delineation exercise. Tonight, Valentino Shal, the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Local Government, is saying that the exercise will not only affect Benque Viejo residents, but municipalities across the country. Mayor Jorge Rosales brought this information to our attention on Tuesday with images of the proposed maps from each municipality, to drive home the point that a national exercise is being undertaken. Here is what Mayor Rosales told us followed by what we learnt from C.E.O. Shal.


Jorge Rosales

Jorge Rosales, Mayor, Benque Viejo del Carmen Town

“This is San Pedro, they are redefining their town too. This is San Ignacio. This is not just Benque, this is all across the country through the Rural Development, Local Government Ministry, through the mayors we are doing this, but we are not taking anything from nobody. This is Punta Gorda, they are doing the same thing. It is not just Benque. It is everything around the country and this exercise is done once in a while or every such year they come and see how the town has grown. This is Dangriga and this redefinition started last year to have everybody served by their towns and mayors.”


Valentino Shal

Valentino Shal, C.E.O., Ministry of Local Government

“It is very important for them because they have to operate in a jurisdiction that is clearly delineation. If you can imagine, towns and cities have grown beyond the borders that were initial established when they were incorporated you know. And, as the town’s grow outside of the boundaries, those residents living in those areas are expecting the towns and city councils to provide services for them., building streets, maintaining  streets, picking garbage, clearing up the drains and the green spaces. But, technically it is no within the town because it is not officially within the borders. But of course, towns and mayors and their councils have always been willing to do that. But, because they are not clearly within the boundary of the town then they are not able to collect the taxes they need to collect from these residents in order to provide these services that are much needed. And so, this is something they had been dealing with before the new government came into office. So, this is what we are doing.”

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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