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Mar 8, 2023

Belize City Couple Cries Foul Over Demolished City Property

This afternoon, a Belize City couple arrived at the residence they have been occupying for the past four years to a demolition crew tearing apart the concrete structure with most of their belongings still inside. Caroline Jones manages a primary school cafeteria in Belize City. Just after midday she received a call that the house she and her husband have been occupying was being demolished. According to Jones, four years ago, she entered into a verbal agreement with a close family friend to occupy the property. But, on January twentieth, 2023, they received a letter from attorney Bryan A. Neal on behalf of Jaime Perdomo. The letter stated that Perdomo is the owner of the property and that the couple had been illegally occupying it. The letter states that Jones and others have refused to vacate the property, despite several demands to do so and that they were being given thirty days to move. That time has elapsed, and this morning a demolition crew got to work on the property. But, much to Jones’ dismay a number of her personal belongings were still in the home at the time. In an off camera interview she told us that she was in the process of moving and that she needed more time to complete the process.  We also heard from Perdomo’s attorney, Bryan Neal.


Voice of: Caroline Jones, Belize City Resident

“So last week Thursday the light was disconnected because my husband and I were focused on getting out. The thing is that it is not just that this man came with a letter. The letter didn’t intimidate me. When it rains and stuffs the place use to get a lot of water. During the hurricane the water came up at least two feet high. So it is not the best situation and condition to live in. So, we were making plans to move. My husband and I we are business people. During COVID we use to sell black soil. I sell plants. I had a nursery in the back. It is distraught because we were indeed in the process of moving. We were working with this person. We got a call and by the time we got here, the demolition crew already had so much of our personal assets in the vehicle, so much of my plants in the vehicle. They tore down the entire camera system. As you can see, all my cable wires are broken, the table is broken, and everything is destroyed in the rooms. Everything is totally destroyed and now I have to pick up my pots and everything I didn’t get, all my clothes, my shoes, everything. Am I supposed to just rumble through this and get whatever is left here? I mean this can’t happen, it shouldn’t happen.”

Bryan Neal

On the phone: Bryan Neal, Attorney-At-Law

“My client has been trying to acquire the title to the property for the last two years. He warned the people who were in occupation as trespassers on the property that they needed to vacate. He has been warning them for two years, because you know things move slowly at the Lands Department, but recently on the seventeenth of January, he was granted, indefectible title as the land owner. Based on that I send a notice to the persons we learnt were in illegal occupation and I invited them to vacate the premise and if they did not we would take court action. They being good citizens of conscience vacated the premises as far as we were aware. For the last week we have been making checks to make sure that nobody was there. When the demolition crew got to the property, no one was there. My client reached out to these people several times to make sure no injury to life or property would have ensued. When we found the property vacant, he and his work crew went ahead with the demolition, all in our view, legal steps were taken by my client. We are sympathetic with the family but as far as the law goes we are firmly on the legal side of things. We followed due process and there is really nothing more we can do in these circumstances. Jones says she and her husband have already secured another house to live in, but they were unable to take all their belongings to that property. Jones further claims that they have invested significantly in the house which is now being demolished.”

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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