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Jul 17, 2023

Caye Caulker Chairlady Says Government to Intervene in Beachfront Land Grab

It has become a problem on Caye Caulker for over a year now, resort and other beachfront property owners blocking off the beachfront, preventing the public from accessing the beach. It is an illegal act; Belize’s laws stipulate that there must be a sixty-six-foot space from the shoreline that is public space. This means that property owners should not block or build on that portion of the land or impede the public from accessing the beach through that space. Now, some Caye Caulker beachfront property owners who have ignored the law may find themselves at odds with the relevant ministries of government that have reportedly promised to help the Caye Caulker Village Council remedy the problem. News Five spoke with Chairlady, Seleny Villanueva-Pott, who said Caye Caulker’s beaches are for everyone’s enjoyment, including the tourists. 


Seleny Villanueva-Pott

Seleny Villanueva-Pott, Chairlady, Caye Caulker Village Council

“There’s a procedure where they from natural resources, and many people don’t, and this is where we have the disparity because the business owners refuse to share that information to the village council, and they’re not respecting the local government, per se, and that’s what the issue really is, because a lot of these business owners know what the rules and regulations are, but they still want to do what they want to do, and that is the issue.”


Marion Ali

“So what happens? If they build within that sixty-six-foot limit on the beach – and that’s illegal – but if they already build and they have structures there, you can’t tear it down.”


Seleny Villanueva-Pott

“And some of these business owners knowingly know what they do. We’ve reached out to CEO of Natural Resources, Mr. Paul Thompson and Minister of Natural Resources, Cordel Hyde. They told us that they will assist us in addressing these concerns because at the end of the day, the village council’s take is that the beaches are to remain public, not only for us locals but for the tourists to walk on. We don’t have as many nice, big beaches. So the little that we have, we wouldn’t we know that’s what our visitors come to do. We’ve also reached out to Local Government to try to see how to get them to expedite, the process. So that’s where we are. We have gotten responses, and we’re hoping to get the situation remedied.”

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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