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Nov 24, 2009

Frederick Olivera says CitCo destroyed his property

A Belize city resident whose home was burnt to the ground in April, is still having difficulties getting his life back on track. On April fifth of this year, twenty five year old Fredrick Olivera watched as the home he built with his own hands went up in smoke. Before the fire, Olivera was threatened by men on the street who said they would burn his place. Olivera has since attempted to move on and has been filling the swamp land. The only problem is that the property, which he took over from his aunt, is Crown Land located in the vicinity of the Lord Ridge Cemetery. On Monday, Olivera stopped by News Five to say he was shocked when he found out the City Council tore down and removed the infrastructure he had put up on the parcel of land.

Fredrick Olivera, Claims House was Destroyed
“I buy clay, I throw six loads and ih gone right down under water. Besides dat, I cut my yard every end ah month and I di try just fill up until he ready fi build my house back fi me. So far I di wait. I noh know weh ih di do but he tell me wait, I wah get di thing so dah dat I di do. I gone back deh, I si mi land and ih noh deh how I usually have it. I just pay wah money and fence up round and round di yard. All my post root up out ah di ground, all di land filling missing, mi frame weh I just di look fi build back missing, everything missing. I try investigate and ask who do dat. Residents from round di area tell mi dah City Council do dat. I gone dah di Collet office and try find out weh dehn could do fi mi. Dehn tell mi I have to deal wid di councillor weh in charge ah burying ground, Mr. Wayne usher. Dehn she dehn call he and he she mek I write wah letter and he wah compensate. So far I write my letter, I ker it in. Anytime I ker it dah City Hall, Mr. Usher noh deh deh; he deh dah Traffic Department. When I go deh, ih noh deh deh I have to go dah City Hall. I get fi di si wah man dah Traffic Department weh tek di letter. I noh know ih name, ih tell mi ih wah mek Mr. Wayne Usher call me. I gone back fi si ah. Ih tell mi he give Mr. Wayne Usher di letter and ih wah call mi Friday. Up to now ih noh call me.”

Jose Sanchez
“What do you want? Do you want just money returned or do you want them to put back the stuff on your land?”

Frederick Olivera
“I di seh it from eena march when my house bun down. If dehn mi want di land, why dehn neva notify me dat dehn want di land mek I neva do weh I mi di do and di build wah third house?”

Jose Sanchez
“You are squatting on the land right?”

Frederick Olivera
“I di squat pan di land. My auntie mi deh deh from early nineties and fi di past six years dah me di squat pan di land and dah me di cut and di maintain di land. I dah wah Belizean and I think I deserve wah piece a land, noh wah piece ah swamp because dat dah swamp and if I can’t even get wah piece ah swamp what must I do.”

News Five spoke to a representative from the City Council who says that they have no knowledge of who removed Olivera’s fence. She said that the councillor responsible for the graveyard would take Olivera’s letter to the area representative to see if he could help. The representative also mentioned that council surveyors had informed several squatters that they would need to relocate from the graveyard to another site.

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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