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Mar 13, 2013

Placencia land titles given to DPM cronies revoked, but they will be compensated at market value

Dean Barrow

In February it made the news when it came to light that just six days before the general elections, four prime parcels of land on the Placencia Peninsula were sold to friends and relatives of the Minister of Natural Resources, at rock bottom prices. There was an outcry from environmentalists and residents of Placencia since the land was within a designated reserve. The Prime Minister instructed that Minister Gaspar Vega rescinded the sale of the land. Today the good news is that the land titles have been revoked, but the very bad news is that taxpayers will have to foot the bill for compensation to the persons at “market value.”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There was a complaint made to me that some lands had been awarded that people in the village felt ought to form part of a reserve; they were not then in any reserve, but it struck me that what they were saying made sense and we had a discussion about it in cabinet. The Minister of Lands was instructed to reverse the transactions even if it required compulsory acquisition because I think at that point, titles had already been awarded. I have been informed that the reversals have in fact taken place. Compensation has not yet been worked out. Compensation under law has to be on the basis of market value. Now the purposes for which the villagers said they required back the land had to do with a reserve. So I am not too sure that the market value would be as steep as it otherwise would have been.”


The four parcels of land were sold to Dorian Pakeman, Bertram Young, Douglas Usher and Dominique Gomez, all associated with the DPM.

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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19 Responses for “Placencia land titles given to DPM cronies revoked, but they will be compensated at market value”

  1. Bear says:

    Scam upon scam — the Vega gang steals the land, and then the taxpayers have to pay them a profit on the theft! Can our PM be such an enormous fool, a tonto utile?

    The titles should be revoked because they were granted illegally and without adequate consideration, and the miscreants can be given back the pittance they paid for them, no profit!

    If the acquisition of the titles was illegal, the thieves should be rewarded — with prison cells.

  2. Trouble says:

    Mr. PM, why are you condoning DPM behavior. He should be reprimanded for making such self serving decision. Why should Belizeans believe that he is being honest now? Do not be afraid to call for your minister’s resignation when they are not representing well. Send the message….they will all start walking straight.

  3. Rod says:

    They should all go to jail fu thief why should the public have to pay for corruption judas and his people are stealing in front of your faces and daring you to oppose them wake up belizeans unu pm and gov. The thief outright from you .

  4. what? says:


  5. Initiate! says:

    Just in case anybody gets confused over what the market value is: It is the same value for which it was acquired. Please, nobody be stupid here!!

  6. orangewalkenio says:

    this is so ridiculous. i understand that sometimes compensation has to be at market value but in this case, this is total error on behalf of the ministry of lands so no compensation at market value should be given. just return them their money and fire whosoever approved the land sale (is that the Minister)?

  7. orangewalkenio says:

    @initiate, lets hope so.

  8. blackberry says:

    Now our taxes are being used to compensate the DPM relatives. These are the types of deals that have us paying for the super bond.

  9. Alexjr says:

    minister of lands,, pay fu your corruption.. not d belizean ppl.

  10. Ladymatura says:

    For the record, the case of Arthur Lindo clearly makes it known that market value is not equivalent to the same money that they paid for it. One rule in contract is that the “payment” need not be adequate so while GOB may have asked DPM Vega’s relatives to pay one price which is below market value, because they are having this land compulsorily re-acquired from them, now they will get the true market value, which is the millions it is truly worth from the start. Belizeas should now demand that the figures be made public and not allow any government get away with these things now. sadly PM said the PUP did it with Bill Lindo so he is okay with Vega doing it… but honestly we voted for them so that these same crooked deals could stop and that our change would be for a better Belize. let’s not forget BGYEA still not getting the same quick special treatment as the Vega family!

  11. Nation of Izscam says:

    they are elected so they and their families get GOB thieving privileges and front row opportunities.

    This should be a lesson to gang members. Why steal $5 when you can steal $5,000,000.
    Forget about Guats and foreigners getting land, elected Belizeans will steal it fair and square.

  12. belizean says:

    @ INITIATE, Market value is not what they pay for it, market value is determined by the developments or type of developments that has taken place in the surroundings or area where the property is located there houses built there, hotels etc and what the value of those are also one need to look at same type of properties within at least a mile radius as a determining factor, Is the land itself developed or not. THESE PROPERTIES CAN POSSIBLY BE ACQUIRED BY IMINENT DOMAIN AND NO MONEY CHANGE HANDS!!! THIS CLEARLY IS FOR THE COMMUNITY. It sucks that this is happening but under the PUP it was the same thing!! I am waiting on a piece of paper for a parcel of land for the last 18 years has a home on the property but nothing yet, imagine that!! guess because no mullah has been passed to lands officers hence the delay, lets see what happen

  13. bgroovy says:

    Iminent domain ….lets look it up shall we…

  14. BelizeBoy says:

    @ Initiate! you obviously have no idea what Market Value is or your being ignorant. Market Value is “The highest estimated price that a buyer would pay and a seller would accept for an item in an open and competitive market.”
    In case you still not sure you can read on 7 what the PM said so it’s more than likely these people paid next to nothing and will make a profit lucky them.

    Prime Minister Dean Barrow
    “Well, if we take the case of William Arthur Lindo, who was given Belizean Beach, the headquarters for the Coast Guard, for I think the princely some sold by the last government for princely sum of $44,000, and who just got judgment from the Supreme Court from the Lands Compensation Tribunal for something like in excess of $800,000, that answers your question. Compensation under law has to be on the basis of market value. Now, the purposes for which the villagers said they required back the land had to with a reserve. So, I am not too sure that the market value would be as steep as it otherwise might have been. These, as I understand, form parts of mangrove type Cayes, so I would hope that the market value would not be anything like we saw in the case of William Arthur.”

  15. Guest says:

    Give them the same $200.00 and $1000.00 they pay for it

  16. Initiate! says:

    I do not know what the market value is and I am not ignorant. I am simply saying “Market Value” in this instance must be equal to the cost of acquiring the land in the first place. If it is more, we are rewarding someone for corruption, like someone already said.

  17. northernconcern says:

    Now, this is what we call corruption!!!!!

  18. sickntired says:

    So because known thieves thief that makes it right for the rest of the thieves to thief. And we want to know why crime just keep on going up. Gangster pon street no fool and they husstle to survive so if this da di example we set guess what they will continue to do?

  19. Joseph Blank says:

    This has been standard practice for the political parties. And the typical knee-jerky, hot-air, outcry follows but nothing changes. I keep saying that unless civil society calls out governments on these things, things will only get worse. As per usual, the Church and the NGOs are no where in sight and are as mute as can be. Belize’s educated politicians have systematically destroyed the institutions of this country so they can pillage the country. Case in point, the DPP. It’s not that she is dumb as a concrete block. The supporting network she needs to deliver a conviction is simply not there. And that is done deliberately. So, our learned attorneys end up looking like geniuses when these cases are dismissed.
    It’s time we stop squealing on these blogs and deliver something more concrete. Yes Barrow is a thief, Gapi is a theif, Musa is a thief. But what are we going to do about it? Squeal?

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