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Mar 15, 2013

$150,000 paid to DPM’s cronies involved in Placencia land grab

Dean Barrow

On Wednesday eyebrows were raised when Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed on national television that market value would be paid to four persons after land was given to them with title, and then taken away. It’s a practice which seems to have become the biggest land game in town. It goes something like this – you get prime property for a pittance from the Ministry of Natural Resources, through some quirk or glitch the Ministry realizes that you were wrongfully given title, the title is revoked but you’re paid compensation which works out to many times what you’ve actually paid for the land. It’s quick and easy, and the only catch seems to be that only close affiliates of Minister Gaspar Vega get to play. The most recent cases, to which the Prime Minister referred, involved four prime parcels of land in the Placencia peninsula given to four persons very close to Vega. Cabinet made the decision to instruct the Minister of Natural Resources to revoke the titles, but to pay market value to those affected.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: March 13th, 2013]

“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.”


News Five spoke to C.E.O. in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Beverly Castillo, who confirmed that the titles were reversed and the land returned to government in October 2012. She claims that the Prime Minister was incorrect when he referred to market value, though, since the Ministry of Natural Resources only compensated the four persons with the purchase price paid for the land plus the survey costs, and not the market value of the land though that would have been the accepted thing to do. Castillo claims that a total of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars total was paid to all four persons and the matter has been considered closed.

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17 Responses for “$150,000 paid to DPM’s cronies involved in Placencia land grab”

  1. gerald underwood says:

    when will be having people in government like Hugo chavez all the politician are doing is stealing the belizean people money and hooking up there friends and family thieving. !@@##$$%^&&

  2. Eye in the Sky says:

    These !-ing politicians from all parties in Belize only think about robbing the land and filling their bank accounts to the max.
    We Belizean do not mind they steal a bit (all politicians do) to secure their retirement but there has to be a limit. After all they get a good enough pension to live well when they retire.
    A small country like Belize with all it has should be a rich country where all Belizean live comfortable, have great infrastructure, perfect streets and everything should be perfect.
    Belize should not be a $#!0l3 like it really is.
    STOP ROBBING THE COUNTRY POLITICIANS and concentrate on making Belize a great country.

  3. john brown75 says:

    Typical example…the rich get richer. …etc etc….thats poverty aviellation 8n belize…

  4. Belmopaneze says:

    News 5 should ask Beverly Castillo to prove it!!! ….with all the shennanigans going on in the Min of Nat Resources that are seemingly either facilitated or allowed to happen under this CEO’s watch, do you really think we should trust her word that only the purchase price was returned? ….mayyyyybe she is really being truthful, but in a corrupt country, with a corrupt Government, and in a corrupt Ministry; I believe it is incumbent upon people like the CEO, to not only tell us what they have done, but also to PROVE IT! There is no “benefit of a doubt” to be used with this rotten-to-the-core Government! Show me the documents, CEO!

  5. Rod says:

    This matter is not closed and never will be closed this is just plain out thief and all involved should be put in jail immediately unu tha thief plain and simple judas barrow and all his ministers are a bunch of thieves period no wonder this country is in the state it’s in when the pm and all his ministers are stealing openly then total break down of society occurs we want all involved put in jail no less and no judas barrow this matter is no closed thief.

  6. Hatari says:

    Corrupt politicians . . . again caught with their hands in the cookie jar. At least this time the scam didn’t pay off like it usually does. And the PM plays like he really doesn’t know what’s going on. How disgraceful! And the people keep electing these scoundrels.

  7. beachman says:

    PM admitted this scandal with no prompting….makes me wonder what thiefing is deeply covered up.

  8. Big Ben says:

    This is a slap in the face of the teachers who are desperately trying to get what they truly deserve. Their raise. Belizeans let us demand that the laws be changed so that these cronies never again get awarded for this kind of blatant stealing of our taxes.

  9. javier says:

    @ Big Ben above, what the hell does this have to do with teachers? Stop writing like a fool. This is about corruption, and the PM should immediately remove Vega from natural REsources. He should only be a cabinet minister preferrably without portfolio.

  10. javier says:

    @ Big Ben above, what the hell does this article have to do with teachers? You are being a fool to associate the two. This is about corruption, and the recommendation should be that Vega be stripped of the ministry of natural resources. He is too caliente.

  11. belize_guy says:

    Are you kidding me? Why pay these crooks a profit on an illegal transaction? I can’t help but think that this PM is profiting from these crooked deals as well, why else would he back these decisions.
    No shame, bare faced thievery from the poor Belizen citizens $$$..Ridiculous

  12. voice of reason says:

    Why is it that people’s comments are so negative? It’s as if they don’t read the article and absorb the information in it. Yes, the distribution of the land was no doubt crooked, but for once it was reversed with out a profit. ” compensated the four persons with the purchase price paid for the land plus the survey costs, and not the market value of the land”. Aside from the fact that the land shouldn’t have been given out in the first place, this plan of action was the best to correct the situation..

  13. melvin says:

    This is real shame,the same PM accepted that gapi vega that what gapi vega did is corrupt and he still accepts his wrong doing,he should be removed from cabinet,or striped from his ministry imediateley.

  14. Sandy says:

    I’m not a violent person or promote violence but bloody hell man them ya things piss u off! things like dem ya mek i noh want vote again…next election instead of people go to vote dem shuda jus hav wah big riot! no not a demonstration a DAMN RIOT!! only such bold statements will go noticed!

  15. Bear says:

    @Sandy for BDF Commandant!

  16. ARROGANCE says:

    @voice of reason, I ….sure they did not pay 150 thousand for that land, it is sstill a teefing hussle.

  17. Mary says:

    It’s time to think in d country of Belize and not on their pockets. First the pm has to stop d corruption that is going on d lands department. I thought they said they were going to investigate and fire some people from that department. What proves they need when everybody could see what happening. What a shame as a citizen of Belize I don’t think we have rights anymore.

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