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Oct 28, 2013

Land dispute involving attorney Rodwell Williams gets fiery

On Saturday, tensions escalated on Cemetery Lane in Belize City because of a dispute over one tiny parcel of land. On one side of the dispute is prominent attorney Rodwell Williams. On the other is the Young family, who has lived on the plot of land for more than a century, since Belize was British Honduras. Williams’ grandfather was allegedly given permission decades ago to occupy and build a home on the front piece of the parcel. The family lived on that portion of the Young property for many years and then moved on. But now, Rodwell Williams is claiming to own the piece of land, for which there are plans for a fast-food shack to be placed on it. The Young family is up in arms, and when the proposed shack was delivered to the property on Saturday, it made for a fiery dispute. Mike Rudon has been following the land war and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

It had the look of a major anti-crime operation – with Policemen armed with shotguns and B.D.F. personnel holding M-16s. But these law officers weren’t conducting gang suppression activities or post-dawn anti-drug operations. They weren’t even there to quell a riot or investigate a violent crime. Actually they were there to escort a fast-food shack destined for a small piece of land on Cemetery Lane. But to start at the beginning – this is the parcel of land belonging to the Young family. It’s one of the larger parcels on Cemetery Lane, with three separate structures on it – well, four, if you count this bright yellow fast-food shack perched on this cement foundation at the front of the property. The spot where the shack is now located is the land in dispute.


Elaine Yearwood, Defending Family Property

“Mr. Williams, well Rodwell Williams Junior, ih grandfather asked my grandfather if ih could put something here until ih could do better. My grandfather give ahn the permission; ih say yes, I wah make unu put it deh, but when things get better, unu wah have to move. So years gone, years come, the old man dead, ih wife dead and ih still left the lee building weh deh ya.”


Eventually the Williams family left, but according to Elaine Yearwood, for years the family of Rodwell Williams has assumed that they have rights to the small portion of land. She has the title document so the family wasn’t at all concerned. Until recently when they learned that Williams was offering the piece of property to a young lady so she could put a fast-food stand there. That’s when things came to a head.


Elaine Yearwood

Elaine Yearwood

“When the young lady tell somebody that she di come put ih gacho shop on this place because ih say Mister Rodwell give ahn permission to put it. So I tell the person tell she ih can’t come yah, maker ih come see me because that dah noh Mister Rodwell land. Ih say dah Mister Rodwell land and I di come. I say alright. Ih noh come see me. But dah Saturday now, when dehn come put it, but by then I know. I work like fi he brain, I ina ih head. I figured ih mi wah do soemthign like this; I tell dehn unu look out. ih very powerful and ih wah send police. And dah di truth, police circle and I sit down dah mi house and I watch this vehicle every minute di circle and circle. Then my niece called me and say auntie dehn come; one stop and say dehn wah put the house for Rodwell. Well I come and I stand up right yah and I said yo can’t put unu house yah. You know how long we standoff because I tell dehn dehn noh di come in.”


The situation on Cemetery Lane on Saturday morning was tense, with Police demanding that they had authority to put the stand on the property.


Elaine Yearwood

“Police, B.D.F. with dehn logn gun; everybody ranger, but the house neva get yah yet. He send the man dehn ahead of the house.”



“And what the police come tell unu?”


Elaine Yearwood

“That dehn come put the house pan the land. We tell dehn unu can’t put it because ih noh belong to he. I say unu call Rodwell and tell ahn say I want see ahn. The bwai weh ih work with cal ahn—Kareem—and ih still noh come.”


The standoff persisted during the day, with the fast-food stand waiting to be deposited. A vehicle was parked on the proposed destination, so Police called for a tow-truck to move it. That’s when attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd arrived on the scene.


Elaine Yearwood

“About an hour after the police get yah, then the house, but the house mi deh park pan the street fi long because we tell dehn dehn noh di come. And so dehn park down deh soh.”



“And then what happen?”


Elaine Yearwood

“Dehn sent for a tow-truck. Dehn say dehn wah tow the vehicle weh deh yah. We tell dehn dehn can’t tow way the vehicle. Dehn say yes and then tow truck come, park deh so and we still mi di think….then my nephew give in and say make we move it noh. Then afterwards the lawyer come. After the truck mi done, dehn mi done put the house yah. The tow truck neva push the vehicle away; my nephew move it. and then the lawyer come and the police come back again when the lawyer come and he mi di behave same rude way. And she tell ahn ih di behave bad. And he say I wah jer the whole kit ah unu with the attitude. I noh know weh ih wah ker we fah if we noh mi di do nothing. She tell ahn ker wi; yeah ker wi.”

On Saturday when Police left, the stand was perched on the front of the property, but it had not been completely assembled. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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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12 Responses for “Land dispute involving attorney Rodwell Williams gets fiery”

  1. Rod says:

    Well this is just another example of Robin Hood in reverse stealing from the poor to feed the rich well unu spineless belizeans deserve it unu keep the sit back and get used and abused from this useless corrupt pm and gov wake up wake up the barrow family and friends are so brazen now with their thieving that they are doing it out in the open now .. March march

  2. soulsista says:

    CHancey and you are so right Rod robin hood this man has a lot of land all over Belize and even out of the country this is a bloody draconian move even if he has an interest in the land he don’t need to live there hateful and bad minded and because he is the Pm law partner he is provided with police escort without a court order gees is this what Belize is coming to a communist nation we should have stayed under British rule cause now we Beluba like Cuba

  3. Concern says:

    Was this a war zone. More than half the police force and the soldiers showed up to help Barrow, partner mess up the POOR. These police men and army really know how to show their strength, even though the lady HAVE PROOF THAT THE LAND belong to them. What a disgrace we are witnessing in our little Belize, when the rich want to show that by GOOD OR BY CROOK, THEY will get what THEY WANT!

  4. Sick and Tired of Them says:

    I agree Rod. They sit back and accept this kind of behavior too much. They better mind they don’t wake up one day in an Adolf Hitler style government. Seen how Hitler and his regime have no problem changing the law to accommodate them. And with the abuse they still go out there UDP, UDP, for a little $50 around election time. Only around election time.

  5. GrigaMan says:

    This is a prime demonstration of the abuse of power and privilege. Rodwell Williams Jr. is a partner in the Prime Minister’s law firm, so he can get the police and the BDF to do his bidding and help him abuse poor folks. A poor person without influence can’t even get the police to investigate a murder. When will the roots Belizeans get fed up with this abuse and start the revolution?

  6. Tiffany says:

    I am totally against what has happened to this family. When I saw the news I thought it was a big drug raid because of the amount of police officers and BDF soliders with those big guns, that was totally unnessary. I thought Mr. Willams was a different individual now since he had a life changing experience which nearly cost him his life. He should be very grateful for the second chance he got at life instead of wasting his time take from the poor.

  7. Belizean Pride says:

    finally some people are opening their eyes and taking out their head out of the sand like the ostrich. too much power abuse in the jewel from back of times and we keep tolerating these things. All of these things are boiling slowly until a historic revolution erupts and yawl see what’s gonna be for all those sitting in high chairs falling down like sadam hussein / gadafi regime.
    Power to the people of Belize lets stand against these things together.

  8. ceo says:

    Seems like every dam thing in Belize is a problem! Who has the papers to the property. Police should not be managing strife. They should enforce the law regardless who it is. This should get settled up in a different arena and police should enforce the law. Really Rodwell! You really need to flex your political muscle this way! Who ever is bringing the shack do they have documented rights to the plot? Can they proove it?

  9. Carlos says:

    Don’t give up my people, just because they are the government, we poor people always the suffer and the rich get richer because they steal from the poor. My God is not sleeping and each and every one of us will have our day sooner than later, be careful politicians.

  10. moses EX PC says:

    There are 3 sides to a story. The middle one is the truth. There is a simple solution to this story. Paper work…documentation.

  11. Guerra says:

    Rodwelyin do not need the trump change that will come from a snack shop, but the man do have powers because having his personal army in view do make the rich seem invincible!

  12. Guerra says:

    This da real sorry fe maga dog, maga dog turn round bite U. Now that the dog get rich, the dog turn round and claimed the kennel. Afer he barrow some pedigree, he brought down the dogs of war to bite the fingers that had fed him.

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