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Jan 21, 2014

Beverly Castillo and family in court over land taken from the Pickwoad family

Beverly Castillo – she’s the former deputy in the Ministry of Natural Resources turned political aspirant in Belize Rural Central. She’s been making headlines right from the get-go, but it’s probably not the kind of headlines she prefers at the launch of her political career. The issue is a prime piece of land in Belama at the corner of Albert Hoy and Chetumal Street. Just before she left office, C.E.O. Castillo allegedly had the lease on the property cancelled and then secured title to it for her mother and son. It’s an allegation which is not exactly unheard of in the political scheme of things, especially when the Lands Department is involved. The woman who holds the long-time lease on the property is Bernadette Pickwoad, a Belizean living in the US who had already driven piles on the land. She objected most strenuously and the matter went to court in late December. An injunction was granted, since Castillo’s mother and son had also commenced construction. That injunction is in effect, but today all parties were in Court, since Castillo, her mother and her son applied for the injunction to be struck down. News Five spoke to attorney for Bernadette Pickwoad Audrey Matura this afternoon as she left the courtroom.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE: Castillo Family seeks injunction

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for Bernadette Pickwoad

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Arguments were heard before the court, all the defendants, form the ministry as well as the private individuals have applied to have the injunction discharged. That’s a normal thing, if there is an injunction you will try to get it removed. We have applied to have it continued. What we have this evening was the chief justice hearing the arguments for or against, us saying why it should remain, them saying why it shouldn’t remain. He has not given his decision whether to discharge it or not, but the order today is that it remains in effect until the twenty-eight of January which is next week Tuesday, at which time he will give his decision.”


Mike Rudon

“Could you give us the arguments in a nutshell?”


Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Well basically the argument from the government is that look, this person has breached the terms of their lease, therefore they are not entitled to any benefit. They also said that there is a remedy that she can get other than getting back her land, she can get money. They also felt that there was material non-disclosure, that she should have disclosed that Maud Williams and Marvin Castillo already had title. Our response to that is that one, whether and this is strictly the law, whether you are in breach of something or not, the law puts a mechanism to ensure that you are rightly heard.”


Bernard Pickwoad

Bernard Pickwoad, Brother of Bernadette Pickwoad

“Definitely it’s not a good feeling for us to have to go to this level to seek the justice that we think is due to us. It is definitely a cost to us that we think we should not have to incur, at the end of the day even the ministry has granted that they made an error in not following the procedure of law. The best way for them to have corrected that, given the interest that my sister have had in this land for more than thirty years versus two months that the defendants have, I think it is clear cut that they should have just corrected that error and just have given them another option.”


Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will hand down his decision next week Tuesday. Reliable sources say that Beverly Castillo et al are also in the process of asking that the entire matter, including the pending court case, be struck out.

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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7 Responses for “Beverly Castillo and family in court over land taken from the Pickwoad family”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    The Pickwoads have all legal rights to the land they have possessed continuously for 30 years by paying their taxes and occupying on said land . What is amiss and remiss here is Ms Castillo using her position of authority to steal someone’s property to benefit her mother. This is theft, corruption and we have laws to deal with such thefts. Remember the fellow who allegedly stole a Red Bull and was sent to jail for two years. Compare the two situations. Red Bull costs $5; Land and improvements cost $100,000. If the law provides measured justice, what time should Ms. Castillo spend at Hattieville prison ?

  2. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    Shame, shame, shame. Because she is in power she feel that she have the right to take away land from people and she running for office? My Belizean people take a good look at this woman. The stealing will continue.

  3. Al Rich says:

    She is a prime candidate to join this government at a higher level. Castillo now knows exactly how to take what you want and get away with it. She is looking for bigger fish to fry. I will not be surprised if she is elected. Some Belize people are so brainwashed into not caring what is going on around them even though they are living in bad conditions. They give the politicians the okay to put their foot on their necks and keep them poor.

    Wake up people you deserve more, there is more to life than what the government is handing you. Let your voices be heard over all this stealing and cheating that is going on by the same people who are elected to stop these things from happening.

  4. ceo says:

    She has not made it into office yet and she started out the gate with this kind of behavior? Just imagine what will happen if we the people would give her the nod come ellection time?

  5. Louisville, Ky. says:

    I think Bev should cease and desist. Who is advising her? It may be bold but definitely not wise of her to be having beef over a piece of land that is owned by someone else and has been for the past 30 years.
    Or, maybe she is thinking that since everything in Belize, “blow over like wahn lee breeze”, this too will be forgotten and have no bearing on her political career.
    What exactly is she thinking. Some people are not as smart as you think.

  6. Citizen says:

    Every Belizean is entitle to a piece of land. Fu God sake, get your own land and leave other people’s land alone. Not to mention, the owners of this land already invested money on this land and it is also mortgage to the bank because of that. Thirty years of paying taxes and keeping this land clean does have a cost. Birds of a feather flock together! What a way to show the Belizean people what you stand for. She will surely fit in wid dis ya crowd!

  7. Guerra says:

    Now we know why this lady was at almost every house meeting. Seemed she didn’t have enough work to do as commissioner, or was she grooming herself to sit in the house of representative. Now that she showed us what kind of stuff she is made of, lets see who will vote for her. The party seem to love her and is giving her an unfair advantage.

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