PUP’ Freetown Area Representative, Francis Fonseca made his appearance in the area before Elrington arrived. He held a brief meeting with the affected residents and then spoke with the media. Fonseca says he is going to represent the families affected. He says he knew of the problem as he had met with residents some ten days ago. At that meeting, Fonseca says residents told him they had received letters from Alex Chang claiming he was the proprietor of the property and wanted them to vacate the land by a date in February. And then, Wednesday’s incident happened. Here is what the area representative had to say about the current situation.
PUP Freetown Area Representative Francis Fonseca: “Now why are we here today and why am I here today, because we want to find a solution for these people. Yes many of them are squatters in the area and we certainly don’t condone squatting. We have always said to people that we need to find a legal solution to this issue. We know that many Belizeans across the country want land and somewhere to build their home. These people many of them have been here for ten years, some have been here for six year and others have been here for two years and this is the first time we are hearing about any Alex Chang owning this property and I am the Area Representative here since 2003. This is the first time I am hearing about that so we need to see if in fact that is the case. We have gotten no proof of that and there is a legal process that you need to follow if you want to remove people from your property. There is a legal process that has to be followed and we expect that process to be followed if that is the case but we need to in the interim to protect the interest and rights of these individuals. Not just because Mr. Chang or whoever else is involved has connections and has money and has connections to the UDP Government and is friends with this one and that one in the UDP means that he can send people out here to break down these people’s homes. He has to respect the law and this is completely unfair and unjust and we need to follow the legal process so we are prepared to work with Mr. Chang to find a solution. But we are also prepared to go to court to fight this matter on behalf of the residents and at the end of the day that court can make a determination as to what the legal status of the property is and what course of action should we follow in respect of the residents who live here to ensure that they have an equitable opportunity to remain on the land or to leave under their terms. But you don’t start the process by coming in and breaking down people’s homes because you don’t think much of them,that they are insignificant, that they don’t have money so they can’t fight me, they can’t stand up to me and I have on the end of my telephone line Mr. Elrington or Mr. Chang. That is not how it should work and that is why I am here to protect their interest to make sure that we have a solution to this issue that is rational and that is equitable and protects their interest and the interest of their children. A lof Belizean children are living back here.
We will be having more on the stance of both Elrington and Fonseca in tomorrow’s newscast.