Bejerano Family Challenges Ministry’s Eviction Order in Toledo District

Bejerano Family Challenges Ministry’s Eviction Order in Toledo District

The Bejerano family in the Toledo District continues to fight against what they say is a wrongful eviction from a property that belongs to them. The Ministry of Natural Resources has ordered the family to vacate the plot of land along the Sarstoon River. According to the BDF’s Commandant, Brigadier General Azariel Loria, the Bejeranos do not live on the property but have several workers occupying thatched structures built on the land. Loria told Love News on Wednesday that the family provided documents that did not show ownership of the land in question, but instead for a parcel near the Temash River. However, the family refutes the claim and says they have resided in the area for decades. Jesse Bejerano spoke to PG TV yesterday and explained why she believes the family is being wronged.

Jessie Bejerano, Toledo Resident: “I feel like it’s a blatant disrespect because all of those accusations and what have you how will they come and say that it’s a mistaken area, we belong in the Temash and the area where we are occupying right now is not something like that but the Commandant apparently does not know the difference and like I said we were born there, we grew there and thankfully my parents decided to move in order to seek an education for us as that was not available in the area at the time. And thankfully that that happened I am now here, I’m a school teacher, I’m very happy for that but every just let me make mention that every holiday in fact Easter Holiday that just went by all my holidays, Christmas vacation and so on I always return to the Sarstoon. That is home. I am comfortable there and to hear over the news that they want to move us like that. We are Belizeans. Being born in the Sarstoon does not make us any less of a Belizean than somebody who was born here in Punta Gorda Town. So I feel very disrespected and I can just imagine how my grandfather feels about that. It’s four generations aback we’re talking about. His mother, my great grandmother, him my grandfather and his family, my uncles that’s the third generation and myself. And not only myself I have at least ten or so cousins who were also born in the Sarstoon and now you know we have professionals in the family thanks for them who sought an education for us. That does not mean that we will abandon Sarstoon. Sarstoon is our home.”

Bejerano went on to state that the family suspects their removal from the property has to do with a military operation taking place across the border. 

Jessie Bejerano, Toledo Resident: “We know of an operation that’s going on as it seems to be an African palm company that’s starting to clear land on their side on the Guatemala side. No problem that’s excellent, I’m happy for whoever seeks farming and that kind of industry because it’s a humble job, it’s something that it also brings in a lot of money but maybe what the BDF – what their real intention is probably to oversee what those people are doing on that side whiching you know that does not mean that they have to move us born and grown Belizeans from there just to oversee an operation that has nothing to do with them, nothing to do with us. We’re Belizeans we’re not Guatemalans. And so I just think that you know it’s really heartbreaking to see where the Government is going and I think that like my dad said if we need to seek legal action whiching we are seeking legal action then that’s the way to go because we can’t stay here with our arms crossed and not do anything. If it happens to us best believe it will happen to other Belizeans like ourselves.”

Loria also stated that a coca plantation was found in the area, which poses a risk to national security.

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