Correcting an Injustice
The Freetown constituency will have a new park, a permanent home for its local preschool, but it puts to an end a land controversy in the area. This morning, with the help of the Ministry of Natural Resources, titles were given to the Belize City Council for Fiesta Park, for the kindergarten, and to a young woman, who has seen some finality in a stressful saga. Hipolito Novelo reports.
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Located in Belama Phase Four, Freetown, Fiesta Park is officially now owned by the Belize City Council. But that wasn’t always the case. The land on which the park sits, a parcel where the pre-school is located and property where Crystal Gillet had been living were all transferred to a new owner.
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Area Representative, Freetown: “When we got into government we found out that all three of these parcels of land the Fiesta Park, Ms.Gillett’s property and the property we had allocated for the preschool had been transferred into a private foundation called Freetown Community Foundation.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Freetown’s Area representative Francis Fonseca says that the transfer took place under the previous UDP administration, just before the general elections and ultimately approved by the Ministry of Lands and given to the Freetown Community Foundation.
Francis Fonseca, Area Representative, Freetown: “The three subscribers to the foundation who are of course friends of the former UDP candidate Mr.Elrington are Mr.Jared Ysiguirre, Mr.Eric Sanchez and Mr.Frederick Gabourel Jr., those are the three subscribers to the foundation meaning they are the owners of that foundation.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Fonseca says that he knew nothing of the transfer.
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Area Representative, Freetown: “Nobody in Freetown knew about it, the area representative did not know anything about this. We discovered that when we got into government and so we felt that that was a grave injustice and today with the help and support of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Deputy Prime Minister himself Honorable Cordel Hyde was involved in trying to correct this injustice we were able to get titles, absolute titles for each of these properties. The Fiesta Park title to it has been given over to the Belize City Council where it belongs and should have never been in any private hands and then Ms.Gillett was able to get her title for her property so that she can you know all the abuse and intimidation that she endured can come to an end and then our property for the preschool title has been passed over to the Ministry of Education the Chief Education Officer so that that preschool can have a permanent home here in Belama and title to that land lies with the Ministry of Education / the Government of Belize.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner says the council has big plans for Fiesta Park.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “I am so excited for the residents here because the plans that we have for Fiesta Park is to really have it be a space where people could enjoy health and wellness, we could drive local economic development in this area, there’s no reason why we can’t put some booths in this area, there’s no reason why the residents of this area should not be able to come into this area on a Sunday afternoon with their kids enjoy the space, enjoy the nice breeze as you see this place here is nice breeze is passing through here and we want to add our touch to it in terms of developing it. We see a nice pitch for football, for basketball we want to add some health and wellness machinery in the area some play stations for the kids, some booths for vendors so that they can drive their own little local economic development and one day hopefully in the near future we can bring one of the community fairs back into this area.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.