Belize City resident Dillon Arnold says that he is a victim of corruption at the Lands Department. You heard last night the Minister of Natural Resources Cordel Hyde “bigging up” his employees in the Lands Department but tonight Arnold is furious with the Minister and the employees. Arnold says that he went to pay the purchase price for a piece of land located off Jane Usher Boulevard that has been in his family since the early ninety-nineties under lease. The lease expires today but when he went to pay, he was told that it had already been sold as title to someone else.
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “This is up today so you can’t give somebody something. I understand if I had gone last week or tomorrow or something like that. Today is the end date. Right? So this is corruption right here brethren. Simple corruption. They gave me this letter right here. This is signed, well it isn’t even signed. This is saying that it has been revoked. It has here 19th of September, 2021. Dated May 30th 2022, right? Which is a couple days ago. Now you are telling me that in one week’s time this person has already gotten a title after years people are waiting for their title and can’t get any title. You check it out? I need this to be fixed. How can you chance poor people? I put this thing here from 2016, no inspection. So somebody lives here. No kind of inspection got done to say that okay they came here to come and check to see if somebody lives here. Nothing. So it’s simple friend and company. You are telling me you will just go and because you know this thing is up now as the day or the time before it is up, now you cancel it and you give it to somebody but you don’t just give it and give him a lease, you give it for direct purchase price? You should have at least notified us. Either the son, the nephew, or the grandson, either one of us, right? So it’s simply chance that is happening brethren.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Okay so the lease is from what year?
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “The lease is from 1992 and the end date on the lease is 17th of June 2022 which is today and Lands doesn’t want to take my money because they say they can’t take it. They gave the land to somebody already and they gave title.
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: You just found out that today?
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “I just found out today and when they had clinic? Last week right? And they’re speaking of no duplication and no corruption. Right under their eyes?”
Arnold says he has consulted his attorney, but is giving the ministry a chance to rectify the matter.
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “I am frustrated boss, because this is simply chance. I am not begging for anything chief. I am not begging for anything. All I am asking for is a fair play in this thing. Fair play. I went there today to pay this money then you don’t want to take this money from me, boss?”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Okay, so you’ve consulted attorneys, what did they say?
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “I contacted my attorney. My attorney said go ahead, do what you need to do, they will deal with it. So, I’m giving the minister, right? I’m giving him time to please contact me to resolve this issue. If not, they will receive a letter from my attorney. I’m not joking. Going into the process, oh I can’t say anything and please don’t say anything. It’s like that, like a hush hush thing.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: How do you mean?
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “Boss, there is much I can say but I will leave it like that. I will leave it like that. All I want him to do is just contact me. Please, just resolve this thing and let me just pay the money. I’m not begging you to write off anything. I’m not begging you for anything. All I am asking for is to please just put back our land in the correct name where it was and let us pay our money and get the title chief, please?”
And according to Arnold, the ministry’s decision to sell his family’s lease land will also affect a man who he has provided lodging for on the land.
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “This man has lived here for almost a year. This man didn’t have anywhere to go. One of my relatives right down the street said Dillon if you could please just let this man stay in the place because he does not have anywhere to go. I told him fine. I came here and saw the man and I said yes okay. Chief you can stay in the place mien just please take care of it because they had already busted it. If we are trying. If we want to take care of our people, why are we trying to rob from our own poor people, king?”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Okay because they gave the title to somebody they might try to evict him.
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “Exactly! Exactly!”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: So what happens then?
Dillon Arnold, Belize City Resident: “Well I want to know what they are going to do but I am going down fighting. I am going down fighting. This will not end like this. Only we can help we brethren. Will we stand up and let people chance us over and over and over?”
We’ll keep following the story.