There is a land issue developing between the Government of Belize and squatters in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. The Government has set aside several parcels of lands located on Chetumal Boulevard for the construction of government buildings. As they began laying down the groundwork for these buildings, they found that portions of the land are already inhabited by squatters. According to the Lands Commissioner, Wilbert Vallejos, they have issued enforcement letters to the people squatting in the area.
Wilbert Vallejos, Commissioner of Lands and Surveys: “We sent eviction notices all over the place it’s very difficult to deal with squatters. Sometimes people think that squatting is simply the responsibility of the government but going back to the question about the councils and the different villages around the country they sometimes must take responsibility about squatting because a lot of the squatting comes from and under their authority. They many times allow people in fact they authorize people to go and occupy land which many times ends up being the private property of somebody else or it is lands that the government has set aside for whatever situation. I think the recent eviction it’s not an eviction notice it’s an enforcement notice that we issued was for some squatters in the what we call the Chetumal Street extension, the boulevard. If you recall that’s an area that has been set aside, I don’t know if you’re aware, for government projects. In fact this would not be the first time the government is dealing with squatters in that area and every time there’s a project or proposal for government to build something they have to deal with squatters because the area is already designed to house government projects. So that is the most recently enforcement notice that we have issued to squatters.”
The UDP standard bearer for Lake I, Dianne Finnegan, is looking into the matter. We will keep following this story.