A family in Patchakan village, Corozal District is alleging that the Ministry of Natural Resources has taken away over fifteen acres of their land. The report is that Lands Minister, Hugo Patt is engaged in a land expansion in the area, but he is infringing on private property. According to the family they were given a heads up this month by the Ministry of Natural Resources via a written letter that had been dated as far back as July. Work has since begun on the land despite the absence of any agreement between the government and the family. PUP Standard Bearer, David Castillo spoke to the media today on the incident.
David Castillo, PUP Standard Bearer, Corozal North: “It seems that what is happening there is act of desperation on the Minister’s behalf, Jugo Patt. He waited until the last minute in wanting to do land expansion whereby he’s doing it the illegal way he’s breaking all the protocols. He’s disregarding for example the first process of the village council meeting with the villagers and see whether there’s a demand for land expansion so that stage was disregarded. Then apparently a document, a letter of mandatory land acquisition was prepared from July but the family recently received it the 7th of October just three days’ notice. It surprised the family because they did not know of it. The lands department have encroached and demarcated with pegs on the land but the family did not sat to decide whether they’re interested in selling the land but the family they have decided that they will take legal action because it’s an injustice. Why is it an injustice? Because the fifteen acreage of land is for the mom of the sons, she’s a widow her husband has passed away a few years ago whereby this land is used for her livelihood. Whenever the cane is being delivered to the factor she receives a revenue and that is what she uses to live, to pay her expenses and so forth and also her medical expense because she’s also ill but the Minister has no regards for private property he does not have no regard for this elderly lady. It’s an injustice whereby I as the standard bearer the principles of the People’s United Party is to fight for social justice and I am in solidarity with the family, I’m supporting them because what is happening to them is unfortunate, it’s an act of bullying and an act of desperation because of election season.”
A woman in Orange Walk Town is also complaining about the Lands Department. Karla Ryland claims that they are refusing to give her the land title for the twenty-two-acre of land that inherited from her father.
Love News is following this story.