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Las Flores staged demonstration to express discontent over land dispute

A protest was held by members of the Las Flores Steering Committee in Belmopan this morning. Committee members expressed their discontent over a parcel of land adjacent to St. Michael Roman Catholic Primary School that was sold to a private individual by the Belmopan City Council. As we had reported on Tuesday, Mayor Khalid Belisle met with Father Jordan Gongora of the Belmopan Catholic Mission and it was agreed that two parcels of land will be made available to the school for expansion. However the Las Flores Steering Committee has rejected the agreement and they showed up this morning to express just that. Fem Cruz reports.

Fem Cruz, Love FM: A very peaceful and well organized demonstration was held this morning with some concerned 150 residents of Las Flores. Love News was there and spoke to two of the organizers.

“We need two circles around Unity Boulevard. We chose that area because it encompassed the Catholic Parish and we also got an opportunity to pass around the city hall. I came out here on behalf of myself and several staff members from the school because we believe that the educational sector needs to be on board with this peaceful protest that we are getting these two lands from the City Council. Unfortunately not many teachers could have been out here today because they had the responsibility. I believe that as a community I’ve seen that this is one of the communities that is really close knit and they really work together and that is one of the reasons I am personally out here because I believe that the three sectors need to work together, the education sector, the parents need to do their part as well as the students.”

“The reason why we had a peaceful demonstration today was because we wanted to send a message to the Mayor. We wanted him to see that people are unhappy because of the two lands that were sold that for so many years we thought belonged to the school and more over because of the accord that he supposedly reached with the priest in terms of selling to the school our land, the futsal field and the softball field, why because we do not believe that only 300 kids who attend this school should enjoy the football and softball field that should be for the community and the two parcels that were sold should be returned to the school that would be the most appropriate thing to do so that is the reason we went today, we wanted him to see that we are unhappy and we wanted it to be peaceful because we don’t want to be fighting with him, we don’t want him to think that it’s a political tactic where we want to attack and just disgrace his name.”

Fem Cruz, Love FM: What abou the father?

“Father said that he had reached an agreement, he had sat down with the mayor and they had agreed to the exchange that was published in the press release by the City Council but after hearing us out and understanding how passionate we are about this land and hot it belongs to the community he did tell us that no signature has been given towards this agreement and therefore he is not going to keep up with the agreement as yet. Instead he wants us to renegotiate so that we can try to get to a new agreement that can be beneficial for the community and the city council.”

Fem Cruz, Love FM: Briefly what next if nothing happens?

“Well we have decided that we will give a moratorium of two weeks, we are going to see what happens. We spoke yesterday with the mayor and he said that he is going to see what he can do in terms of how we can recover the land and if nothing is done then we would proceed with a greater demonstration by the people and continue pushing. Our idea is to not let this go short, we don’t want to be quiet we want to continue pushing and be heard and maybe someone out there will stand up for us.”