The People’s United Party has been winning a large percentage of the village council elections, including the village of La Garcia. According to the villagers, they have received threats that their properties will be taken away by the government since they did not vote for the United Democratic Party. Today, the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno visited La Garcia to offer his assistance.
John Briceno – Leader of the Opposition:“When we were campaigning for the Village Council Elections when I was here several citizens were very concerned that they were already being threatened that if they do not vote for the UDP that their lands will be taken away. Here we are just a few weeks later we saw some people legally trying to come in and survey lands that these Belizeans have been working on. They have agriculture on it, some of them have purchased, they have their title on it and just because they did not support Minster Montero’s team and the UDP. We believe that if I could have been here asking them for their vote the least I can do is be here now with them to talk to them, to listen to them and to come up with a plan of action to defend the rights of these villagers here in La Gracia. We say that we are going to do a number of things: the first thing is that we have been asking them to compile a list of all the people and the land that they have, what work they have been doing? If they have a title or lease? Or if they have not applied for their land as yet. We are going to organize that, once we have that I plan to meet with the Minister of Natural Resources Honorable Hugo Patt to present to him and appeal to him that we should not take away the land from these people, these are hard-working Belizeans. That is one, secondly we are going to take legal action, we have a number of attorneys that are prepared to stand up if the Government does not listen to the pleas of the people from La Gracia. We are going to fight all the way, we are going to fight all the way and if they commit an injustice, when we get into Government we are going to provide justice for the people of La Gracia.”
Briceno described the situation as an injustice and vowed to stand up with the residents of La Garcia.