Nigel Petillo – he is the land activist who was one of the founders of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA). He has since separated from that group and has continued his independent advocacy to have Belizeans own at least one piece of land. His advocacy has been had some success with the community known as Harmonyville. His recent endeavor, however, is still unfinished, and a few weeks ago he took to social media to lash out on the Minister of Lands, Cordel Hyde. According to Petillo, Hyde has not been returning his calls or text messages. In speaking exclusively with Love News on Monday, Minister Hyde says he was taken by surprise and was heartbroken when he heard Petillo’s rant.
Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources: “Well I was shocked to be honest with you. I went to sleep one night and woke up the next day and found my brother with a Facebook ____. I don’t know where that came from I thought we had a good relationship. We met a few times since we’ve been in government and those were always great meetings. I actually enjoyed talking to him and engaging with him and so I was shocked and even more shocked because on that very same day when he went on that rant I as meeting with BIGYEA his foundation organization, in fact the meeting had been scheduled from the Monday we met on the Wednesday met for forty five minutes talked about deepening and expanding the relationship between BIGYEA and the Ministry of Natural Resources, about even signing and MOU and what was even more exciting for me was that BIGYEA wants to make their facilities available to youths from Belize City. We talked about fifteen or twenty of the youths from my constituency in particular between the ages of 12-15 going up there on the weekends to be exposed to farm life, to be exposed to farm living, to be exposed to the syndicate as they call it and doing an orientation of what that is all about and those kids would be paired with their parents so that at the end of that program we would then provide land for those persons who are very much interested in planting what they eat and eat what they plant. So I was shocked. I thought that he was part of BIGYEA, that he would have welcomed that opportunity and that only good things could have come of that. So I was broadsided, heart broken even because I considered the man a friend and I still do. I know that things are – the pandemic has done a lot to us. It’s really really difficult all around and so we might be short fused in a lot of instances but ultimately you know I understand that we won’t be able to please everybody every time.”
Reporter: Have you been able to meet with him after that ?
Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources: “No I haven’t not yet at least.”
Up to this morning, Petillo remains upset over the land issues as he posted yet another rant against Minister Hyde on social media.