A land issue is currently brewing in rural Belize. Last week, we reported to you that the Area Representative for Mesopotamia, Shyne Barrow, pledged to provide land for his constituents in order to assist their current financial situation. He has stepped out of city limits to do this, and the land he has pledged is in Sandhill Village and the Maxboro community. The chairman of Sandhill, however, has denounced this initiative, stating that he believes it is only being used for political mileage. The National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO) stands in solidarity. Today, we spoke with the president, Javier Sabido, who stated that he will continue to speak with the chairman to find a way forward.
Javier Sabido, President, National Association of Village Councils: “NAVCO continues to demand that village councils be given the respect by the UDP government and it’s area representatives and we also encourage all ministers of government and all elected area representatives to meet with our elected village councils in an effort to work together in partnership for the development and transformation of our rural communities. What really transpired yesterday is that there was an issue as mentioned in the press release by the Sandhill Village Council we are not against the land distribution but the issue is that this is a reoccuring issue that has been happening in many villages not only in Sandhill but across the country that Ministers or area reps or caretakers they go into the village without consulting the village chairpersons. Remember that the chairperson in each village they are elected by the majority of the residents in their respective villages. He’s not even an elected area representative, he’s just a standard bearer for that area and I can’t see how just an area rep or a caretaker will come to another area and distribute especially land in this case for example. There is a lot of questions to be answered.”
We will continue to follow this developing story.