On November 4, the Government of Belize issued a release saying that they are now demanding that Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts return the four hundred thousand dollars each that they received in land compensation. In speaking with PUP’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Lands, Cordel Hyde, he says that the Government is well aware that it is impossible for them to get back that money but that the motions are only being taken to mislead the Belizean people.
“You and I know that if you had to bet any money on it there is a good chance that the government will not get back that money, we haven’t had any indication that they will get back that money but I think they have to get back the money, I think the people of Belize demand that they get back the money and if those persons who received the money won’t give back the money then the minister who paid out that money should pay back that money because that money belongs to the people of Belize.”
It has been thirty six days since the Government sent a letter to both parties; the release had noted that Pitts and Vega had been given thirty days within which to respond to the demands. We are six days past that deadline and according to Minister of Natural Resources, Vanessa Retreage,the Government had gotten response from Sharon Pitts via her attorney, Hubert Elrington. In that response, Elrington had committed to responding by December 1 but no other correspondence has been forthcoming. As for Vega, he has gone silent and has not responded to the Government’s letter. In both cases, Minister Retreage says she has already directed the Acting Solicitor General to prepare the claims against both persons with the intent to file the same before the end of the year.