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Squatters in Armenia Village Demand Compensation over Land Issue

Several squatters in Armenia Village on the Hummingbird Highway are demanding compensation from the government after an order was issued for them to relocate. Love News understands that the government issued the order as they are preparing to extract white mall from the area. The villagers’ upset and concerns are that of any other squatters around the country, which are the investments they have made on the lands. Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz visited the area and spoke to several of the residents.

Armenia Village Resident: “The chairman of Armenia told me that we have to move from my land.”

Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent, Love News: Why do they want to move you ? Why ?

Armenia Village Resident:  “Because they want to take materials and they told us that we have to move but I said we have plans and everything on top of the hill and if they agree to give us another land we’re gonna move from there. Yes sir they have to give us something. I want to say to the people that are gonna hear us to please support Armenia.”

Maria Chan, Armenia Villager“My name is Martha Chun. I live here in Armenia, I born and grow up here. I’m living on the land, I’m working on the land for seven years. Seven years completely I’m on this piece of land and then why I went up there because the past chairman told me to stay there to build my house there. I went and I did my house there. He didn’t come back to tell me okay you know what I will just lend you the piece of land or nothing like that. He just told me do your house there and you stay there. Okay I did and from seven years until now the present chairman now came to me and told me that they’re going to bring down the hill.”

Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent, Love News:  So a meeting was held yesterday, tell us about that and the outcome.

Maria Chan, Armenia Villager: “Okay the meeting we had with the police, the Armenia police and the chairman and the village council the meeting they’re saying that they’re going to bring down the hill because they need the material. So I told them what about my hard work ? What about my plans that I have there ?”

Another villager who spoke to our correspondent says he has been on the land since 2012 and that if they don’t take the land none will be given to them.

Armenia Villager: “My concern is about a piece of land that I have to the back behind Martha Chun’s slot, it’s all the way to the back. The same corner where she has her peg. So I’m applying for that lot because I have kids. I have children like about six children that I have, I don’t have any piece of land to give that’s the reason why I’m here so I’m trying to help out people like piece of land that we have to the back. It’s not only us or she we have a couple more people who own all of these lots to the back. Although they say yes it’s a national land but why is it that the chairman doesn’t tell people yes he knows it’s national land why don’t they come together and say yes nobody can live on this land or on this hill. So they should have mentioned that before. A lot of chairman who passed already don’t even care of the village.”

Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent, Love News: How long do you have that piece of land back there sir? 

Armenia Villager: “In 2012 I had that piece of land so I have been working on it and cleaning it so I have that place there so that’s the reason why I’m here because I really need a piece of land for my kids. If you do just stay like you are not grabbing a piece of land you won’t get a piece of land because chairmen here in Armenia don’t worry about any people or if you are asking them what they will tell you is that they don’t have any piece of land. That’s the reason why I’m here because I really have to get a piece of land for my kids.”

Armenia Village is located in the Cayo District; eight miles south of Belmopan.