While most of the farmers may have a reasonable and peaceful end to their land problem, there are four farmers who may not be as lucky. These farmers have court cases pending against them because they have expanded their farms outside the perimeters that were originally agreed upon. General Manager of Valley of Peace Farms Limited, Gilbert Canton Jr, stated that the only way they will drop the cases is if they get a written agreement that the farmers will cease and desist their illegal expansions.
Gilbert Cantun, General Manager, Valley of Peace Farms Limited: “I agreed in March they could plant on 21.7 acres they’re now affecting seventy three, three times the amount and the biggest problem is that once they start planting if you look out the window you see the area they sprayed once they start planting and a crop comes up and I go to plow it that’s money people defend their money and I can’t put my operators in that situation where they’re going to be at risk by somebody getting upset and firing a shot at them or shaking a machete at them or whatever it is and we take it very seriously. The real issue is that we have tried to mark these areas before and say “Guys this is your area and this is our area and that’s good.” and whenever we go and mark we get threatened, we have machetes raised, my dozer operators are chased off, my tractor operators are chased off these fields and we’re not touching their farms we’re going around and we’re trying to mark so that we can contain and say this is your area this is my area. What is going to happen here with what has been sprayed is I’m planning to plant that to sugar cane her in the next two months and they’re planning to plant it to something too so when they got to plant and their crop comes up and then I go and plow that crop because I’m scheduled to plant sugar cane we are going to have a situation which is really going to upset some people.”
As we told you yesterday, the farmers are concerned that they do not have the finances necessary to properly defend themselves. We will continue to follow this story.