Biospharm is the name of a small farming community developed by American Darin Michael Smith. The farm is just about 7 miles outside Spanish lookout in a small village called Los Tambos. It turns out that Smith’s idea was to take his property and subdivide it into small 1 acre plots which he called farms and then sell those properties to American Christians as a community of believers living off the land. The problem is, in Belize, subdivisions must be first approved by the Ministry of natural Resources and titles are drawn up for each individual property. This was not done for Biosphere, and when the individuals who thought they were purchasing their individual farms began demanding their titles, Smith could not produce them and several of the complaints ended up in the Belize Supreme Court. One of the families in the community that had broke their silence to the Belize media is Jeremiah and Sonia Allen. Jeremiah told PLusNews when we visited the community that, since he went public, his family’s life has been placed in danger as someone from the village or from Biospharm itself is threatening the life of his kids.
Jeremiah Allen, Resident of Biospharm: So three weeks ago this took a turn for the worst where we’re actually being threatened by unanimous threats. There’s been signs put up at the entrance of the village. As you drive into the village of Los Tambos there’s a village property sigh there, looks like it would be a welcome sign or something but it’s blank. And next to it was posted a sign in Spanish that said Jeremiah you and your family are not welcomed in Los Tambos. So that was about three weeks ago. Then two days ago there was another sign that said that my children, if we don’t leave by march 25th which is the day after tomorrow, that my children will die. So it’s a death threat against my two young children, 8 years old and 12 years old. And this is just over the top.
Allen says that he is certain that it is related to the Biospharm controversy because some within the community are not happy that their village has come under public scruitiny.
Jeremiah Allen, Resident of Biospharm: Approximately one month ago the story was run on news 7 Belize and we also posted the story to a lot of different social media outlets on facebook and what’s not. And some of those news agencies picked up on the story and started to do their own investigations and so it created a lot of attention to the people involved and to the villages. And so it has wrapped up attention. And this is all Jeremiah’s fault, and Sonia’s fault my wife and the others who are involved in the law suits. That it’s our fault that all this attention has been placed on the village and the persons involved. And so he’s directing the frustration of the villagers at us as the culprit of the problem.
The family says that, notwithstanding the threats, they do not plan to move or hide from those who are planning them harm. They still believe in the vision of the community but want justice to take its course.
Jeremiah Allen, Resident of Biospharm: It is my hope that we can have peace and God’s will in this community. I still believe in the vision that the developer a spouse from the get go. I just believe that he doesn’t believe in that vision anymore. His vision of having a Christian community that works together as a family, that comes together and supports one and other and is involved in ministry and is self sustainable and all those things, they’re still important to me they’re still values that I think are positive and Godly and biblical. And so that’s my desire outcome is still that original vision.