Last week a group of persons squatting on a private piece of property in the area behind the Lake Independence Boulevard reported that they were being given a week to move after receiving formal notice of eviction, some for the third time, as they have been caught previously twice on the Government Crown lands through which the Boulevard was pushed to the Chetumal Street Bridge and beyond to Belama Phase 1. The Chinese land owner who remains anonymous also offered $1,000 for each family, which some say is less than the total value for their belongings. Now Area Representative and Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development Mark King has intervened, but it took some doing. King explained that he recognizes that these families are hard-working Belizeans that deserve the right to land, but he maintains that he will not permit further squatting in the area and neither will the Lands Department. So where are the squatters going to go? King says he has found suitable property for them in the Cotton Tree area and with a little fast work, they will be proud lease holders by the end of this week.
“They were very lenient with me. They gave me weeks to sort out the situation. I think the offer made to them was a thousand dollars and one week to move. After they brought their situation to me and I had contacted the attorney. I had took the situation to the Ministry of lands, they are the sole authority of giving lands and I can only lobby for my people. Again they are Belizeans and I found the interest to look out for them . Yesterday I was contacted by the commissioner of lands and I was told that they have 11 parcels of land in the Cotton Tree area. I then contacted the persons and they all accepted except for one person. So, 10 out of the 11 accepted the land in the cotton tree area and then today at the Mahogany Street office, they’ll be filling the application for lands at one o’ clock. Those will be taken to the lands department for verification and processing tomorrow and by I’d say end of the week, a lease should be granted to them in Cotton Tree. So, it is very good that we have gotten the situation solved to the extent that these people will have a land.”
At least one squatter is not expected to take the deal but the majority will and gratefully so, according to King, who says the Old Capital is all out of land space.