Land dispute in Lemonal between police families

There is a land dispute issue brewing in the village of Lemonal between two family members. The dispute is between ex-police Corporal Tony Anthony and the Commissioner of Police’s Wife, Sharon Whylie.  The dispute is over a one point two acre of land that Anthony claims he has been farming and developing for over the past 20 years. Early this morning, police had to be called to the property as tensions were high between members from Anthony’s family and members from Whylie’s family. According to Anthony, he woke up this morning to the sounds of bulldoozers and heavy machinery clearing what he claims as his piece of land. 

Tony Anthony, Lease Land Owner: “I was awoken by some loud vehicle humming and when I looked at the back of my fence, I saw a police vehicle and along with them a surveyor. They entered my yard with guns, big m16 guns. I approached them and asked what the problem was because I figured I will get some treat with this piece of land here that belongs to me, and for which I have applied for a lease. The commissioner and his wife wanted this same land and I don’t know the reason for it. When I came out to meet them, the police shouted ‘stay back or else I’ll shoot you’ and that person was Inspector Zuniga. So I withdrew and my wife and kids all came out, saying they were taking advantage of me. I stayed there for a while and they started to dig holes. Thereafter the commissioner of police came with a tractor, bringing his vehicle, though he is based in Belize. And they were digging holes and threatening me that this land is for them. I don’t know how it’s for them, when I have been on this land cleaning it for 20 years and have hog pen here for 12 years.

Anthony admitted that he does not have papers for the land. He said, however, that when he heard that Sharon Whylie had interest in acquiring the land, he went to apply for a lease on the property.

Tony Anthony, Lease Land Owner: When I heard that they wanted the place, I went and applied. I got the survey for this piece, it was one lot from here to there. . I got the survey when I heard that they wanted the land. If the land was theirs, then the Lands Department wouldn’t have approved my application. Then I went to see the commissioner of lands and they told me the land papers they have are not genuine. And according to Mr. Vayego of the Lands Department in Belmopan, they don’t have any land there. And that the title papers in the possession of Mrs. Sharon Whylie are not genuine. I don’t know who gave them title paper, as no one else in Lemonal had title papers except them. I am presently seeking lease for the land as I have applied for it, but they are already taking over forcefully and putting up land posts.

Sharon Whylie was able to present a land title dated the 2nd of November 2015 that validates her claim to the property.  She spoke about how she was able to acquire that title

Sharon Whylie, Wife of the Commissioner of Police: Since 2008, I have applied for that piece of land and I got it under the PUP government then. And in 2015, I got the title for it. I don’t have any problem with these people, except that they decide to trespass on my land. I don’t have any problem with them. They are the ones creating the problems, on something that does not belong to them. As I don’t even know if they have papers for their own personal properties, let alone this which is mine.

When Sharon Whylie visited the property this morning, she was not alone. Sharon was escorted by her husband, Commissioner Allen Whylie, and several armed officers under his command.  Our media colleagues asked Mrs. Whylie to comment on the need for police presence, including the Commissioner’s. Here is how she responded.

Sharon Whylie, Wife of the Commissioner of Police: I live right here over the bridge. I live right here in this village. I was born and I grew here. My dad lived right over there. Within our family yard, its same thing I had like a month ago. We had same problem with neighbors whose landed property is behind ours. I don’t know what’s wrong with the people of Lemonal. The commissioner is present here, since he is my husband and as the commissioner of police he tells them what to do. And this issue is no court matters, as I have my title to my piece of land and they don’t have none. This cannot be any court matter. I am not claiming their house or anything belonging to them. I am only laying claim to this overgrown piece that is mine and which I have just cleared. I am not claiming anything from them. 

Plus News will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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