Mediation proceeds in Harmonyville dispute

Last July, Nigel Petillo and executive members of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) were hauled to court by the Government, over alleged violation of the road reserve, in a plan to plant and harvest corn in the Harmonyville Agricultural Subdivision at Mile 41, George Price Highway.

Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ordered mediation between the sides thereafter, but actual sessions did not get underway because of an objection by the Government to the chosen mediator.

On Monday both sides were back before Justice Abel in chambers for a pre-trial review, which was intended to update the court on the mediation process.

The two sides have finally met in mediation, and while exact details are not available, attorney for BGYEA and Nigel Petillo, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, expressed relief that it has finally begun.

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BGYEA-300x225Audrey Matura-Shepherd – Attorney for BGYEA

“Today was a court date that was set so we had to come and update the Court and tell the Judge where we are.  So he extended time to continue mediation up to March twentieth,  and we’ll see what happens there. 

In the interim we’ll keep on preparing, should there be a trial, and the provisional trial date is May nineteenth and twentieth. 

That’s about it, you know, it’s still a live issue and we are in mediation.”

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Reporter

“Okay, but has that mediation started with all the issues of finding a mediator that was acceptable to both sides and all of that has been settled?”

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Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Yes, mediation has officially started, and we’ve settled who is the mediator.  We’ve actually had one session already,  and we are looking forward to the other sessions.”

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A trial date of May 9 has been set, if the mediation sessions are not successful.
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