When we spoke with Area Representative for Caribbean Shores, Santiago Castillo, last month, he made note that Giovanni Blease would be compensated, whether monetarily or with another piece of land, after his application for the Seashore Park was rejected by the Lands Department.
Mayor of Belize Darrell Bradley didn’t share Castillo’s view; he believed that Blease ought not to be compensated, as he had neither lease or title.
With the Area Representative and Mayor having opposing views, the question remained, would Blease be reimbursed? Well, that is not a matter for either officials to decide, but rather the Lands Department.
But before we get the Department’s position, Lands Commissioner Wilbert Vallejos, speaking with Krem News, recapped the situation, for clarity.
“Mr. Blease did show an interest in acquiring right over the parcel of land, and there, it became an issue, and before he was given any legal rights over the land, a caution was placed on the parcel, and then, the whole story broke out. Then, at the end of the day, the decision was made that the land would be declared a park”.
But back to the topic of compensation for Blease. Taking into consideration that Blease had no legal rights over the land, the Commissioner says, a compensation would be pointless.
Mr. Wilbert Vallejos: “And so, rightfully said at the mayor that … if he didn’t own the land and if didn’t have any legal rights over the land, he is not entitled to compensation; I don’t even know that we have contemplating to compensate anybody with respect to that parcel. He is in his right to submit another application for another area or another parcel of land, but not as compensation. He will have to go through the normal process, pay the participants of the land, if that would take place and acquire freehold ownership to whatever land he apply he would like to apply for”.