A community of Squatters in the Maya Mopan Community were upset when City Council workers, flanked by a police mobile rolled into the community today and started dismantling their wooden structures. A total of 4 wooden structures were dismantled and more were slated for dismantling that same afternoon. Eslon Gomez said he was at work when he heard that his house, which was a work in progress, was being destroyed.
Elson Gomez: This is a surprise. I find out today because I was at my neighbor then they tell me, you know my neighbor. When I come, I come da my ,mah house, so my mah neighbor, da they mi deh . They come and tell me hey, they di drop the house down so I seh cho nuh man I cah believe that. Who di drop down the
house? He seh City council, so when I come here I mi see yes. I mi feel just hard you know, I come rail up with they but I cah do anything caz police mi di deh.
23 year old Said Silva, a father of 2, also had his house structure destroyed.
Said Silva: The city council came, and they told us verbally that they need to destroy all the structures here. I plead with him and I asked for maybe a couple days, 3 days or a week so that I can move it because they did more damage than good here. This is my property, this is damage to property that they made. Although the circumstance, yes all of us are taking land here but we’re the ones that are developing this land. We were planning to just finish building the house and we’re waiting on an acre of land that we applied for and paid the full purchase price for. They have us waiting over 3 months now, you know in order to do anything you need money, so we were hoping that as
soon as we get this title acre maybe we could have some leverage to go and live there, start a little farm life. My plan wasn’t to live here at all, that was what I tried to explain to him. Please give us a chance to move it, I can hire a truck bed, now it’s going to be more difficult to move it because the house is shambled up you know.
Aurelio Cal, says his son was building another structure next to his house. He says he has been squatting on this piece of land for 15 years.
Aurelio Cal: You see how long we stay right here. There is usually lot that side, we tell them that we need lot. Those are the persons that, they don’t got the lot, maybe they have 3 or 4 or 5 lot. The same person come and get the lot beside us and we never get no lot. They tell us don’t worry you will have a lot next month, next month, next month. when? When they have a campaign, they come right here and we tell them we support red. When they hear that we support now, they us that they need this place for somewhere. Oh don’t worry we will give you. We will support you. We are waiting, waiting, waiting still. Nothing di happen.
Though there are some immigrant squatters in that community most seem to be born or naturalized Belizeans. The residents said that City Council should have at least sent them prior notice instead of barging in unannounced and wrecking thousands of dollars worth of investments. But according to the Mayor Khalid Belisle, citizens in that area did receive weeks and some months of notice to evict. Sources say more structures are slated for destruction in that same area.