Last week we reported on the plight of squatters in the area behind the under-construction Lake Independence Boulevard. They are being told to vacate their properties immediately to make way for development in the area.
The problem is, they say they have nowhere else to go, and their area representative now says he cannot help them.
They had organized themselves last week to seek assistance, and it appears they may have found some. While she did not wish to share details, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman and Anthony Sylvestre confirmed that a group of squatters came to them seeking advice.
“Yes, we are having some discussions with them, myself and Mr. Sylvestre”
Reporter: “Can you further go into details what sort of discussions?”
Lisa Shoman: “No, I can’t. At this point we are talking to our clients imagining and exploring the possibilities.
Whether those possibilities include court action is as yet unknown, but PUP leader Francis Fonseca, who is familiar with the issue as Freetown area representative which borders Lake Independence and will be connected through the project, expounded on the party’s views later on Thursday at their press conference.
“That is a matter that has been going for some time now. Obviously, we have dealt with this as a party both in government and out of government we see it happening. It is a consistent issue that obviously troubles us; I won’t political about it; there has to be a balance. We have to treat our people even where are immigrants coming into our society, we have a responsibility to treat them with care and compassion. In the case of the residents of Holy Emanuel area. The great majority of them are Belizeans, Those who have not had Belizean children; many of them I know them personally; it borders my constituency on the other side of Freetown. (Chetumal Street)”.
According to Fonseca, the Government should be more compassionate.
Hon. Francis Fonseca: “If we are asking families to move because there is a infrastructure project or work that needs to be carried out, let us do so in a responsible way, let us try as best as possible to find alternative quarters for them to live. Land is very difficult to come by, but as I know, when the UDP needs to find land fuh dehnself dehn cud find it quickly! I know in my own area in Freetown, in Belama, they’ve taken away land from so many people and give it to their own family members. So, when they need to find land, they know where to look and where to get it. In this case, they have a duty and an obligation to those people, in this case living with so many children living in that little community. In mandamus, the government has an obligation to try to find a compassionate solution to that problem”.