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Nigel Petillo (President, BGYEA)

Nigel Petillo (President, BGYEA)

Nigel Petillo
(President, BGYEA)

Thursday, February 26, 2015. AARON HUMES Reporting: This morning the government of Belize and the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, headed by President Nigel Petillo, reached agreement by mediation on a majority of issues concerning their case in the Supreme Court.

The government had sued to stop the implementation of a planned project in the buffer zone or road reserve running adjacent to the community at mile 41 on the George Price Highway contending that it did not and would not give permission for such activity.

Today BGYEA conceded that the government exercises control over the reserve as Crown Land.

The government has undertaken to keep the zone clean on a three times per year basis and in exchange the government will assist BGYEA with acquiring technical advice for the planting of crops in the reserve zone located within the agricultural sub-division.

This will be where land owners of Harmonyville will plant agricultural products for harvest and sale.

Audrey Matura Shepherd

Audrey Matura Shepherd

According to attorney for BGYEA Audrey Matura Shepherd the mediation was successful because it allowed both sides to present their concerns and reach compromise.

BGYEA will now turn its focus into converting the hundreds of leases in the sub-division for its members to title to property.

There remains to be agreed a plan to build access roads within the community, however Matura Shepherd says that this is not a major obstacle towards full settlement of the case.

The proposals for settlement will be converted into an order of the court to which both parties are bound.  Legal costs are also to be determined.

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