Friday, August 28th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Move in two weeks, or be removed. That is the choice facing alleged squatters in a parcel of land on the border of two suburban communities of the City of Belmopan, San Martin and Maya Mopan.
20 families were ordered by the Belmopan City Council to leave because they were in danger of being flooded out by the creek running through the area; but also because they do not own any part of the land.
The Council ordered the removal of some structures in the area earlier this week. But residents who spoke to Channel 5 News said that they were not formally notified either by the Council or the entity in charge of land in the capital – the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, RECONDEV.
Mayor Khalid Belisle disputes that charge, saying that he personally has seen the information letters sent to the residence.
Because they have nowhere else to go, the families are asking the City to provide them with alternative property, and have even filled in the requested forms at RECONDEV. But one person alleges that their applications are “dumped in the trash can” and ignored.
The squatters say that some of them have rights over their land by virtue of occupying and developing it – housing, crops, and the like, for many years.
Belisle says they have tried to maintain the resources used by the squatters to build their houses – they have not, for instance, bulldozed any premises.
The first-term official elected just this past March calls it an “unfortunate” situation but maintains that the Council must be right and fair to other residents who want land by legal means.
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