By BBN Staff: The Belize Progressive Party has publicly endorsed the land advocacy movement spearheaded by land activist, Nigel Petillo.
In a statement this week the party said that it endorses Petillo’s “No land, No vote” slogan for his campaign which calls for equitable land distribution for all Belizeans. The party also condemned the Government of Belize and the Belize Police Department for shutting down Petillo’s land advocacy meeting which was planned for Sunday, June 7.
“The BPP sees the popular response of landless Belizeans to the social justice call of Mr. Petillo, amidst the COVID-19 crisis and harassment by the authorities, as a Policy Failure on the part of the Government in not attending to the basic needs of the ordinary citizens of the nation,” the BPP said.
Petillo has repeatedly been in the news recently after an attempt to acquire parcels of land in Cotton Tree Village, Mile 44 on the George Price Highway. In May, hundreds gathered in the area to meet with Petillo but were dispersed by police as the gathering was deemed illegal under the State of Emergency Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Petillo planned the June 7 meeting, however, it never materialized as police had a large deployment of officers in the area to prevent mass gatherings. Petillo went live several times on Facebook to say that he was being sought after by police over the attempt to hold the gathering. He maintains that land is the key to breaking cycles of generational poverty for Belizeans and that it is the right of all Belizeans to own land as well as the responsibility of the Government of Belize to ensure that they have the opportunity to acquire it.