Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021. 3:33 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Prime Minister John Briceño says the issue with regard to land in Belize is in the main a result of “abject greed” which his party hopes to control.
He is therefore backing the efforts of Natural Resources Minister, his deputy Cordel Hyde, who is working on a policy, that may end up enshrined in law, that Government will not pay market value for lands it re-acquires if it can be proven that criminal activity was involved.
Minister of State for Human Development, Port Loyola representative Gilroy Usher, on Friday revealed another such situation involving land in his division that was sold for just $1,000, the size of eight 50 by 75-foot house lots.
“What we have seen, it’s almost like, you know, you drop a nuclear bomb and everything is gone? That’s exactly what he’s found out: for instance, when he went to Dangriga wanting to try to make land available to people and you see over 200 people showed up, and yet find out there’s no land available, so now we have to try and find where we can find land for the landless, and now the same thing happening in Belize City,” Briceño remarked in an interview following Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan.
Briceño added, “We need to find some measures whereby we can control the greed of the politicians,” citing the regime of former Minister Gaspar Vega and his successors as the worst and full of “abject greed” in seeing people claiming parcels and getting title without any development of the land and expecting repayment when Government reacquires it at market value. He cited the example of land acquired last September for $50,000 that was worth tens of times that amount, for which the company involved expects to be paid once it is re-acquired as expected, for market value.
“Those things are immoral, if not illegal, what was done. And we have to take corrective action to make sure that does not ever happen again under any Government, including our Government,” Briceño concluded.
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