BELMOPAN, Thurs. Apr. 26, 2018– On Friday, April 13, the residents of Belmopan were shocked when PlusTV’s Louis Wade, Jr. showed photos of squatters who were occupying the Pleasant Creek Reserve area.
For months, the residents of the Belmopan Heights area had complained about the sound of trees being cut down and other noises associated with construction. PlusTV had decided to take it upon themselves to fly a drone over the area, and discovered severe illegal clearing of the land.
This area became a reserve after attempts to subdivide in it 2008 were obstructed by the residents, who touted the importance of the area as a water catchment area, as well as the habitat of a large amount of fauna and flora in the city.
According to PlusTV, the southern part of the buffer has already been cleared away and in its place are nine houses of various sizes, as well as plots on which illegal farming is being carried out.
Enraged, the residents called upon the authorities, and area representative Hon. John Saldivar, as well as members of the Belmopan City Council, visited the area and spoke to the squatters.
On Monday, April 16, the squatters were served with a fourteen-day eviction notice. Although that time is soon up, it seems as if most of the squatters have not moved.
When asked about the immigration status of the squatters, a representative from PlusTV told Amandala that they are unaware of the status of the squatters; however, many of them were able to produce Belizean residency documents, he said.
The representative also said that the Belmopan City Council would bring in the immigration authorities to fully check the status of all the squatters.
We tried to get in contact with the Belmopan City Council to get an interview with them about what they witnessed when they visited the area, and what they planned to do about it, but we were unsuccessful.
Information to us is that on Monday, April 30, the City Council is planning to take bulldozers into the squatting area; however, this has not been confirmed.