Sandhill Village Council Rejects ‘Mesopotamia Land Distribution’ in Maxboro, Sandhill Village

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Sandhill Village Council

Developing Community-Improving Lives

For Immediate Release: 25/06/2020

Sandhill Village, Belize: The Sandhill Village Council along with members from its community are dismayed at the recent news reports circulating, where UDP Mesopotamia Standard Bearer, Shyne Barrow, is allegedly distributing approximately 200 plots of land in the Maxboro Community of Sandhill Village, to residents of his constituency.

While our Council has no issues with any Belizean citizen receiving land in Sandhill, we are appalled by the constant lack of respect demonstrated by these politicians, where our council and its villagers are completely and continuously being disregarded.

After one year of being elected, we are saying NO MORE! We are looking out for the best interest of our villagers, who frequently seek us out to inquire about owning a piece of land. For years, village councils and their communities across the country have had no say about land allocation and distribution in their area and have had to simply settle for persons receiving land due to political gain.

This isn’t the first instance of Sandhill being used as a playground for political mileage upon an upcoming election. Time and time again, our Belize Rural North Area Representative, Hon. Edmund Castro has distributed land in our community to outsiders and its residents, but only his believed supporters. We must say that not once in our entire year of being elected, has Minister Castro ever made an effort to meet with our council and its people to see how best he could partner with us to further our community’s development, yet feels entitled to distribute land in our village without our knowledge and council.

The issue further escalates, however, as Mr. Shyne Barrow, the UDP Mesopotamia Standard Bearer, who has never assisted our community in any shape or form, feels the same sense of entitlement, to distribute land in our community without consulting the village council or take into consideration the actual residents of Sandhill, who have never had the opportunity to own a piece of land.

Furthermore, according to the Village Council Act Chapter 88 – Revised Edition as of December 31, 2000:

 Dealings with lands in the village (pg. 47)

(1) The council shall have the following privileges, duties, and responsibilities with respect to lands within the village:

(a) a map or maps showing the lands in the village and their distribution shall be delivered to the council by the Ministry responsible for lands, and the council shall be informed by the Ministry in a timely manner of any changes or intended changes;

(b) the council may constitute itself a Lots Committee or may appoint a Lots Committee under section 14 hereof to make recommendations to the said Ministry with regard to the distribution of lots and lands within or affecting the boundaries of the village;

(c) before dealing with any lands in the village, the Ministry responsible for lands shall consult the council and take its views into account; and should the said Ministry decides not to follow the advice of the council it shall explain its reasons in writing to the council before effecting that decision, and provide the council further opportunity to present its case to the Ministry.

As a result, although the Sandhill Village Council acknowledges that every citizen of Belize is entitled to a piece of land, we hereby state that as of this day, June 25, 2020, no land distribution is to occur in our community without our Council’s knowledge and input in the matter and that residents of Sandhill, both young and old, who are struggling or have struggled to acquire a piece of land, have the firsthand opportunity of being granted the mere process.

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