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Last year the people of Ranchito in the Corozal District voted in a PUP slate as their village council representatives, and one of the primary commitments of that council was transparency. It’s a commitment which the body takes very seriously, and on Sunday Chairman Orvin Rancharan held a meeting in Ranchito to present his one year report to residents.

We spoke with Rancharan, who told us that over the past year the village council has stood firm in defending the land rights of the villagers, who have been threatened and victimized by the current administration.

orvinOrvin Rancharan- Ranchito Village Council

“The number one issue is land that’s why these people have come out because what is happening now is that three years we have been fighting for lands in the Rancharan,Aanacleto and Sunrise Layout like 216 lots. We have exercised our mandate as our jurisdiction and responsibilities has mandated in the Village Council Act. Yet the land office has never been willing to accommodate in other words we have been hearing that other people were coming with leases from Belmopan in fact one lady come to me she says that those people will have to vacate the land because I have a lease from Belmopan. And I smiled I said well I don’t care who signed your lease there is what we call natural justice we are talking about constitutional rights, all we got is just a letter stating that they should vacate the land and I said but we are the village council, we are the local government the ministry of lands under the village council act should come and consult with us and not to dictate us.”

In the past year the Ranchito Village Council has acquired a new tractor mower and has been hard at work keeping public areas in the village clean. In the next year the village council is looking at bigger projects within the community.

Orvin Rancharan- Ranchito Village Council

“We have to report a lot of things. Look at this yard it takes a lot of money we have paid electricity bill , we have paid water bill and we have celebrated our 29th anniversary every year you know what that costs us a year like almost $3000 we just give the breakdown over there when people were dugging all kinds of negative things come and see it. Maybe later on you could pickup this little image of the lawn-mower. One of the big things that we have done for this term is that we have fought and maintained the two hundred and sixteen lots has remained intact despite the intimidation.”

Also present at the meeting were PUP Standard Bearers for Corozal and invited guest attorney Arthur Saldivar.

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