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Following the adjournment of today’s House Sitting, one of the hot pressed matters raised was surrounding land matters. This was made by Cayo South representative Julius Espat who raised concerns over land distribution in Cotton Tree.


Screen_Shot_2014-03-07_at_8.15.44_PMJulius Espat – Area Representative, Cayo South


“Mr. Speaker the residence of Cotton Tree is concern, there is a land distribution, a property that the government is dividing into lots, it is 111acres, it will give approximately 254 lots and we know this Mr. Speaker, because the residence of Cotton Tree went to the lands department and they spoke to a high level official in the ministry and they went because they wanted to find out how is it that they could apply for one of these lots. We were informed Mr. Speaker and the chairman of Cotton Tree is here along with some of his councilors, we were informed that this land is a government project and the 254 lot have already been given out and they are all to residence of Belize City specifically to Port Loyola Area.  Mr. Speaker we don’t have a problem with anybody getting land but we have a problem where the residence of Cayo South specifically Cotton Tree are in desperate need of land for themselves, for their families and they don’t have access to it and I am speaking residence Mr. Speaker both supporters of the United Democratic Party and the People’s United party in our constituency.  I am warning this government, look after the residence of Cotton Tree before you import people and do not give the duly elected representative the respect that they due.”


Espat continued saying that the Cotton Tree Chairman and lands committee were never consulted over the matter. Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega commented on the matter saying they are indeed surveying and distributing land in the area but added that the government will also be allocating lands for the residents of Cotton Tree. Things on this end went relatively without verbal confrontation. However, it appears the matter was taken up by others outside the National Assembly following the budget presentation. While the media was in the middle of an interview with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, a verbal confrontation ensued between PUP stalwart Vaughn Gill and Minister Anthony Boots Martinez. While the media did not catch the beginning of the altercation, here is an overview of what we caught on camera.


Anthony Boots Martinez


“To be disrespectful and you want to push up in the people face of which we don’t have nothing to do with that is why when he was upstart and he pushed man.”


Vaughn Gill


“That is what I will make people from Port do you, put pressure on you and I will give people your phone number so that they call you for a piece of land because you done have enough.”


Anthony Boots Martinez


“You can give them your mother’s phone number sir.”


Police managed to separate Martinez and Gill along with other party supporters but shortly after Martinez got into another back and forth with Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceno. That verbal exchange was also broken up by authorities.


Screen_Shot_2014-03-07_at_8.16.00_PMAnthony Boots Martinez


“All I was saying to him boss, me and you are colleagues, you come and approached me rude and disrespectful, I am not PUP I am UDP representative for Port Loyola and you turn and push me in my face that is being rude and that was what the commotion about not even about me and then you hear him near, you are giving me an interview you are interviewing me right here so, rude and disrespectful, you be the judge.”


Reporter


“Now, but the substantial issue is complaining about is, I believe that you are transferring people from your area into Cotton Tree?”


Anthony Boots Martinez


“Transferring people are in July and August it can’t be. Physically moving where are the houses in Cotton Tree, I don’t know what they are talking about.”


Reporter


“Are you securing property for Port Loyola in Cotton Tree?”


Anthony Boots Martinez


“I am securing some lots for Port Loyola in Cotton Tree, transferring means what…transferring.”


Reporter


“I don’t mean voting wise I mean physically moving people?”


Anthony Boots Martinez


“But how will you physical move people, you can’t physical move people without you establish nothing so I don’t know what the issue is, I don’t know what the issue is.”


The police presence managed to keep the situation from escalating into a physical confrontation but it took several minutes before all involved simmered down and left the area.

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