For several weeks, the media has been attempting to get some clarity on a cluster of leaked copies of land documents which reveals that the family of former Lands Minister Gaspar Vega has been acquiring large areas of land in various parts of Belize under strange circumstances. What the documents show is that persons purchased parcels of land from the Ministry of Natural Resources, during the time Vega was the Minister, for very low prices. But those land-owners are only temporary as various members of the Vega family then swoop in and acquire them all. The documents show dozens of land becoming the property of the Vega family in the Spanish Creek Area of the Belize and Cayo Districts. But what is strange about the circumstances is that in the same manner the Vega family acquired another cluster of land, just outside Carmelita Village here in the Orange Walk District. So could there be more?
Three weeks ago when PM Barrow was questioned about the matter, he escaped giving answers claiming that he had not seen the documents. But on Friday, the PM was asked once more and you may or may not be surprised by his response.
“PM have you looked at the Vega land documents that we asked you about at the airport, the leaked documents in relation to a land grab which involve members of the Vega… ?
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister/Minister of Natural Resources
“What I’ve seen on the news, no why would I look at those documents, what it is, is what it is you are able to document that people on the face of it legitimately got land and that they ended up afterwards selling to particular persons, I don’t know that there is any actionable illegality there but the implications and the conclusions that you have drawn are not anything I will argue with you over at all, at all, good enough…”
While there are no restrictions to buying and selling land in the private market, the question here is whether the sale of public land by the Ministry of Natural Resources to the original owners at such low prices was by design, since the Vega family easily acquired the land from them. Without an investigation, very little can or will ever be known about these strange Vega land deals.
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