There has been an ongoing and scandalous land grab at the Ministry of Natural Resources. Last Wednesday, we reported on the huge parcels of land that had been acquired by Ignacio Vega, the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister for a mere pittance. We have been carefully combing through the voluminous files on the land that Ignacio and other family members as well as highly connected friends have acquired either on lease or on outright sale. If you do the math, the total land area of the jewel is twenty-two thousand, eight hundred square kilometers. With a population of three hundred and fourteen thousand, it means that density per square kilometer, if distributed equitably, each person would be entitled to thirteen square kilometers of land. However, this has not been the case, as historically, the issue of land has been one of questionable appropriation and distribution. A total of one thousand, nine hundred and nine acres went to Ignacio Vega and his wife, Karen while an additional ten thousand, one hundred and eighty-six acres has been distributed to other family members. This entire portion could have sufficed for seven hundred and eighty-three Belizean individuals. The cost per acre is also of note and questionably, the allocation of prices was done ad hoc with no set formula per acre. For instance, for six purchases ranging from five hundred to eight hundred and ninety-four acres, a sum of eight hundred dollars per parcel is paid as purchase price. At the maximum price, this equates to one dollar and ten cents per acre. A chart of the land grab can be viewed at

Channel 5