Guatemalan squatters ordered to move from land

[Linked Image] Thirty-seven families, most of whom are Guatemalans, are being ordered to move from land which they now occupy at Mile forty on the Western Highway. Today officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources visited the private property and told the families that they will have to relocate because the land is privately owned. News Five was told that the owner, a Taiwanese businessman, died after clearing the area he called Capital Gardens. He had reportedly planned several years ago to construct a mall and other amenities. One of the current residents told News Five off camera today that she and her family built their wooden house on the land two years ago after a promise by the U.D.P. Cayo South Area Representative. The lady alleges that during the last political campaign, leading up to the 2008 General Elections, Ramon Witz gave them and some Belizean farmers permission to reside on the land. But she could not say how long they were allowed to squat on the property. It is not clear if the title holder has any relatives to make claims on the land but what we did pick up is that the squatters have unofficially renamed the area Valle Nuevo or New Valley. We tried to contact the man the family says facilitated them in the process, a man they called Mr. Hernandez, but he hung up on us. We will follow up on this story on Friday.

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