Caye Caulker Village Council claims Central Government is interfering with their management

The lack of enforcement, support, and disregard for local authorities on La Isla Cariñosa has the Caye Caulker Village Council (CCVC) in a desperate situation as they try to set order on their island, despite residents and stakeholders not complying with regulations. The CCVC is contesting the use of public spaces, construction of unauthorized structures, importation of vehicles, improper sewage waste disposal and even the building of piers that threaten to saturate their coastlines. The elected leaders claim that they have made reports to the respective departments in Central Government for assistance, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears, with the situation growing worse by the day.

The CCVC shared these concerns with The San Pedro Sun emphasizing that their complaints have nothing to do with politics, and they are desperate to find solutions to their aggravated problems. According to them, one of the problems is that the beach areas in Caye Caulker are now being treated like private properties and restaurants and hotels are restricting its use to locals or even visitors. Many of the beach areas are fenced, and signs are seen indicating that the area is for the exclusive use of a given property. But according to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), all land up to 66 feet from the high water level is considered national land or ‘Queen’s Land.’ This means that such areas are to be kept accessible to the public. Another issue is the gating of piers and restricted public access. These structures are built on the seabed, which is also considered public land and therefore should be accessible to everyone. According to MNR, dock proprietors can lose their building permit and may be ordered to dismantle the structure if they fail to follow these regulations.

The CCVC states that they have addressed these issues with the respective authorities at Central Government, but nothing has been done. The island authorities also complain that when it comes to building piers or buildings they are not consulted, or their opinion is disregarded.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun