Hon. Heredia Says No Scandal In Land For UDP’s
A land transaction that's been raising eyebrows and making the rounds on social media involves an employee of the UDP San Pedro Town Council.
The allegation is that this employee, Jorge Aldana, has managed to acquire an island for only $2,500.
Reports say he has a payment plan of only $50 per month for 50 months. And also included in this subdivision is the former UDP Mayor of San Pedro Town, Elsa Paz.
The area representative, Manuel Heredia Jr, was quick to defend Aldana today, saying that it's not even an island.
"Really low prices. I think in one case a person got a whole island, the documents is from the land registry and I understand while its not you. The concerns there about these so-called operatives."
Voice of: Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism
"My friend, first of all, let me be very clear, everything that we do is transparent. You can check Belmopan, the minister himself had said that anybody who would want to check what was done can check over there. The one for Jorge Aldana, I am not trying to defend him but is not an island. I can attest that it is not an island. The juggle with social media and these technologies turn a little piece of swamp, one acre of swamp that he was given right behind. That is low area and they transformed it into an island. That area to me will take I don't know how many years before it can develop. Elsa Paz again has worked 3 consecutive terms in the interest of San Pedro. Doesn't she deserve something? What is wrong? She never got 25-15 acres on the northern part of Caye caulker. Jaime Briceno and them have it by the acres. That was land grab, this is not land grab, because if you look at my 7.5 miles' sub division, a little further from where they said they got the land, 1500 lots have been giving the bona fide people of san Pedro. In Caye caulker we have given probably around 400-500 lots to the genuine bona fide Caye caulker and san Pedro people. How in the world are we just looking in the interest of a few? We are looking in the interest of everybody. I have done that; I have proven myself for 12.5 years that I was in the interest of everybody. When they come around and cause mischief because this one got one acre. The price of land for government for both islands. Do you know how much they charge for a lot on the island of cay caulker? $1500. You look at the prices of the PUP days, its variated depending on who you are."
Is There a Land Grab Happening North of San Pedro?
A one-acre parcel of land seven miles north of San Pedro Town is causing an uproar among residents of La Isla Bonita because it was sold at rock bottom price to a politically connected individual within days of the elections. Several other parcels of land were sold for two thousand, five hundred dollars to at least three persons, former U.D.P. Mayor Elsa Paz, Karen Bevans and Jorge Aldana. The acquisition of those properties is raising eyebrows because of their prime location on the island. This morning, Belize Rural South Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. set out to justify the sale of the properties.
Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Rep, Belize Rural South
“Let me be very clear, everything that we do is transparent. You can check in Belmopan, the minister himself has said, anybody that wants to check what was done can check over there. The one for Jorge Aldana, I am not trying to defend Jorge Aldana but it’s not an island. I can attest that it is not an island. But the juggle with this social media and this technology is that they juggle and they turn a swamp, a little piece of swamp, one acre of swamp that he was given right behind X’tan Ha, that is a low area and they transform it into an island. That area to me, will take I don’t know how many years before anything can develop. Elsa Paz, again, is a past mayor that worked three consecutive terms in the interest of San Pedro. Doesn’t she deserve something? What is wrong in it? Fifteen hundred lots have been given to bona fide people of San Pedro. In Caye Caulker we have given probably around four or five hundred lots also, to the genuine, bona fide Caye Caulker and San Pedro people. So how in the world are we looking in the interest of a few? We are looking in the interest of everybody. To cause mischief because this one got one acre, the price of land for government, for both islands, do you know how much they charge the islanders of Caye Caulker for land over here? Fifteen hundred dollars. You look at the prices in the P.U.P. days, it varied depending on who you are, how close you are, that is the way prices were. In San Pedro it’s the same. When we came to power, what we did is standard the prices for San Pedro and Caye Caulker, fifteen hundred for Caye Caulker and twenty-five hundred for San Pedro. One acre, weh kinda hustle you could do with that? Anybody that wants, let’s say my director, if she wants to do, and that is the intention, to do tourism, little think over there in the future when she retires, she has a right. She has worked hard for this industry. She has brought this industry to the heights that it has never been before. So that is the way we do things.”