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JP Darlene Padron clears her name on land forgery case Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

A week has passed since Belmopan resident Amy Forte threatened to sue the Government of Belize if her name wasn’t cleared in what she alleges is land fraud. She claims that her signature was forged in a land conveyance deed, but the Justice of the Peace who authenticated the document, says there was no forgery. The JP is asserting that she did sign the document.

While the Prime Minister has requested that a full investigation be carried out on the transaction, the police department that has tasked the head of the Major Crimes division to investigate the matter is yet to receive a statement from Forte. This is where the investigation stands now, basically while Forte has complained to the Prime Minister through her attorney, she has not done so to the police department in order for criminal proceedings to take place.

As readers will remember, the allegedly forged document is a Deed of Conveyance dated, February 17, 2010,  and that document says that Amy Forte sold a paper title to a “Lot #2 on Caye Caulker”. The deed says that Andre Vega paid her $30,000 for it. Unfortunately, it was land that already had an owner.  So, that same land deal, allowed Vega to get compensated by the Ministry of Natural Resources with 7 acres of land on Mosquito Caye.

This happened  when his father, Gaspar Vega, was the Minister in charge, and his other relatives, Eduardo Vega, and Ignacio German Vega and Karen Vega got several acres of land on Mosquito Caye after 2 other private citizens sold them paper ownership to different parts of that same land that was private, and not available for the Government to sell. So, it appears that Amy Forte and others were part of what resembles a hustle.  Making sure that she put some distance between this allegation, Amy Forte's, attorney wrote a very strong letter to the Prime Minister last week, asserting “Ms. Forte denies any such involvement and was not aware that the Government of Belize had issued Minister’s Fiat Grant No. 175 of 2009, nor did she execute a Deed of Conveyance between herself and one Andre Vega…”

In a separate Press release, her attorney asserted that this threatened her integrity and her career, caused her extreme embarrassment, and a loss of personal and professional reputation.   Her attorney suggested that she was prepared to sue the Government and the Vega family over this public embarrassment. So, understandably, the Prime Minister took certain steps to right what she claims is a wrong.

Both the Police Department and the Attorney General’s Ministry have been urging Forte and her attorney to come in and make a formal complaint so that investigations can begin into what she asserts was the forgery of her signature. The Prime Minister, in trying to uphold the rule of law, asked the police to investigate her allegation. The Acting Police Commissioner told the nation that the Head of the Major Crimes Unit, Superintendent Solomon Westby, has been tasked to lead the investigation. All this has been done by the state to treat her allegation seriously, but she has not made herself available to move the investigation forward, rather unlike someone who really wants to do her best to prove her innocence.

Darlene Padron, on the other hand, has made her position clear. In a letter to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, dated, September 4, 2017, Padron’s attorney, Godwin Haylock, wrote, “Ms. Padron has requested that I confirm that a lady appearing to be the likeness of Ms. Amy Forte, provided her with an ID card in the name, Amy Forte. She verified that the picture on the card was the same person in front of her. Amy Forte then proceeded to sign the Deed of Conveyance with a signature similar to that on the ID Card. Ms. Padron witnessed the signature after which she authenticated the deed with her signature and JP stamp.”

Her attorney then adds, “In the view of the public comments made by the Attorney General… and the fact that to date, Ms. Amy forte has not given the police any statement, my client seeks that your Ministry now clears her name publicly. At the appropriate time, Ms. Padron’s case will be presented unhesitatingly, both in the court of public opinion and in the court of law.”

Reports to the press suggest that Amy Forte is not prepared to report the alleged fraud to police just yet. It’s a strange delay since the sense of urgency to reverse the consequences of the allegation appears to no longer be present.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 September 2017 09:14