Friday, December 09, 2011

Las Uvas: The town that only exists in paper


The desolate lands in coveted Juan Hombrón

Before the coastal peninsula became a public issue, 'La Estrella' visited it twice in three years and found no traces of human life in the place

12.07.2011 Title resolutions issued by the Ministry of Finance for the twelve corporations listed 45 people. The vast majority alleged land holders, the others, witnesses, 'who have declared under oath that they are residents and residents of the community in Juan Hombrón Las Uvas, district of the chiru, a district of Antón, Cocle province '.

In almost all cases the residence period exceeds 20 years. In no case is less than five.

I tried to visit the community of Las Uvas three years ago, on November 13, 2008 to be exact. A few miles west of Rio Hato is a stone path that runs from the Panamerican highway to the sea, where the five or six houses of Juan Hombrón are.

If the tide is low, the peninsula can be reached on foot or by car.

I drove along its length. A group of investors were attempting to obtain title land which rights of possession they had bought from some fishermen, and I researched for La Estrella.

I found a strip of sand, half covered on the lagoon side of the scattered scrub. Aside from insects, crabs and birds, it was empty of animal life, and the only trace of human life were a couple of decaying ranches, rotting from rust.

I could not visit the community because there was none! although 45 people have said, 'under oath', who resided in it when I visited the peninsula.

In January this year, the 28th, two journalists from La Estrella went there. Cortez Zelideth reporter and photographer Luis Garcia.

They found the same as me, except that now there are three ranches. Apart from the two and their guides, no one was there.

What would have happened to the 45 residents? Could it be that, on both occasions, they were all on vacation.

Residents often have residences. What has happened to them? Neither I nor Luis Zelideth not see nothing worthy of appeal. Perhaps the residents, such as snails, had brought, or penalty of perjury may not weigh much in the Las Uvas, as elsewhere.

Zelideth and Luis spoke with some of the persons mentioned in the land title resolutions.

They live near Anton, several miles from Las Uvas. They said that sometimes, when fishing, they spend the night in Las Uvas.

It may be true, although it would have been necessary to bring drinking water, for on the peninsula there is not a drop. You may tell the truth, but spending a night in a place from time to time is something different from what the alleged inhabitants of Las Uvas declared "under penalty of perjury ', and gives no possessory rights over anything.

Some of the people mentioned in the resolutions have the same names and identification numbers that they sold their alleged possession rights to the group of investors that I researched in 2008. I do not blame them at all. There are wealthy bums who make their land scams, it is fair that poor people take something, and the most they got was a few thousand dollars.

A funny thing happened when the group tried three years ago to obtain title in Las Uvas. A real estate broker named Jimenez sent an e-mail to Mr. Steve Guthrie, Denver, United States, secretary-treasurer of Grand Panama International, offering lots at bargain prices. 'He wanted to sell land that we had bought from Mr. Lucom and for which we had paid half a million dollars!' said Guthrie.

"That lagoon is where we thought of putting the marina, and without those miles Santa Monica beach is unfit for the project."

RANCHES. In Juan Hombrón (Las Uvas), the houses look more like ruins. Photo: Luis Garcia | La Estrella

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