Over the last nine months, the budging street side Loma Linda community of houses and stores located on the side of the main road burst onto a valley due west of the road. The owner of the property, Servido Bush, lived mostly in the US and found it difficult to guard the property against invasions. “These people are destroying my property, digging holes. Nobody wanted to help me seven months ago when this happened,” said Bush.
Help did finally come and in the early hours of October 15, local police and fiscals descended on the unlawful tenant community. No one was injured during the forced removal of the people, but dozens of people ended up on the side of the road.
The day after the evictions, people were still scrambling to salvage wood from their sites. Some were loading the wood, onto trucks and howling it away to other living arrangements. About six families were camping underneath plastic coverings and on old mattresses.
The squatters claim that as many as 80 houses were built here. The site shows many fewer structures, some of them shacks, skeletons of structures mostly, most of them uninhabitable, but meant to serve as a claim markers for the lot owner. Some of the evicted said that they lived on the site for nine months. “The people [who wanted lots] came here from Los Fuertes, Coxen Hole, Sandy Bay,” said Jorge Mejilla, one of the evicted. “They left us alone for the last three months. And we thought that it was all over.”
Mejilla said that the group would hire lawyers who promised to help them legalize the properties, all 200 lots of them. The small lots, approximately 40 by 50 foot each, were according to Mejilla sold for cheap, even given away. [/private]