Mistaken land identity hell
PANAMA. Lands disputes between foreigners and Panamanians are becoming quite common, mainly because properties, especially in beauty sp...
PANAMA. Lands disputes between foreigners and Panamanians are becoming quite common, mainly because properties, especially in beauty spots in the provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro, have increased their value dramatically.
This time a powerful Panamanian family, the Eleta are trying to take part of the land belonging to an English - New Zealand couple.
In letters sent to the Panama Star by Dr Ricardo Rangel and Linda and David Gillingham, they complained that on three occasions the Circuit Judge of Bocas del Toro, Manuel Garcia has tried to enter their farm, located in Isla Colon, with the purpose of measuring their plot and separating the Eleta’s from theirs, although according to the public records it is nowhere near it.
The story began 10 years ago when the Gillinghams bought their land, which was properly titled at the Public Registry. They built a house, a botanical garden and a nursery.
Everything was fine until January 2009, when the Circuit Judge demanded access to their property, to measure and separate a plot from it, although he did not have a warrant.
The letter said that according to the file, Compañia Faustina S.A., which belongs to the Grupo Eleta, represented by the firm Morgan y Morgan, requested an order of separation of the land of the plot 3499, of which incidentally Elita does not have possession.
Faustina’s the land registration title indicates that the plot was separated from land belonging to Minerva Blacaneaux Quintero and her farm surrounds it.
Blancaneaux’s lawyers asked the judge to stop the process on the grounds that it is impossible to establish boundaries if Faustina did own the land, but he refused to throw out the case.
Surveyors from Faustina and Blancaneaux determined that the land that Faustina wanted to separate was inside the Gillingham’s property, exactly where their house, botanical garden and nursery is and miles away from where the Blancaneaux land is located.
The Gillinghams said that Judge Garcia is planning to enter their property again on March 27, accompanied by the Blancaneaux and Faustina representative, although they have clearly demonstrated that they have possession of the land.
The couple feel that they have been harassed and have invited neighbors, public in general and the media to go to their botanical garden on March 27 at 9:00 to witness the proceedings.