Expats trapped in their own home company
Four years ago the Millers bought a farm in Banco de Potrerillo Arriba, Dolega, Chiriqui province, but the vendor neglected to tell them...
Four years ago the Millers bought a farm in Banco de Potrerillo Arriba, Dolega, Chiriqui province, but the vendor neglected to tell them that the plot was in the middle of land belonging to Compañia Citrica, which was allegedly managed by the government and later on was acquired by Colombian citizens.
The new owners decided to fence their farm with a steel fence, together with padlock and employ a security guard who is in charged of blocking the coming and going of the Millers.
The American couple feel like prisoners in their own home and their employees are their lifeline to the outside world bringing them food and medicines.
Daniel Miller has cancer and high blood pressure, but he is so afraid of leaving his home that he has missed several medical appointments.
A few of the residents who decided to speak out said that a pathway that links the Miller’s farm with the main road has existed for the last 80 years and thhere had never been any problems with access until the company change hands.
The neighborhood representative of Dos Rios, Venancio Villarreal said that when the new owners bought the land there were established pathways used by the locals and currently they are stopping people having access to their homes and farms.
In the past other affected families have destroyed the fences and the iron gates to get into their homes and the community wants a solution.
The representative said that he supports the Americans and he is determined to find a solution to the problem and even take Compañia Citrica to court.
The Millers’ lawyer Fidelina Bejerano Quiroz said that a resolution exists in the Dolega Municipality in favor of the Americans.
The decision was revoked by the then governor Virgilio Vergara.
There is also a certification from the Ministry of Public Works showing the pathways that allow access to the Millers’ farm.
La Estrella tried to contact the legal representatives and the owners of Compañia Citrica, but nobody was available to make comments about the Miller case or the actions of the company.