Legal action looms over govt for demolition of Cane View/Mocha homes

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 February 2023, 6:24 by Denis Chabrol

Cane View/Mocha residents whose homes were demolished by the government have instructed their lawyers to start legal proceedings after government failed to signal interest in mediation.

Lawyers for the affected residents had set February 15 as the deadline for the government to respond to their request for mediation. That deadline expired without any response from the government.

“We have strengthened capacity for aggressive representation and have started deploying our litigation and conflict resolution strategies” says, New York based Attorney at Law Dr. Vivian Williams who along with Attorney Lyndon Amsterdam, wrote the government on February

After being briefed of the unresponsiveness of the government, the residents who have lost their homes and personal property, expressed disappointment at government’s unwillingness to engage on the matter.

The legal team was boosted over the weekend with the addition of Attorney at Law Dexter Todd. The number of residents who have retained the lawyers has now grown to nine. At least 40 houses have been removed from Cane View, an area parallel to the  Eccles-to-Great Diamond Highway Project, which government said is a reserve. Government had said 25 persons had taken up offers of free land and houses elsewhere while at least 15 had their houses demolished, with support from the Guyana Police Force,  because they refused to leave the area.

In a joint interview last week, Williams and Amsterdam stressed the value of conflict resolution to society and expressed the hope that the government would grasp the opportunity to engage in sensemaking.

The lawyers stressed that the residents have very strong claims against the government. However, they said they wanted to give the government an opportunity to find common ground with the aggrieved residents before heading to court.