America, News Watch, Side Feature

Land Vultures are on the loose Preying on Victims in Lahaina

In the aftermath of the lethal wildfires that destroyed the town of Lahaina on Maui in Hawaii, residents whose homes burned to the ground are receiving solicitations from off-island real estate investors to scoop up their land.

The unsolicited purchase offers, which experts characterize as predatory given their proximity to the devastation caused by the fires, have spurred local authorities to take action to protect residents grappling with the death of loved ones, as well as the loss of their homes and livelihoods.

The August 8 fires killed at least 115 people, making them the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century, and officials have said the toll is likely to rise. Maui County officials on Thursday released the names of 388 people who remain unaccounted for. (CBS News, Aug 25, 2023)

Hundreds of grieving families in Lahaina, Maui, US are struggling with the loss of families and properties. Authorities are stilling searching the last remaining part of the island for missing bodies. Yet the most glaring feature besides the scorched remains on the small island are the swirling real estate agents who are offering money and contracts to the islanders for the quick sale of their lands. Instead of agencies focusing on rebuilding the lives of the victims in the fastest most efficient manner, realtors are scouting properties to acquire at cheap prices.

Several residents have complained of the bombardment of the aggressive nature of these sale agents despite the horrors the fire victims have experienced. They have taken to social media and local news to air their grievances of the inhumane nature they have shown and complete disregard for the integrity of these fire victims who some still have missing persons. Many islanders fled to the ocean waters seeking refuge from the ravaging fires only to meet their fate in the waters.

Yet these real estate agents helicopter over the island seeking the prime real estate for their next multi-million dollar project despite the massive wreckage seen. The greed of capitalists is seen time and time again as they salivate over the potential of these scorched properties without any compassion for their residents. Money over people. Without the genuine care and welfare of the state, capitalists are even encouraged to rebuild atop the rubble but without the original inhabitants in the picture. No sincere and practical compensation for the people who have lost everything to the natural disaster. Another gaping hole in the fabric of capitalism leaving their people out in the elements to fend for themselves.

Manal Bader