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Oct 2, 2015

La Cabana Proprietor Back In Court 4 Years After GSU Raided His Home

In May 2011, the home of Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar was literally riddled with bullets during a surprise raid. Although the raid unearthed nothing illegal by way of drugs or weapons, Menjivar was promptly arrested because he fired back when the Police, unidentified as such, descended on his home. In 2013, the businessman was exonerated, and in 2014, he filed suit against the government and the Police for the shocking incident which he says damaged his family and destroyed his business. Today Menjivar was back in Court, but as reporter Mike Rudon, found out, the wheels of justice are grinding exceedingly slowly. Here’s that story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The raid on Mike Menjivar’s home in Belmopan in May 2011 is one of the most glaring examples of police abuse to date. GSU officers stormed the home allegedly failed to identify themselves and then pumped one hundred and fifty-six bullets into the residence. Menjivar’s wife and children were inside the home when the bullets tore through the walls, and it is a miracle that they were not killed. Today, Menjivar is seeking compensation for the incident, but his frustration was evident when he emerged from Court today.

 

Mike Menjivar

Mike Menjivar, Suing G.O.B. and Police

“We won the case against them. It took three years and a half, a case without any investigation necessary and they still took three years with us waiting for the case to finish. It finished and then we had the chance for us to go against the government and try to get compensated for what they did for us. But even so they’re not picking sides…it’s just fixing papers and papers. So I don’t know how long, how many more years they want to hold us like this.”

 

Menjivar’s attorney told us that they are surprised that the defendants in the claim seem prepared to drag this out as long as possible.

 

Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Mike Menjivar

“Once the criminal matter was over it was appreciated fully that the constitutional rights of Mr. Menjivar and his family were violated and not only were their constitutional rights violated but the actions of agents of the government placed their lives and the lives of their children in danger. When you have one hundred and fifty-six bullets lodged in a residence with children inside that is no laughing matter…that is nothing to sneeze at. That’s a very serious breach of the rights of the citizen. One would have expected and certainly in a more developed and transparent country, or a country with a more transparent system, such a breach would warrant those in power saying listen, we understand that wrong was done and we will come forward and do what is necessary to make it right.”

 

But that’s not the case in this instance, and both Menjivar and his attorney are preparing for the long haul.

 

Arthur Saldivar

“You had a young lady suffering from epilepsy in her mother’s bed with her mother at the time…all of whom had to seek refuge in a bathroom while shots were ringing out and flying over their heads. We had two children scurrying through the house trying to find shelter and eventually winding up behind the washing machine in a utility room because agents of the state were firing indiscriminately into their home…five dogs killed – Chihuahua and a poodle – man listen to me I would understand Rottweilers and pitbulls but a Chihuahua and a pitbull…man please.”

 

Mike Menjivar

“I don’t know how things really work but they were supposed to, as soon as this incident happened…it was easy to find out that they were wrong in all the ways so they were supposed to approach us quick, not wait for years…send somebody and tell us guys we understand that our force did wrong and we want to fix this thing out of court. Nobody showed up to say sorry, nobody showed up to say anything, so it just passed like everything is okay, but nothing is okay with us.”

 

The matter has been adjourned to the twenty-sixth. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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1 Response for “La Cabana Proprietor Back In Court 4 Years After GSU Raided His Home”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Here again, the system demonstrates the lack of political, social, legal, and economic maturity.

    National Shame and Disgrace have fallen on the country.

    How can we say we are civilized???

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