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May 12, 2016

Santa Cruz 13 Back In Court; Case Adjourned Again

It has been almost one year since a team of police officers took the village of Santa Cruz by storm during a predawn raid which resulted in the arrest of thirteen leaders.  On Wednesday, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith accepted a submission from Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lyn Vidal for another adjournment.  The matter has been postponed as many as nine times, following their arraignment for the unlawful imprisonment of Rupert Myles.  The villagers of Santa Cruz allege that Myles has trespassed, as well as destroyed property in their community. But it is the leaders, including MLA spokesperson Cristina Coc, who have been charged for their respective roles in the Myles fiasco.  Despite previous adjournments, the Santa Cruz Thirteen have made all efforts to present themselves in court on the scheduled dates, while Myles has repeatedly failed to appear.  In court on Wednesday, the attorney for the Santa Cruz Thirteen requested that the case be dismissed because the prosecution is still unprepared to present its evidence.  This afternoon, News Five spoke with MLA Program Coordinator Pablo Mis who expressed disappointment in the way things are unfolding in the courts.

 

On the Phone: Pablo Mis, Program Coordinator, MLA

“Well the Santa Cruz Thirteen appeared again before the Chief Magistrate who commenced trial on the complaint that was brought against them by Rupert Myles. You would remember that about eleven months ago, heavily armed police officers kicked down, in a predawn raid, the doors of the humble homes of the Santa Cruz families. Yesterday, the representative of the D.P.P. made a submission asking the court to grant an adjournment so that the state can acquire new evidence that they want to present as a part of the case. That adjournment was objected to by the attorneys of the Santa Cruz Thirteen on the basis that it has been eleven months since the charges were levied and also on the basis that the D.P.P. or the state has been requesting for at least seven out of the nine adjournments on the premise that they were reviewing new evidence. The legal representatives of the Santa Cruz Thirteen also noted that consistently, the complainant against the Santa Cruz Thirteen who initiated the charges against them have consistently been absent from the court hearings. It was the submission of the Santa Cruz Thirteen legal representatives that the case seems to be one where the prosecution has demonstrated not being prepared and there was a request to have the case be thrown out. The Chief Magistrate in her decision basically mentioned that she will continue with the case and it has been adjourned until June twenty-seventh. This is of course after reflecting among the thirteen leaders a feeling that justice delayed is justice denied. This has been a very difficult time for them trying to find ways on a consistent basis to ensure that they comply with the obligations under the laws to appear before the court. it has been difficult for them and their family and the emotional stress placed upon them. they are subsistent farmers, this is the planting season and just for the other side to not appear and consistently request for adjournment is unacceptable to the families that have been affected in this case.”

 

The Maya community is calling upon the international community, especially since the fifteenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues is underway in New York City.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Santa Cruz 13 Back In Court; Case Adjourned Again”

  1. Ali BaBarrow, Prime Thief says:

    These Mayans should not have messed with my man Rupert.
    He is my eyes, ears and muscle in Toledo.

    I give permission to all my trusted thieves to move into archeological sites.
    This property is fine booty for the work they do.

  2. grandfinale says:

    Always look fwd for comments from Ali BaBarrow. lol

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