Legal Guardians Refusing to Return Belmopan Kids to Grieving Widower
A custody battle is brewing in Belmopan where a San Martin family is before the courts fighting to regain care of their eight children. According to Santos Fermin Sagastume, back on December nineteenth, he and his wife authorized a US couple from River of Life, Camalote Village, as legal guardian of their eight under-aged children for the duration of their absence from Belize. Sagastume and Eneida Figueroa had to travel to Guatemala for treatment because Eneida was diagnosed with cancer. They returned weeks later and within days Eneida died on January nineteenth. Since then, Sagastume has been unable to regain custody of his children. Today, the fifty-seven year old man took his plight to the media.
Santos Fermin Sagastume, Father [Translated]
“We had a smart daughter and the Americans began paying for studies when she entered college. An American named Miss Marie, she began to assist her and she entered college and that’s how it start. My wife later got sick and they came saying that they will assist to take her to the hospital and they will pay for the medical bill. After this, here in the Belmopan hospital, they paid for her to go to Guatemala because she had cancer. We went to INCAN Hospital in the [Guatemala] City where the doctors says they needed three thousand quetzal for the procedure to start. And since we didn’t have the money and the Americans said they would help us with everything, we later found out that it was all lies. The Americans were simply giving us a hand with watching the kids because when we left to Guatemala, there was no one at home so they were in charge of watching them, temporarily, and when we returned, they were to give us back our children. When we came back on the eleventh, and they still have not returned the children to us.”