Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Trials » Mexican national on trial for arsenal in Corozal
Jan 3, 2013

Mexican national on trial for arsenal in Corozal

A Mexican national is under trial in the Corozal Magistrate Court; but the serious drug related and ammunition charges he faces have faded into the background. Attorneys for Zurisday Villasenor Mendez are instead arguing the legality of the appointment of a Cayo Magistrate who has been deployed to the north to preside over the trial. This morning they disclosed her contract which says that she will act in all respects according to the instructions or directions given to her by the government and that they say is contrary to the constitution. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

 

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Mexican National, twenty year old Zurisday Villasenor Mendez made his third appearance in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court today, but his trial has still not begun. The focus continues to be on a submission for Cayo Magistrate Nardia Morgan recuse to herself from the case.

 

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Zurisday Mendez

Arthur Saldivar

“Considering where she was coming from, the objection was made that there is an appearance of bias because you are coming from so far, you only have one year experience, there is a sitting magistrate here and there is no reason being given as to why he should not hear the case.”

 

Dickie Bradley, Attorney for Zurisday Mendez

“There is a sitting magistrate for Corozal and as he pointed out in his submission, that magistrate is not ill, he is not on vacation or any other kind of holiday; he is right in his office. Another magistrate walks into the Corozal court and there is no explanation to the defendant and that magistrate is prepared to single out an individual case for trial.”

 

Magistrate Morgan, however, was back in Corozal this morning after deciding that the arguments presented were not sufficient grounds for her to recuse herself. But the case took a serious turn this morning when a constitutional issue was raised regarding the appointment of magistrates.

 

Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley

“An amendment was made to the constitution that one; Magistrate’s shall be attorneys at law, secondly magistrates and interestingly the words used in section ninety-three sub-section four of the Constitution of Belize says “security of tenure”. Magistrates now enjoy by virtue of the constitution from 2005, they enjoy security of tenure.”

 

Arthur Saldivar

“Security of tenure is basically the guarantee that when you are hired, you won’t lose your job until you reach the age of retirement, fifty-five years old. So you will continue in service until that time so you don’t have to fear anymore, you know that whatever decision you make, as long as those are not clouded or tainted by corruption, bias or by some misconduct on your part, that those decisions will be respected even if they are not popular.”

 

Zurisday Villasenor Mendez

But the Cayo Magistrate does not have security of tenure; in fact she has a soon to be expired contract, which states that she “will act in all respects according to the instructions or directions given to her by the government through its authorized officers.” According to Attorneys Arthur Saldivar and Dickie Bradley, her appointment goes against the law and strengthens the argument of apparent bias.

 

Arthur Saldivar

“She is a contract officer which is a contravention of the constitution. The problem is also that the contract expires on the thirtieth of June, which is only six months from now so one could believe that there is some pressure on this magistrate to do what those over her want her to do. Now, that cannot, on the face of it be fair. Just looking at that situation, one would be able to say well if there’s pressure on you to do something given the circumstances of the contract, then how can it be fair to the person who is on the adverse end of whatever decision you may make; not saying that she will but the appearance is that there is a likelihood, given the short term of her contract that if she wants it to be renewed, that she would go along with whatever it is that he powers that be would want her to go along with.”

 

Dickie Bradley

“And I want to say this, nobody is accusing the magistrate of going to listen to anybody to tell her what to do or so; that is not the issue. The issue is the issue that was raised by law in the Privy Council in our Court of Appeal about certain appearances and that is a legal issue and an important issue. And this morning a constitutional issue came up. I am an officer of the court and I’m going to say to you that when a constitutional issue emerges in a magistrate court it is to be sent to the Supreme Court for a decision.”

 

The horde of heavily armed officers standing guard when Mendez is in court is also viewed by his attorneys as an indication of high level influence on the case.

 

Dickie Bradley

“Clearly the government has an interest in how they are treating this particular individual. No person brought to the Corozal Magistrates Court has been chained like an animal in that way, put in a special vehicle where there is a cage inside the vehicle and brings twelve to eighteen specialized security forces.”

 

Arthur Saldivar

“When you see this circus here every day of over thirty armed personnel from the government of Belize security forces here in Corozal, a place where there is the lowest crime rate of any municipality in the country, that basically tells you that the government is sending the signal and that signal can be clearly read by any of its officers; that they see this as a “special case” even if the facts don’t fit and in this particular case, the facts don’t fit and they know the facts don’t fit.”

 

Mendez was charged for keeping prohibited firearm and ammunition, unlicensed firearm, drug trafficking and possession of controlled drugs last November after a bust at the Las Vegas Casino. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

 

Mendez is a Masters Degree candidate, who according to Saldivar frequents Belize but has no criminal record on either side of the border. Saldivar also believes that it is cruel and unusual punishment to transport him from the prison to Corozal inside a cage in the police van and with his arms shackled between his legs.

Be Sociable, Share!


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.

Advertise Here

8 Responses for “Mexican national on trial for arsenal in Corozal”

  1. Bear says:

    The Zeta is an enemy combatant, he shouldn’t even have a trial — shot as a spy or invader is the right end for him. Summary execution is permitted under international law for that sort, and that is exactly what he and all the Zetas are.

    Judge-shopping should not be allowed in the Jewel. Why do you think these cartel lawyers are so afraid of this one lady? Are they prejudiced against people from Cayo?

  2. not again says:

    WHAT A CRAP OF LYES. Shame on you crooked lawyers. Good job goverment. Dont let go your guard thats when the zeta will escape. For some reason they changed the magistrate. This criminal had so many weapons amunition and a little of drugs with him in the room. Vehicles confiscated. Another lye he is very well known in Chetumal for his bad habits just google his name and you will know the truth. He broke the law by bringing all this garbage into Belize so he most pay like every one else. What was he planning? Thank God he was stoped. Too bad the other two escaped. I agree for the G.S.U. To control the situation every time he goes to Corozal because he is very close to the border and you never know what could happen.

  3. R.I. says:

    COME ON ROD AND STORM, WHERE IS YOUR PATRIOTISM???? U ALWAYS CRITICIZE THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE DRUG LORDS ARE NOT PROSECUTED AND THAT THAT POLICE ONLY HARASS THE LITTLE WEED SMOKER INSTEAD OF GOING AFTER THE BIG FISH, WELL U SEE WHO DEFEND THE ZETAS THE BIGGEST (MOST DANGEROUS CARTEL IN MEXICO) WHO ARE THE LAWYERS?? NOBODY SAYS ANYTHING!! NO ONE, BUT WE KNOW THAT YOU GUYS HAVE AN AXE TO GRIND!! FOREIGNERS THAT COME TO THIS COUNTRY TO BRING ARSENALS AND DRUGS WITH THAT NAME(ZETAS) SHOULD BE REMANDED WITHOUT NO KIND OF DEFENSE, BUT INSTEAD MONEY AND POWER IS WHAT ARTHUR & DICKIE ARE AFTER!!!

  4. oscar965 says:

    how easy arthur and dickie dance to the tune of the money. Both of them personify only $$$$$. They do not care about the best for Belize. The oath they took means NOTHING to them…oh yes..they got into this line of buisness for the money…and only the money. I bet both of them have very …very…very deep pockets.

  5. Jason says:

    Howstupid lawyers- argue every point you can and wast his time away in jail- the longer he stays there the better- he could have already been goin not guilty and be out- be careful the zetas shoot you both

  6. Uncle Sam says:

    Yea rite, not only Dickie and Arthur dance to the tune of money, but all those lawyers, also those who make law, so when they are out it benefits them.

  7. rod says:

    smoke and mirrors unu no see this whole gov. is involved in this the gov. try make y look like they are doing their job while they deploy their best lawyes to get this man off wake up belizeans dont be so stupid the corruption starts from the top they are all getting paid.

  8. rod says:

    smoke and mirrors unu no see this whole gov. is involved in this the gov. try make y look like they are doing their job while they deploy their best lawyers to get this man off wake up belizeans dont be so stupid the corruption starts from the top they are all getting paid.

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*