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Feb 26, 2013

Mexican national’s drug and ammo case moved to Supreme Court

Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez

The case against Mexican national, Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez first started last December in the Corozal Magistrate Court. Villasenor is charged for prohibited ammunition, kept firearm without a license and possession of cannabis and cocaine following a bust at the Las Vegas Casino in Corozal. The case has run into numerous legal challenges and today Villasenor was transferred to Belize City for trial. The prosecution officially closed but there were no defense submissions because of concerns by the defense team that witnesses that the Director of Public prosecutions did not call, would have assisted their case. It got very testy in the court today between Magistrate Nadia Morgan and defense attorney Arthur Saldivar. Saldivar has been asking that she recuse herself from the case and wants the case to be elevated to the Supreme Court before it concludes in the magistrate court. News Five’s José Sanchez reports.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Mexican national, twenty-two year-old Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, came to court with masked guards carrying M-16 rifles posted at the corners of the court building. The parents of the Mexican national joined him and his mother, according to Attorney Arthur Saldivar, was subjected to an unnecessary strip search today.

 

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney

“Mr. Mendez’s parents are professional people. His mother is a teacher; his father is a medical practitioner. Just today they came to Belize City where Misses Mendez was subjected to the most despicable act. As you can see, she is not wearing very loose clothing, but she was subjected to a strip-search. Their family attorney was also strip-searched upon coming to this court for whatever reason. These persons have been coming to court every day this case had been tried in Corozal and were never subjected to that kind of abuse. Certainly I consider it abusive that they had to have been subjected to that kind of treatment. I don’t know if this is universally applied to all Mexicans. I thought Mexico was a friend of Belize.”

 

Arthur Saldivar

At midday, Saldivar explained that moving the matter from the Corozal to Belize City courts has jeopardized his case because of an alleged threat to the court. He intended to have the case heard in the Supreme Court.

 

Arthur Saldivar

“The judge had been asked, the magistrate had been asked on other occasions to recuse herself on the basis of what the defense has posited as infractions that relate to fairness of trial.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“She is in fear of her family’s safety or her safety. Isn’t that reason enough? Isn’t that the basis of your submission today?”

 

Arthur Saldivar

“Yes, the way our system of law works, the arbiter of justice, in this case, the magistrate is both the judge of law and the judge of fact, she cannot be operating under any circumstance where fear or favor, affection or ill-will, forms an influence on a decision that is made. In this regard, we already see that a decision was made out of fear and that decision as to move the case from Corozal to Belize. So the fear that she has spoken of has manifested itself in a decision made to move the case. In that regard, the likelihood of a fair trial or a decision that is levied without a taint of that imposition is unlikely. And it is not something that stands within the realm of the law to uphold.”

 

His family has come to every court appearance, since they live in the neighboring Mexican state of Quintana Roo. His father explained that his son is not a threat to anyone.

 

Luis Villasenor Madrigal

Luis Villasenor Madrigal, Father of Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez.

“My name is Luis Villasenor Madrigal, father of Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez. He is a student in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, an excellent son. He doesn’t have a criminal history in Chetumal or any part of Mexico. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s like any other young boy who wants to go out and have fun. He stayed out a little later that night and I guess these are the consequences but Zurisaday is an exemplary son. He has a five year old brother and he has never been involved in any problems, none at all, no matter how simple, he has never and especially not for things like what he is facing now which has terrified us and we just don’t understand. He was with his girlfriend to what we were told. He met some guys, but he has not told me their names and he had a little too much to drink with them. He has never reached home drunk. They invited him to stay a little longer to sleep and that is all he did to stay and rest. He didn’t know anything; he didn’t really know them and the room was not in his name. he doesn’t know anything.”

 

When the officers came to transport him at the end of the session, Saldivar said the matter would no longer be heard at the lower court.

 

Arthur Saldivar

“For some time, the defense has been contending that there is a constitutional matter that needed to be determined at the Supreme Court in relation to this case that is being conducted. Finally today, with the assistance of the D.P.P. whose assistance was gravely necessary, the matter was actually sent up as a ‘case stated.’ We look forward to our day in the Supreme Court to be able to ventilate the issue and have the Supreme Court make its determination on the matter. I will leave it at that. I am very much pleased with the way it all turned out today.”

 

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

 

The case adjourned this afternoon to a date yet to be announced.

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5 Responses for “Mexican national’s drug and ammo case moved to Supreme Court”

  1. not again says:

    Mr. Saldivar with all respect you are giving us anancy story. We are freinds with Mexico and you better than no one else know that. The problem here is the boy is a criminal. Here in China and Mexico is called drugdealer and terrorist with all those weapons. The father can say all he whants that his son is inocent every bad father that feels guilty of how he educated his son will say that. Just think what would of happen if he was not arrested? All that weapons how many lifes did they saved? The kid himself told the police where to look for the ak47. And he acording to you is innocent? Maybe, if I get paid as much as you do I would say so too. He deserves to be in jail here in Belize.

  2. Bear says:

    I wonder what Saldivar would be saying if his family was threatened?

    Lots of foolishness comes out of his mouth in this case. Belize is no friend of Mexican drug cartels, we should treat them top to bottom as blood enemies, because they will destroy our nation if we do not defend ourselves forcefully.

    GOB should treat cartel members as armed enemy combatants, and those cartel members should fear entering Belize.

  3. StinkinTuch says:

    How can Arthur Saldivar, an aspiring politician, with a straight face say the authorities in Belize have committed a despicable act by carrying out the letter of the law? This young man is a drug dealer, a foreign drug dealer, a MEXICAN drug dealer at that and as such as connections with organized crime in Mexico. Has he not seen the news of the level of violence committed by drug dealers and organized crime in Mexico? Mr. Saldivar has no regard for Belizean authority, no concept of right and wrong and no scruples.
    Lawyers are famous for selling their soul for money, but yuh country tu Autha? Como on man, grow a back bone. You should be disbarred for unethical behaviour! Supporting drug dealers and their families! REALLY?!

  4. Louisville,Ky says:

    Aaarturo, I know the money must be sweet my boy but, there is a limit to everything you know. You seem to be bending backward, way backward to feather the bed for this alledged drug and gun runner.
    Defend the man Turo, but don’t sell your soul to appease this Mexican suspect who may be Cartel related. Not only you, the entire country will live to regret it, if these people know that dealing with our criminal justice system is like picking berries.
    Don’t even take my word, just check the Mexican news channels….any one.

  5. pup says:

    arthur ur my good friend but shame of you. all i got to tell you read the mexican newspapers.. look at what these people do to families and even them LAWYERS who dont get them out. Be a real belizean and do the rite thing. return d money you have taken from these people and letr them get another lawyer.. incase u plan to run in another election your people will not want a person that defends these people as will think and know that if you win you will do worst and these people know that u belong to them. think what you think is best my friend…. its time for all belizeans stand up and do the rite thing… Mr Barrow you 2 need to have your ministers stand stright. mark king needs to go… ask for the border videos and c what type of minister u got.. walking up and down with a gun in his hand… do the ritething. belize is beautiful lets keep it so for our children. not for us for them…….

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