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Jun 10, 2013

Day 1 of Cabana owner and GSU shooting incident in court

Mike Menjivar

Mike Menjivar, the popular owner of La Cabana Bar in Belmopan, appeared in the Belmopan Supreme Court this morning. Two years ago, the full force of the Gang Suppression Unit fell on Menjivar and his family at their Belmopan house. At least forty-one bullets were fired at the house and the police said eleven shots were fired from the house. Whatever it is the GSU was looking for, they only came up nineteen thousand U.S. dollars. Menjivar and his family were imprisoned for charges of Attempted Murder and eventually received bail. News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke to Menjivar’s attorney on day one of the trial.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The trial of businessman Miguel ‘Mike’ Menjivar, accused of the attempted murder of six police officers during a pre-dawn raid conducted by the Gang Suppression Unit on his residence in May 2011, commenced today during the Belmopan session of the Supreme Court.  The proprietor of La Cabana Restaurant and Bar appeared before Justice Dennis Hanomansingh in the company of attorneys Arthur Saldivar and Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley.

 

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Mike Menjivar

Arthur Saldivar

“Today we commenced with the first witness being called in the trial.  As you know, this case concerns the charges of attempted murder brought against Mr. Menjivar by the G.S.U., following a search that was conducted on his home.”

 

In the early hours of May twentieth, 2011, G.S.U. personnel descended upon Menjivar’s property in Las Flores.  The raid was the result of information gathered by the Police Department which suggested that he may have been involved in illicit activity.  During the assignment an exchange of gunfire ensued between the officers and Menjivar, extensively damaging the interior of the building.

 

Marco Vidal

ASP Marco Vidal, Commander, G.S.U. [File: May 20th, 2011]

“Shots were fired from inside the house towards the officers. Immediately our Officers took cover and the shots despite repeatedly after and even after the shots were fired the police continue to say that it is the police and the shots continue to come into their direction and they didn’t responded. I must say that the unit exercised a lot of restraint most of the gunfire was suppression because we were aware that a lot of other occupants that included minors were inside the house so for that reason there was a lot of suppression fire, this was not the case eventually the house was breached umm the person were barricaded inside the house and this was when I arrive and I spoke to the occupant to surrender himself umm he was inside one of the rooms I suppose it was the Master Bedroom, and eventually he was subdued and umm he had a firearm at the time in his hand when he was apprehended and we immediately called the ‘scenes of crime’ although umm right next to where he was there appears to be another firearm in a bag that wasn’t tampered.”

 

Menjivar was subsequently remanded to the Belize Central Prison along with his pregnant common law wife Iliana Chacon, after being arraigned on a number of charges stemming from the shootout.  This afternoon, that Scenes of Crime technician was called to the stand as the first witness in the trial.

 

Arthur Saldivar

“We expect to have all the issues ventilated within this week and hopefully we can conclude it sometime soon.  I don’t see this taking long because all the witnesses are police witnesses anyway.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“The first witness to take the stand was the Scenes of Crime personnel who responded to Mr. Menjivar’s residence, following this ordeal.  Can you briefly give us an idea of what was mentioned in his testimony?”

 

Arthur Saldivar

“Well, he’s not yet finished.  Cross examination is not complete so I wouldn’t want to go any further into what he has said.  Certainly, later on in the trial we will be able to discuss at length the issues and what was said and not said, the legal ramifications of this case because it basically has wide ranging repercussions in relation to many other incidences involving this particular unit.  So, at this time I am just happy that now three years hence we are able to begin and at some time in the near future we will be able to conclude and have Mr. Menjivar and everybody concerned understand where justice lies.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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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6 Responses for “Day 1 of Cabana owner and GSU shooting incident in court”

  1. Gerald Underwood says:

    He should have kill the six of those @$$holes

  2. Louisville,Ky says:

    Boy oh boy…shoot out with the Police and live to have his day in court. No where else on God’s green earth. Only in Belize.

  3. Johnny Bze says:

    I can imagine how painful it is to re-live this story in court. This is the result of putting a law enforcement agency directly under a politician.

  4. John T says:

    Gerald Underwood and Johnny Belize. You ignorant fools. Underbgoard Why don’t you approach one of those officers and tell them what you think or Underskirt maybe you can try doing it yourself instead of hiding behind a blog.

    As to Johnny come lately where are your facts. I am sure any of those officers can educate you whilst you sit and write assumptions

  5. SuperCat says:

    The whole world watch this incident on television and internet. There were so many violations here…it ain’t funny. The damages were physical (to the house and property), psychological to the victims and loss of business among many others.

    When Vidal says “…and eventually he was subdued..” he meant to say they beat the crop out of him…until breaking his jaw.

  6. XMON says:

    the world is round today da me tmmrw da you

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