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Sep 23, 2013

Mike Menjivar has his day in court…he’s home free

In May 2011, popular Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar was at home with his family when the GSU raided his home, supposedly looking for drugs and guns. In the melee which ensued hundreds of bullets were fired into the home. Menjivar claimed that he did not know who was storming his home so he fired back at the intruders to protect his family. Despite the furious exchange of lead, nobody was hurt during the raid, with the exception of two dogs which were gunned down. Both Menjivar and his wife were arrested. His wife was subsequently released, but for more than two years Menjivar has had multiple charges of attempted murder hanging over his head. Until today, that is, when he was acquitted of the charges. Mike Rudon was in Belmopan and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This morning at about nine thirty Mike Menjivar walked out of Belmopan court a free man after he was acquitted of nine counts of attempted murder. He was clearly relieved by what seems to be the end of a nightmarish ordeal which started more than two years ago, in May 2011. That’s when GSU officers descended on Menjivar’s home in the predawn hours – there was an exchange of gunfire which resulted in the charges against Menjivar. His attorneys say the evidence was weak, and the only motive for the raid was a personal beef.

 

Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Mike Menjivar

“When the GSU left its headquarters in Belize City on the nineteenth of May, 2011—the night of the nineteenth—they did not know that they were going to reach the home of Miguel Menjivar. As far as they knew, they were only going to Roaring Creek to a home on the Roaring River Road. After going there and not finding the person they were looking for, an officer who was here in Belmopan, who knew this man and knew him for years said hey let us go to Menjivar’s place. so they came here under the direction of a junior officer who was carrying out a personal beef.”

 

While the motive for the raid is subjective, one thing that cannot be doubted is the effect on Menjivar and his family, both emotionally and financially. Today For Sale signs on his business and home tell a tale of despair, frustration and the near destruction of a family.

 

Graciela Chacon

Graciela Chacon, Wife of Mike Menjivar

“This has destroyed, almost destroyed my family. I was pregnant. When I came out of prison, I was so traumatized that I spent the four months of my pregnancy sleeping here at the place, sleeping on the floor; taking shower in the public restroom after we closed. I could go to my house for four or five months and I was pregnant. I went back inside my house like two weeks before I gave birth. And after that, I don’t have words to explain.”

 

Mike Menjivar, Acquitted of All Charges

Mike Menjivar

“My last deposit that I remember doing for my business was the week before the police came and destroyed my family and business. Since that time, I haven’t put a dollar in the bank. Both bank accounts are closed because this had a toll on my business reputation and my reputation that people is away from my place. Look at my place now. I been trying to keep it open since them, working somehow…bills, bills, bills and no business. They destroyed my business. They destroyed my family, my feelings, my rights everything and they finish with my business. Waiting for this place to finish…it’s long and hard to survive. It’s like not even surviving; that is what is happening.”

 

While he is no doubt bitter, for now Menjivar and his family are determined to move on as best they can and put the hellish episode behind them, which means that bringing charges against the Police Department is not currently on the table.

 

Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley, Attorney for Mike Menjivar

“Mr. Menjivar is not even addressing his mind to any of that matter; just hoping and praying that they don’t put him through anything else. He just finish with it. He, his wife and his children were traumatized. They just want to finish with still being in front of a court. So we asked him about it this morning and we were just keeping our eyes on is whether or not he was going to win. We said to him there is a strong chance that he would win; the evidence is week. But Mister Menjivar is not even thinking about suing nobody right now.”

 

Menjivar and his wife and children continue to get therapy for the trauma they suffered as a result on the raid on their home. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

According to Menjivar’s attorneys, one crucial bit of testimony which helped Menjivar was that of a female police officer stationed at the Belmopan Police Station. She was able to verify that Menjivar’s wife had called the station to say they were under attack by unknown intruders. That was vital support for Menjivar, who has maintained that he did not know that the men firing on his home were police officers.

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1 Response for “Mike Menjivar has his day in court…he’s home free”

  1. Rod says:

    Judas barrow needs to be traumatized just like that for him to repay belize for all the thieving going on in this gov.

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