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Mar 2, 2015

Attorney for Boat Captain Says Document to Release Delegation Was Signed Under Duress

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

We’ll get to that government response in a few, but first the Captain of the Dore – Guillermo “Memo” Avila. He is the man who took the expedition to Gracias a Dios, and then made the unscheduled and unexpected journey to Livingston, Guatemala. He chose to retain the services of attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who gave a statement on his behalf. She told us that the boat was seized not because of any breach of territorial waters, but because of vessel infractions – one, that the captain did not have proper papers for the boat, and two – that it was overcrowded. She also claims that he signed the document presented to him under duress.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for Guillermo Avila

“He does not read Spanish. He signed a document that he is not fully aware as to every word and its content and its meaning. But Mr. Avila wants it to be known that it was clear to him that if he did not sign he and the vessel could not leave and the passengers could not leave and he had to make a judgment call to get the people back in Belizean territory. Now we are hoping that our government through diplomatic notes can deal with this because this was signed under duress. Yes, present with him at the time was Mr. Giovanni de la Fuente and Mr. Efrain Novelo who also clearly were passengers and wanted to get out there. At that point he made a sacrifice, and a sacrifice that has resulted in the passengers being back in Belizean territory, but a matter which we now challenge our government to take up fully because what was done to him was totally improper. What was done to the other thirty-six Belizeans was totally illegal. Remember at all times they were in Belizean waters.”



“Could you speak to us about what we have heard that for five minutes sometime in the morning they went one hundred yards up a creek which might have been in Guatemalan waters?”


Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Yes we can speak to that. That is not in Guatemalan waters, but when they suggested that to him, because he didn’t want any fight he said oh, okay no problem, we done turn back. They did nothing at that point. Had that been an infraction that is what the document would have said. And not only that…had that been an infraction there and then the Coast Guard was empowered to take him! Remember they never took them on a maritime infraction…that means breaching territorial waters…they took him on a vessel infraction which is a major difference.”

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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2 Responses for “Attorney for Boat Captain Says Document to Release Delegation Was Signed Under Duress”

  1. bgroovy says:

    The man the lie ,the man own wa boat service that leaves pg to guatemala everyday and he is also from there…

  2. CEO says:

    Audrey keep up the good work!

    Our people need leadership and guidance!

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