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May 18, 2020

Locked Up With No Means of Adhering to Social Distancing

Nigel Petillo

So while Petillo and his attorney were both arraigned this morning for matters having to do with social distancing, use of face masks and movement outside of the curfew, their brief time in the holding cell at the Belmopan Police Station contravened all those stipulations.  According to the men, they were placed in a very small lockup with several other persons and clearly the congestion inside the cell made it impossible for them to adhere to the required six feet rule.


Nigel Petillo, President, BGYEA

“Dehn bring we een, dehn process we, dehn held us there for about, I believe, four or five hours or thereabout.  Mein, dehn hold we eena wahn cell deh six-by-six, thereabout with bout six man een deh.  By the way, di otha man een deh neva mi di wear no mask and the police department neva find it as important fi provide mask di dehn people deh.  Dat way out again, you know, dehn talk one thing out ya then you should mek sure you provide mask fi everybody eena da cell.  Again, with about six ah we eena da cell there is no way we coulda maintain social distancing.”


Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Nigel Petillo

“This attack, and I classify it as such, an attack, is not only a personal one on me, Arthur Saldivar, but one on the legal profession itself, one that cannot be countenanced in a democratic country governed by the rule of law.  Because, irrespective of the state of emergency, it is incumbent upon the authorities to ensure that the rights of the citizens is maintained.  One of those rights is the right to a legal practitioner of his choice whenever apprehended and detained by those very same authorities.  I mean, come on.”


This is the second offense under the state of emergency for which Arthur Saldivar has been charged.  He was previously arraigned on March thirtieth for spreading false news in respect of COVID-19.

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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