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Sep 20, 2021

The Mennonite Community and the Constitutional Challenge

Attorney Arthur Saldivar and a team of lawyers are preparing to represent up to two hundred claimants in a constitutional challenge against the COVID-19 regulations. His clients, many of whom are from the Mennonite community, are saying that their constitutional rights were infringed upon on Saturday when they were blocked by police in La Democracia Village. This, along with claims against the COVID regulations and additional claimants being added to the list, makes for an ever-evolving court case. We spoke with Saldivar via phone today.


On the Phone: Arthur Saldivar, Attorney-at-law

“First and foremost the Mennonite Community is not engaged in any litigation. There are persons and Belizeans from the Mennonite Community that are seeking to have their constitutional rights upheld. At this point we have quite a number of people. I am not at liberty to disclose names until the matter is before the court. So, I will, in terms of that that is the extent of it. But, I believe it is not a secret at this point that there are members from the Mennonite Community that are seeking to challenge the S.I and the restrictions as it relates to their constitutional freedoms.  This is a situation where the Mennonite community, in terms of members form that community and other Belizeans have recognized where there rights are being infringed upon and seek to have the court in its jurisdiction as the oversight body, responsible for interpreting the constitutionality, they would want the court to look at it from that point of view, to make a determination whether their constitutional rights are in fact being infringed.”


Paul Lopez 

“How many clients are you representing in this case?”


On the Phone: Arthur Saldivar

“There are roughly, about a hundred to two hundred people.   As you know there is the constitutional rights to privacy, there is the constitutional rights to life. There are the constitutional rights to the protection of the rights to conscience. Then there is the protection of right to movement which was violated over the weekend. There was some sixty Mennonites who were sixty members of the Mennonite community that were stopped. They had their license photographed. They had themselves photographed by police, irrespective of the fact that there is a court judgment that outlaws that kind of behavior by police. In fact, the government of Belize was made to pay fifty thousand dollars for that practice. Yet, the law enforcement agencies of Belize have taken it upon themselves to break the law and violate the constitutional rights of the citizens of Belize.”

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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