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Dec 15, 2022

A Translator for a Mexican Drug Plane Suspect

Juan Esparga Sanchez

Mexican national Juan Esparga Sanchez, one of four foreigners detained in connection with the landing of a drug plane near Bladen on the Southern Highway in November of last year, appeared before the lower court today.  He is represented by attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley.  During the case management committee held earlier, an application was made by the Crown for Corporal Jose Hernandez to be selected as a translator for Sanchez and three other men who speak only Spanish.  Sanchez, who is considered a flight risk, is the only suspect who remains incarcerated.  We spoke with attorney Bradley after today’s session.


Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“The senior magistrate for court number six, who has charge of the matter, had ordered certain matters in relation to the case specifically in regards to disclosure. The amount of documentation in the disclosure is over six hundred pages and what transpired is that that has to be translated into Spanish; it is currently in English. The accused person whose name you call, one Esparaga Sanchez, is not a person who understands or speaks the English language. The law in our country is if you give disclosure, meaning all the statements and documents to be used against an accused person, it should be in a language that they understand otherwise how can he defend himself or advise any lawyers what is his response to the matters therein. So the honourable senior magistrate had ordered that the prosecution is to present information so that the court could be in a position to properly inform the accused persons. So today that was done because the hurricane had held back dealing with it earlier. Basically what has happened is that Senior Sanchez and three other persons understand only the Spanish language. They are all on bail so they are free to come and go; he, being a foreigner, is only now having an idea of what is in the documents, contemplating asking a court for his freedom or wait a couple months and hopefully trial gets underway. So the magistrate to the attorneys – myself, my colleague Leroy Banner and my colleague Oscar Selgado, the hardest working attorney in Belize City right now – all agreed that that particular person is competent and qualified to give a faithful and accurate translation of the documents.  As such, the magistrate had then spoken to the translator, Officer Hernandez, who has appeared in the Supreme Court as a person who is able to assist in translating documents.”

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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