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May 24, 2011

More than 100 bullets fired at home of Cabana Owner

On Friday the Gang Suppression Unit carried out a predawn raid at Miguel Menjivar’s residence in the Las Flores community in Belmopan. Menjivar is the owner of La Cabana Bar and lives under heavy security. Commander of the G.S.U., Marco Vidal told us that before five o’clock that morning, the unit carried out a search, following up on a tip, but when they announced their presence to Menjivar he answered them with bullets. Vidal said the GSU responded with shots, shortly after which they were able to breach the doors to the residence and subdue Menjivar. More than twelve hours after the raid started, Menjivar, his wife Illeana and their maid were taken to the Belmopan Police Station and charged for attacking the G.S.U. But did the G.S.U. use excessive force? According to Menjivar’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar, over one hundred bullets were fired at the house. Saldivar told us that while the G.S.U. didn’t find any guns or drugs, his client who was injured was arraigned in court today in Belmopan.

Arthur Saldivar

Arthur Saldivar, Miguel Menjivar’s Attorney

“There were three separate charges, attempt murder, aggravated assault and damage to property. Mr. Menjivar was the only one charged for damage to property. Of the three charges, the attempt murder charge and the aggravated assault charge, there were nine separate counts for each of those for each of the three persons. Basically as a result of the nature of the charges, the prosecution elected to have all be tried indictably so no plea was taken. The Magistrate, however, basically assured us that he would be seeking to have whatever files are available me marshalled as quickly as possible so that we could expedite the matter considering the unprecedented nature of this particular case. Well it was plain to be seen from the pictures that umm I believe were obtained from the scene that was the case, over a hundred shots were fired into that house by various persons. At the time when this incident took place it was dark, the conditions were made worse and the outside lights were shot out so there was little visibility inside to be able to see outside.  The reason why this was necessitated was the fact that the police officers at the time did not make themselves known, they were not in any marked vehicle, umm the vehicle that they came in were private license.

Miguel menjivar

They themselves did not sound any alarm to give any notification that they were any law enforcement personnel. They didn’t bring any lights which would’ve automatically indicated that they weren’t there for any nefarious purpose. But umm what Mr. Menjivar establishes keenly is that he believed he was being robbed. I mean you have to take into consideration the atmosphere in the country right now and the fact that Mr. Menjivar is a very well-known business person. Every known entrance to his place was violated, the fence, the gate to the fence was busted open. His dogs were shot—three of them killed. His front door was totally decimated, shot to splinters. All the windows for the house was shot up. I would equate it to maybe what took place at that compound when the SEAL team from the United States went to seek Bin Laden—there is nothing else that I could compare it with. But certainly it was unwarranted for the law enforcement in Belize to be conducting themselves in that way.”

Andrea Polanco

“Did the G.S.U. officers present Mr. Menjivar with a warrant to search his property?”

Arthur Saldivar

“Not that I am aware and certainly I didn’t see any and I was on the scene while the search was being conducted—a search that mind you did not amount to anything. In fact it was dubious as to was the purpose of the search—what they were looking for. Certainly they did a very thorough job even looking inside the caps of lipstick. I don’t know what they would have found in there, but they left no stone unturned—so to speak. At the end of the day however, it seemed to me like they were acting more on the base of rumor as oppose to any real intelligence. We should also bear in mind that after they got Mr. Menjivar in custody—in handcuffs and the like—they proceeded to brutalize this man who had just come back from Guatemala from operation that he had taken for a traffic accident that he was involved in. This is no way to treat a citizen who has the protection of the constitution and the presumption of innocence. He was totally brutalized—his face and jaw was basically battered—he was battered to a pulp. And he had the threat of life in front of his children.”

At the time of the raid, Menjivar’s three children were inside the house.

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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27 Responses for “More than 100 bullets fired at home of Cabana Owner”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Arthur, i know we all have a job to do & Dickie says you are brilliant? Even if you are going to lie to me, be consistent, I like that in a liar . Let’s start with the dogs, how many dogs did this man have? How many died for him & how many were injured? And make sure the pictures match your answer. About the number of shots, are there bullet holes & if there were so many bullets flying does it not seem strange that your already injured client was beaten to a pulp & allowed to contact you? Does it not seem odd that despite being unprofessional & untrained & despite the animosity directed at the Officers & their perceived dislike of this man that they did not put a bullet in his head & spin the tale in their favor? And please do not show us a picture of the injuries he received earlier that he went to Gualemala to have taken care of. If Mr. Menjivar fired at the Officers because he believed it was a home invasion or whatever, explain again why the story is that there were no guns found, what was he firing with ? And, please remember, he was defending his family as stated earlier. One last thing, I enlarged the picture of the window, there appears to be an impact from the inside,& one from outside. The glass on the bottom was directed outward, the one at the top directed in & we see damage to the metal that divides the panes/lights.

    How many times did the authorities in Mexico search the house in Mexico a few years ago before they figured what wall the those innocent people had built specifically to hide millions?

    While the GSU was trying to figure out how to defend themselves against these accusations, the gang members had recess without supervision & more people died. How many of those people have relatives who are voters in the division you are trying to represent?

  2. EMS says:

    Imagine the possibilities, this is a classic example of what PM Barrow and his buffoon administration stands for in terms of draconian laws coupled with suppression/suspending the constitutional rights of citizens in the jewel. Imagine the possibilities? What else is new Belize?

  3. rod says:

    this whole thing stinks from top to bottom shows just how incompetence is destroying this country from inside out we dont have to worry about guatemala oe no where else we are destroying our country from within when will it come to head for you belizeans to say no more barrow no more we will not take it anymore worse pm and gov. in the history of belice the murder rate has belize now as the murder capital of the world wake up belizeans wake up.

  4. Roni says:

    Menjivar should SUE the GSU. It has not been proven that he had any drugs or weapons,so why all the fire power? The GSU should pay for all the damage and issue out a proper press release apologizing for the mistake.

  5. islander says:

    The Gang Suppression Unit IS THE GANG…. This guys are no different than the wild criminals they claim to be going after…

  6. maggie says:

    Still waiting to hear from Vidal… Did you use a ME GA PHONE in announcing your presense? and were you satisfied that Menjivar and familiy were clear that it was the Police and were not going to comply? so you had no alternative but to use force. Of all the questions being asked, THIS ONE you need to answer.

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    I guess the GSU wan’t to act like the Navy Seals that took out Bin-Bin.

  8. Do it right says:

    While i like the results of many of the GSU activities lately, this one i have to say i am appalled at. This was unneccessary force and could’ve resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed. I mean there were kids in the house. They feel like they are elite now and can do what they want. This is not a criminal that they are pursuing. A business man that lives next to his business and they scaling fence and shooting up the house like some idiots. The end result is that they found nothing. They need to approach these “raids” in a different manner. When i first heard the story the first thing that went to my mind is how are the people to know that its the police. The GSU goes when there is no light and when people are sleeping. I would think i am being robbed too and would ve opened fire too. I do hope Mike gets off.

  9. Clifford says:

    Menjivar is a well-known drug lord! That i not new to Police!

  10. Clifford says:

    Menjivar is a well-known drug lord! That is not new to Police!

  11. Belizean Born says:

    Personally I do not like this guy, as he seems to think that he is in a class of its own. That does not however, make it right for the Police to abuse his rights. The GSU acted unprofessionally, by not surrounding the house and making sure that the inhabitants were aware that a search was about to be conducted, before entering the premises. I also do not believe that this guys sells drugs in quantities that can easily be flushed down a toilet, (if he indeed sells drugs) and I am quite sure that the GSU knows this, just as they know exactly who the gang members are in Belize City. Now, if the GSU had acted according to procedures, then I would have nothing to say, they were fired upon, and they responded in kind, but this sort of behavior must not be tolerated, as it is conducive to anarchy. When all you need is a tip, be it by a known informant or not, that someone is in possession of illegal items, and you have the police, without prior surveillance, or without following standard procedures, come jumping over fences like criminals, then no one should be surprised that they will be shot at, ( was not a GSU uniform found in an abandoned lot just lately in Belize City? which means that not only officers can wear such uniforms ). One other thing, why are the maid and the wife being charged with attempted murder when they clearly were not the ones firing at the police? If this matter is not looked into, then this will only serve to further mislead the officers that they are above the law, which sadly, is already a practice continuously seen in Belize. Revolutions have started when the powers that be trample on the rights of those they should be defending.
    @ BZNinCALI, the articles state that there were two guns found when menjivar was taken, one on him and one in a bag that presumably had not been used in the crossfire.

  12. Earl Grey says:


  13. JahKid says:

    Poor Menjivar, being brutalized for doing good to the community. Own his decent business and donating to the poor and needy!!! Why do wicked things have to happen to innocent People. Innocent People?????? I sympatize with some of the other commentators, because they do not know who Menjivar is. Menjivar is a gun totting bastard, he only knows how to solve situations with a gun. If Bmp Police cant”t deal with him why do you think GSU had to come. Money flies, free drinks handed out to the Babylons here in Pan, white lady neatly dressed in lines. The only way I would say he is an innocent person(or maybe) is if his business was Preaching the word of GOD. Those children he is growing will be powerfull dangerous men. They are watching and learning from the Big Man. That business grew quite quick by well earned hard labour and swet from Menjivar,s brow?????????????? Let’s fight crime and criminals!!! Be real. Opposition why do everything that sounds violent it has to do with GOB? Why when PUP is in power and violent cases occur you want to justify?? Let’s give credit where it is deserved. I will never be baised be it PUP or UDP or whatever P’s. Critizing to the maximum only iritate’s most of us here and watch you as arrogants and change our minds to vote blue. I am thinking. We are watching and deciding. Respect to all people trying to do the right in our generation. A BAR??? And he owner is innocent. Ask the GAY’s about CABANAS>.<

  14. Claro says:

    So what if he’s a drug Lord, they didn’t catch him with any drugs. The police cant just go around demolishing people’s homes because they’re too dumb to catch the man in the act. Always an excuse with these idiots.

  15. MACAL RIVERA says:


  16. Joe McGuire says:

    Honestly if a whole bunch of guys in private vehicles would just enter my property in the middle of night without identifying themselves I would of shot at them as well, it is called protecting your family.

  17. BLZ says:

    BZN in CALI ,too bad you cant see well even if you enlarged the picture!Try going to see the house,its available by the way!Maybe you educate yourself and stop talking too much crap you dont know about.!!!!

  18. Another lady says:

    Jahkid you have the wrong name,I guess a gay knows another gay huh?? Hey gaykid heres something you should know.All children are Gods children,and you dont have brains so you express that way!!!!!

  19. MIA says:


  20. MIA says:


  21. watcha says:

    if u want to know the names of the real drug lords in Belize ask police, they know about the guys in belize city and roaring creek , but they cant touch them thats why they go after people who have nothing to do with the crimes, ask anybody in belmopan , police harrass for nothing

  22. sandra says:

    The lawyers are just doing their profession , not just because they take on a case that means there bad people ,come on the police handle yet another case nasty, slack don’t they plan there raids A.B.C, now for this stupidness the whole police force will get the black eye and will get sue

  23. sandra says:

    MACAL RIVERA This is much bigger than little drug dealers it’s the government…… plans landing on the high ways and test driven out of the airport and nothing said about it…… now the government stink and please i am no pupudp i am just concern and conscious of whats going on

  24. BZNinCALI says:

    @BLZ, paragraph one(1), top of this page “Saldivar told us that while the G.S.U. didn’t find any guns or drugs, his client who was injured…..” . Put your reading glasses on. BLZ, I don’t know any of these people but I hope we are still teaching our children a poem I learned in Infant 1 or 2 at a school on the south side of Belize City. “Try for a learning, Before you grow old, For a learning is better than silver & gold. Silver & gold may vanish away, But a good education will never decay”.

    Learn some critical thinking skills, God knows we do not need more angry people reacting to statements put out purely for their inflammatory value. Arthur’s job is to influence potential jurors, our job as Belizeans is to clean up the bloody cesspool we have created & leave a better country for our children where they can go to sleep at night & not fear getting killed in their beds.

    Thanks for the invite but I must decline your invitation to take a look at the home. The next time I come home, I may visit you though, as long as you promise to work on your critical thinking skills. All I’m doing is question the conflicting statements. Peace.

  25. JusticeUniversal says:

    No matter how well issues are explained there will always be those who would have us concentrate on the noise in the market in order to overlook what is truly of critical importance. I don’t know Mr. Menjivar’s history, don’t know if he is a saint or a devil. He, however, is a Belizean and in our Democracy, he has certain inalienable rights guaranteed by our Constitution, one of those rights is the right to representation another is the right to due process of law.

    There is no objection to law enforcement personnel doing their best to curb crime even if it requires harsh measures. However, harsh measures should never be equated to unconstitutional acts. If the police gets a “tip”, it is their duty thereafter to set up a sting, this involves stake outs, intelligence gathering and other such measures designed to verify the validity of the information received. This was not done in this case.

    Certainly Mike Menjivar had a gun, in fact there were two guns in the house, both licensed firearms, one belonging to Mike, the other for his wife. Now, the existence of license firearms raises a number of presumptions: 1) these are persons who feel the need to have enhanced protection capability- stands to reason, they are both actively engaged in business and handled cash on a daily basis. 2) These are persons without any criminal history/convictions/persons of good character. Firearm licenses are not given to persons with criminal records. Hence, when the issue of guns is raised it is not the legally held firearm that is at issue as the law is not concerned with that, the laws’ concern is the illegal firearm which is the harbinger of violent crime and death.

    When professionals take the time to educate, forget about the perceived bias and look at the issues being addressed. We all love Belize- I do!! do you???

  26. Iliana aka lala says:

    Thank u all for your positive coments but for does who critisize my family without even knowing us, why don’t u start by doing a background chek on our business , how we started 10 years ago from scratch . I’m tired of stupid ppl who critisize u without knowing, we work 18 hour everyday, drug dealers don’t work. And if we where zetas I guess a lot of ppl would be dead by now, we are not saints but we are not bad ppl eighter, I don’t even want to stress myself with ignorant coments, I’m just grateful with god because he was the one who protected my family from this unprofessional so called intelligent unit, there is nothing intelligent about this gsu organization. They behave like animals and I’m sorry if I offend animals, I really hope nobody go thru watt we experienced that morning. Because god does not protect the life of drug dealers or criminals, I have a very united and loving family and for them and our kids we live for, god bless u all

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