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May 31, 2011

Attorney banned from prison, but is it legal?

Arthur Saldivar

A ban has been placed on attorney-at-law Arthur Saldivar from visiting clients at the Belize Central prison. A letter to this effect has been sent to Saldivar, the President of the Bar Association as well as to the Acting Chief Justice, the D.P.P. and the Attorney General. The action by the Kolbe Foundation comes on the heels of an interview granted by Mike Menjivar and his wife, Illiana, via cellular phone to News Five and Channel Seven. Earl Jones, the C.E.O. of the Central Prison, is asking the Bar to conduct an inquiry into the issue and pending its outcome; “Attorney Saldivar will be advised that he will need to seek the service of his colleague to take instructions from his clients in prison as he will be banned from entering the prison.” The background to the story is that the Gang Suppression Unit on May twentieth raided the Menjivar’s house in Las Flores, Belmopan. The property was extensively damaged by what some consider to be the excessive use of force. Mike was injured during the raid and along with his wife and housekeeper; he was charged with as many as nine offences and are on remand at the Central Prison. Their three children were also in the house. In the interview from behind the prison walls, Mike and Illiana contradicted the G.S.U. account of the raid, denying that Mike was the first to open fire, adding that the shootout could have turned fatal for them. Saldivar is accused of breaching prison rules by facilitating the interviews.

This afternoon the usually media friendly Saldivar was not available for comment. Lawyers contacted by this station say that it would be improper to deny anyone an attorney of their choice even in the face of the alleged infraction. We also understand that a request for a bail hearing given the medical condition of Illiana has not been consented to. Interestingly, James Swan, whose house in the City was also raided by the G.S.U., was granted bail due to his diabetic condition.

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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19 Responses for “Attorney banned from prison, but is it legal?”

  1. pan says:

    only in belize are people tried and convicted in the court of public opinion, then sent to a privatized prison that apparently has the power to deny citizens their constitutional right. that GSU is a monster, created by other monsters, and unleashed on our society!

  2. BZNinCALI says:

    No one agreed with that obviously bone head decision to free Swan & knew that it would come back to bite ean & Cheryl Lynn in the a$$. That said, I do believe that Saldivar should face some form of punishment for breaking the rules & if that means that his partner or boss Dickie or Oswald has to do his job, then so be it. If we do not start holding our attorneys to at least the pretense that they respect our laws, we may as well accept that our laws are just suggestions & should only be honored when it’s convenient.

    Now to save face & acknowledge that a mistake was made, DPP can pretend that their decision was challenged in a higher court & haul Swan’s backside back to jail.

  3. WTF says:

    GSU screwed up big time and found nothing, now they are trying to bury the truth.
    Meanwhile, Raindrops walks the streets after finding drugs and ammo in his house.
    Be afraid Belize, Be very afraid.

  4. Revolution says:

    Medical Condition?? What a joke. I know the daughter has a condition, not a damn is wrong with Illiana. She just misses put in on push up bras and makeup while sipping on cocktail. Keep them there til the case comes up. Hope the attempted murder charges stick as well. Raindrops is a different story, that was then, this is now. Get the sense….

  5. Anna says:

    Very well said REVOLUTION I totally agree with you

  6. Storm says:

    No lawyer should be allowed to bring a cellphone into a prison interview room. What next, guns or drugs?

    Attorneys are not above the law. They should ALL be searched before entering a prison. They can still talk to their clients, but they cannot give them cellphones, drugs, guns, or anything else.

    If Kolbe is not searching attorneys before they enter, it’s a joke.

  7. jose says:

    revolution and anna seems to have something personally against lliana and menjivar because you must first look at the fact that the police didnt found anything illegal in there house and all they did was to protect ther kids and home includeing there lives ok you two must also remember that they are both innocent until proven otherwise got me. be careful GSU dont coming next at you or upon one of your close fmily or friend remember every one has right

  8. Jeebo says:

    To Mike and his wife: What goes around comes around. How many of your customers have you stolen from that have set foot in your bar? Giving “wrong” change to bar customers is the oldest truck in the book and you should be charged for theft for every single customer you stole from. The reason that on the busiest night of the week only about 3% of your customers are from Belmopan is because everyone there knows what you do to your customers and they are disgusted. And the drug suspision, well don’t we all suspect you of something more if we know you do petty little thefts everyday. Fair is fair, you’ll get your day in court.

  9. Dan Armeneau says:

    Revolution and Anna, do I detect a bit of animosity here? The vitriol spewing from your pie holes is nothing short of disgusting and has the distinct odour of what should be coming out your ……….

    Citizens of Belize have certain rights under the Constitution of Belize. Before you open your pie hole you should do a little research into what those rights are.

    Start here:

    Part I is a short read and leaves very little wiggle room to allow any misinterpretation:

    “PART I

    The State and The Constitution

    1.-(1) Belize shall be a sovereign democratic State of Central America in the Caribbean region.

    (2) Belize comprises the land and sea areas defined in Schedule 1 to this Constitution, which immediately before Independence Day constituted the colony of Belize.

    2. This Constitution is the supreme law of Belize and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

    Now take a careful read of Part II which you can find here:

    BZNinCALI, you as well should do a little research before you start beaking off.

    There has been such disregard to Part II of the Constitution of Belize right from the early morning hours of May 20th, 2011 that I would be more afraid of my Government than any street thug I might have the misfortune of running into.

    You might also take a read on this well written report…

    …produced back in January of 2000 by The Belize Development Trust concerning the very real dangers of Secret Police or Special Units or Squads.

    Prime Minister Barrow is playing around with the concept right now, pushing the boundaries of generally held principles of democracy and it’s really starting to give off an especially foul stench.

    As of the early morning hours of May 20th, 2011 you now have the very real prospect of your Prime Minister’s personal Goon Squad Unit shooting up your family home and terrorizing your children with automatic gunfire on the pretext of “information received”. That “information received” could even be the “voice” in the head of the Goon Squad Unit leader. How would you ever know it wasn’t? The next raid has the very real possibility of producing casualties, if not innocents then surely one of the “professionally trained” officers being the victim of their own crossfire.

    As of May 25th, 2011 you now have the very real possibility of being denied the right to legal counsel as well. The writing’s on the wall folks! I sadly fear this is only the thin edge of the wedge!

    There are so many things wrong with this whole affair it’s overwhelming to even know where to begin.

    Too bad such a beautiful little country has to be the victim of your Government’s “Vision of the Future”! As someone so aptly put it before me, “I love Belize, do you?”

  10. geturfacts says:

    mien this has me really frightened then we wonder why is it that witnesses fail to testify when most of the time it is the lawyers who are facilitating their clients to threaten witnesses bu sending them text messages and phone calls to intimidate those witnesses. this is absolutely preposterous saldivar should be in jail with them both. who knows how man of his clients he has aided in sending threats to their victims or witnesses. afterall no witness no case and the lazy lawyer succeeds and gets paids the criminal is back out on the street and more belizeans lives are put at risks because we have brazen criminals walking around with the brains of their attorney. i personally think that alot of these lawyers specifically Dickie, arthur, and ellis are single handedly responsible for the mess this country is in, Its only them and the funeral homes that are benefiting from this madness plaguing the city. Thanks Arthur “Hog Head” Saldivar lol!! i just shows how very low u are!! and stupid too.!!!!

  11. Dan Armeneau says:

    Jeebo – The market place usually has a way of sorting itself out. You treat your customers wrong and they go somewhere else where they are treated right. You treat your customers right they come back in droves and you’re a successful businessman that everybody resents and can’t possibly figure out that your success was likely the product of hard work and long hours. It’s hard to get any respect.

    If you have a beef the Cabana then maybe you should man up, use your real name, and present some real evidence to back up these accusations fueled by your own animosity.

    You too should do a little reading before you open your pie hole.

  12. Earl Grey says:

    WHAT ARE THE 9 CHARGES??????????????

  13. carlos says:

    The GSU please deal with the gang problem. i don’t think mr menjivar was a gang problem. if drugs were involved, then make the CIB get the prove and then set the correct people to trap him. its a very wrong way how GSU dealth with this situation. In no country this thing should be allowed. in Mexico if the police act like this, the people start to hold police families in custody or retaliate with their families. Lets don’t get in this direction.

  14. Alex says:

    I believe that the way the GSU acted was very unprofessional, not to mention idiotic. Who the hell goes to a house with a private license plate vehicle to shoot a house. Please don’t say that Mr. Menjivar fired first, beacause if you follow the chronology of the story, the dogs had to interact when the GSU were inside the property. The dogs came and were shot at.I don’t think that the dogs would have waited in a polite manner for their master to shoot first, so therefore the story that says the GSU lives were in danger is a cheap story…..
    Secondly, how comes they grant bail to a guy that was found “WITH DRUGS” and he was granted bail, so revolution, don’t bring this crap that, that was then and now is now..FAIR IS FAIR, but obvously what the law wants is an act of civil disobedience and trust me if this continues even their families will pay. It’s sad to say but it is the truth. And as far as it goes for mr saldivar, i believe he did wrong in facilitating the phone for the interviews and would be good if he be penalized for it.

  15. Jeebo says:

    Dan Armeneau <<< Clueless. Don't point your fingers at me. Go to Cabana and spend some money. Don't take my word for it.

  16. Dan Armeneau says:

    geturfacts – I find that nom de plume so very appropriate.

    In this day and age it probably wouldn’t be too wise to let some inmate use your cell phone to send threatening text messages. Too easy to trace. Your argument doesn’t hold a drop of water.

  17. geturfacts says:

    dan armeneau

    my my my!!! i alwys thought u were wise with all the personal feelings aside. it seems like ur very educated but here it goes Eienstien. so tel me one person is only allowed to have one phone huh? they dont sell multiple sim cards. aye!! im not as educated as u appear to be but even a retard cud mke sense. the larger picture is that a phone was taken into the prison my dear retard. whether a lawyer uses his personal number to facilitate the the prisoner or he has a special number for that is beside the point. hmm u only fool fool. i tink u over analyze the statement or ur probly just graspin at strws. or maybe ur a lawyer n u d ketch feelins lol!! ur pobably hog head saldivar with his cow boy boots lol!! aye!! u d mek my evnin now!!! lol!! stupid!!! bottom line is lawyers are the only one prospering… n it seems like the cap fits u.

  18. 2cents says:

    The Menjivars have not been convicted, therefore should not he held in prison but ok jail. Even convicted felons have a right to an attorney of their choice. Saldivar has not been charged with any violation and has the right to advocate for his clients. This government is turning the country into a communist state.

  19. Dan Armeneau says:

    geturfacts – You are clearly missing the big picture here. Your rights and freedoms are at serious risk as is abundantly obvious by what happened in Belmopan on May 20th, 2011 and continues to this date.

    You’re letting animosity cloud sober thought.

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