And while the Free Belize protest went without incident there was the case of the Belize Rights and Justice Movement (BRJM) that took to the Battlefield Park on Saturday morning to not only protest the vaccine mandate, but also the vaccines. Heading that movement was former Belize City Mayor, Zenaida Moya who was subsequently arrested. She told the media that she is being targeted and that she was man-handled by the Police. Love News caught up with Moya as she was released from Precinct Three on Queen Street on Saturday evening. Up to this point she was only being charged for hosting a gathering of more than ten persons who are not of the same household. According to Moya she was not notified that she was being arrested or what charge was being brought against her. She further noted that she was merely walking on the sidewalk when she was picked up on Freetown Road.
Zenaida Moya, Representative, BRJM: “They did not say directly they just wanted me to go with them. They tried to isolate me. I was merely walking so I was walking everybody can know out there I was walking, I was walking in front on the sidewalk like a regular person would walk on the sidewalk. I was walking on the sidewalk when they accosted me and one of the officer, a big GSU officer he came in front of me and he tried to stop me from walk and I told him I’m just gonna walk. Anyway and then afterwards they came and then they surrounded me, they tried to isolate me and this was going toward Coye’s Funeral Home. My two wrists were this big GSU officer really manhandled me he was one of them, really manhandled me. He threw me into the back on the vehicle that they had and my two wrists are really messed up. So both hands like I can’t even press and so they’re swollen, black and blue so see – you can’t see because it’s dark but it’s swollen and when he threw me into the vehicle he hit my head really hard. It was me they came after. I was the target.”
Reporter: One of your charges is for not wearing a mask. You come out here and you’re still not wearing a mask.
Zenaida Moya, Representative, BRJM: “Yes because I suffer from sinus. It’s sinus I do suffer from sinusitis, it’s the sinus so it’s persons like me who suffer from that we can’t breath well in a mask, we simply cannot breath well. If you know what a sinus is, so we cannot breath well with that and yes I do suffer from that. So it is a medical, it is a medical reason why I cannot use a mask. This is something that doesn’t frighten me and I need to inform the people. I am not frightened, you understand ? I’m not frightened.”
By the following day Moya was detained again where two additional charges were brought against her. Those other charges were failure to call a public procession held in contravention of the Act to disperse when required to do so by a Police officer; and organizing a public procession without the permission of the Commissioner of Police. Representing Moya are Attorneys Richard Dickie Bradley and Norman Rodriguez. According to Rodriguez, Zenaida Moya was given a five hundred dollar station bail which means she not held overnight at the precinct.
Norman Rodriguez, Moya’s Attorney: “The other charge is that they said that she failed to wear a face mask properly and they did this charge under the SI number seventy four of 2021 and the other charge is failure to practice social distancing. Those are the three charges and for the last two she was issued tickets.”
Reporter: Did they try to frustrate as sometimes happens ?
Norman Rodriguez, Moya’s Attorney: “They charged her and they’re giving her bail. Normally we’ve seen that the police would keep people for the forty eight and then they would say they’re doing PI or they’re doing the investigation before they would charge the person so this one would not have been as tedious as we are normally used to, that is the condition with that.”
In Police Commissioner’s response to Moya’s arrest and Saturday’s demonstration he noted that there will be additional arrests made based on footage taken of the event.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Now the police did several things during this ordeal and again this was done with a view to avoid confrontation with people. So what we did we took photographs and video of all those persons who were involved in that illegal demonstration and those persons will be summoned to appear in court for the breach of the demonstration law that is to say partaking in an illegal demonstration and they will also be ticketed for the COVID19 violation offences and will be summoned likewise for being a part of that group under the COVID19 regulation. So there are things that will continue to go on today to ensure that those persons who were involved are held accountable. It cannot be that some of us are adhering to the rules, to the law and others believe that they can just openly defy the law. If it is that one or a group of persons do not agree with a law the proper thing to do is to challenge the law in court. We all saw what Mr.Orosco did when he was not happy with the provisions of section 53 of the criminal code, he took the matter to court, the court adjudicated over the matter and ruled in his favor. So that is the proper procedure that one must follow. If they believe that the quarantine regulations infringes on their constitutional rights taking the streets and trying to be violent and try to be angry at those who are in favor of the regulation or those that the regulations seek to protect is not the proper way to do things. We have seen that they said that they have hired an entourage of attorneys let the attorneys take the matter to court and let the court adjudicate on the matter. Whatever the court says I am sure the government is going to adhere to but in the time being it is the law and as police officers it is our duty to ensure that we enforce the law. I listened to Ms.Moya’s excuse for not wearing a mask, that she suffers from sinus well I have sinus issues to but I wear my mask and if it is that I reach the point that I cannot wear a mask because of my sinus then I’ll keep my bottom home. I would not be out in public endangering people. Those police officers that she came into contact with on that day in question I hope she’s not COVID19 positive because if she is she surely will infect a number of police officers. So people need to be careful. Laws are put in place for the betterment of a society, for the good order of the society and if you do not agree with the law then like I said before challenge the law in a court of law and that is it.”