BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Oct. 26, 2017–This is the first time in Belize that someone who has posted on Facebook is facing a criminal charge for that post.
Today, Shikell Nunez, known by his performance name, “Cross De Nitro”, was arraigned on a charge of threat of death and remanded to the Belize Central Prison after the court prosecutor objected to the court granting him bail.
Nunez, a resident of 37 Mopan Street, appeared in the #8 Court before Magistrate Stephanie Gillett, who arraigned him on the single charge that he made threats of death against members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) and their families.
Nunez pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In his objection to the court granting Nunez bail, the court prosecutor said, “The defendant is charged with threat of death against law enforcement officials and their families. No one should have law enforcement officers in fear of moving around freely in our beautiful country.”
Nunez told the court, “I am a ghetto youth out of the streets of Belize. I have not had much opportunity. The day when I made the video I was frustrated and I overreacted with certain words. Some people got offended and I didn’t know it would have gone that far. Who can we turn to, to say when the GSU threatened us?”
Nunez explained that the person whom the GSU allegedly threatened to kill “is the person who has me going right now, so that the youth look up to me.”
“I just want to say that I was in a state of mind, and I was venting,” Nunez added.
“I fear for my life and that of my manager, Big Tom,” Nunez continued.
He said that when he realized the effect that it caused, he deleted the video. “I was also threatened by the GSU, that they would push down Nitro. After they charged me, I was not even given a phone call. The individual that the GSU threatened to kill is my bread. I did not intend to threaten the system,” Nunez told the court.
Magistrate Gillett told Nunez that we are products of our society and “you have a responsibility to vent responsibly. The court has to consider the objection from the police. There is the option for you to go to the Supreme Court for bail.”
After saying this, Magistrate Gillett told Nunez that she would uphold the prosecutor’s objection and remand him to prison until his next adjournment date on December 11.
In the summary of the police facts of the case against Nunez, the officer commanding the GSU, Superintendent Andres Makin, said he received a video which was 4 minutes and 41 seconds in length.
Makin said that in the video he heard the person threatening members of the GSU, their families, and other police officers. Makin said the comments of the individual made him feel fear for his life and the safety of his family.
In the clip, the individual said, “Unu want we plant bombs da unu station? Just like how unu got guns, guns deh bout too. Just like how unu got grenade, grenade deh bout. Me di be straight, with unu too.”
Makin went on to say that the individual, Nunez, had indicated that members of the GSU had threatened to kill Kenneth “Big Tom” Flowers. Makin said that no members of the GSU had threatened to kill Flowers or any member of the public.