Headline — 07 June 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego
Police brutalize Esperanza youth, 13

They twisted the child’s arm so violently that he suffered a compound fracture

Police are accused of roughing up a 13-year-old Esperanza boy until his left arm suffered a compound fracture. The incident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday in the Mendoza family yard in Esperanza, during what police said was a search for drugs in the house.

Police said that they did find drugs, however, and the youth and his father, 72, were arrested, charged and then granted police bail. The boy was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where his arm was put in a cast.

The family is upset about the way the boy was handled and wants the police to pay for the boy’s medical treatment. They have since made an official complaint to the police’s Internal Affairs office in Belmopan, and to the Ombudsman.

Sharema Mendoza told Amandala that about 2: 30 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, the family was at home; she and her mother were washing clothes in the yard; her brother, 13, was doing homework, and her father was eating at the table. Some friends were also in the yard.

Some police officers arrived at the house at about the same time that her brother got up to take the homework to their mother, Sandra Gibson, to check. Police grabbed the boy, demanding to know where the drugs were, and began to twist his arm, Sharema said.

Mendoza said that she pleaded with the police to stop mistreating her young brother. One of the police officers then got a ladder and went on top of the house, where he claimed to have found about 14 sticks of weed, wrapped in foil. After this discovery, her father and brother were arrested, she said.

Mendoza and her brother went to the police station to lodge a complaint, but on their arrival at the station they were arrested and put in the cell. She said she heard her brother crying, because he was in pain.

According to Mendoza, they were detained for about three hours before they were taken out and allowed to go. She is angry that she and her brother were put in holding cells, because, she said, she had not disrespected the police, but was simply trying to defend her brother, who was being unnecessarily abused.

She was holding her 4-month-old baby at the time, she said, and she stumbled and almost fell, and had to grab onto one of the policemen to prevent herself from falling.

Inspector Reymundo Reyes, Deputy Commander of the San Ignacio police, said that a family from Esperanza was arrested and charged with drug possession, and afterwards given police bail and released.

He said that the minor was placed in a cell alone, and his sister and father were each placed in separate cells, and there was nothing illegal about that. The minor later was given a medico legal form and taken to the hospital, because he was complaining of pain in his arm.

Sandra Gibson, the boy’s mother, who was also at home at the time, told Amandala that police were handling her husband roughly, and she told them to stop, because he was sickly and suffered from hypertension and diabetes, and their treatment of him would aggravate these conditions.

She said that her husband is the only member of the family who is employed, and now her son has suffered an injury that will require that he be examined by a bone specialist. They do not have enough money to pay for such medical treatment, and are demanding that the police pay the expenses that will be incurred to ensure the complete recovery of her young son.

Gibson is also denying that there were drugs on her housetop. She surmised that the policeman who went up to the roof by himself could have planted the cannabis up there, and argued that they could not have thrown the marijuana up there, because it would have blown away.

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