By Aaron Humes: In Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court this morning, the sitting Magistrate discontinued the case against the Santa Cruz 13 (currently 11 after two defendants were previously dismissed) for lack of evidence on the advice of Director of Public Prosecutions and prosecutor Cheryl-Lynn Vidal.
Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd says it comes as no surprise, as police appeared to be biased against her clients.
A recording of the meeting which led to Rupert Myles being restrained in the village was to have been turned over in May but was not.
Matura-Shepherd noted that Myles never appeared at any of the court appearances. Police, she said, did not check out both sides of the story and ignored the fact that Myles was in fact the aggressor at the meeting and her clients and others tried to protect themselves against him.
Spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), Pablo Mis, said he applauded the judicial process for being impartial and not allowing the Maya to be “targeted.”
Secondly, he hailed the history of the moment as Maya have taken the responsibility for how society and their people develop; specifically, he spoke of the Mayas’ unity in their demand for respect of their living practices and customs – the rest of the nation must now follow and be committed and cooperative.
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