On Tuesday Marco Tulio Mendez, Area representative for Orange Walk East, appeared before Magistrate Moody, where he was formally charged for damning allegations including four counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor and two counts of common assault upon another minor.
Less than 24 hours since then, another PUP elected area representative was charged for a lesser offence.
Last week Hon. Johnny Briceño, Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, was served with a notice of intended prosecution for negligent harm.
The allegations are based on an incident that dates back to January 22, when the Area Representative was heading to an event to mark the opening of the Yo Creek and Trinidad Road. The story goes that on that date Johnny Briceño asked a group of men to make way for him to drive pass. Among the men was Christopher Hendricks, the driver of the Deputy Prime Minister Gapi Vega, who is claiming that Mr Briceño ran over his feet.
While his charges were read inside the court house, a crowd of some 30 PUP supporters gathered outside the court to witness the summons.
Johnny Briceño spoke to the media saying he is innocent of the charge and said this is a case of pure political mischief.
“There are some charges about a supposed accident that happened with Mr Christopher Hendricks, of which I am totally innocent.
Today is, in my opinion, a sad day for Belize where you can see a political party using the courts of Belize to try to intimidate people.
I can tell you that there is absolutely no truth to what Mr. Hendricks is doing. I’m a bit disappointed with the police department. I believe that the police have so many other important things to do, as to follow up something that has been dictated by their political bosses. I can see the prints of the Deputy Prime Minister all over this, trying to find a way to intimidate me and by extension the people of this country.
I want to make it abundantly clear that I am not intimidated. I will not be intimidated. I am going to continue to stand up for the good people of Orange Walk Central, and by extension for the people of this country. I will not allow the political bosses in this country to continue to push around the citizens of Belize.”
JohnnyBriceño was charged for driving without due care and attention and is to go back to court on April 13th.