Colombians on pause

Three Colombians who appeared before a District “A” magistrate today for sentencing will now have to wait a little longer to know
their fate.

When fraud accused Bairon Valencia Lopez, Hames Mendoza Arevalo and David Mauricio Botero-Montes stood in the dock in front of Magistrate Douglas Frederick, he informed their attorney-at-law Allan Carter that he would be breaking the law if he arraigned them today.

The presiding judicial officer explained that because the Spanish-speaking men had pleaded guilty yesterday before another magistrate, he was not au fait with all the facts and therefore could not rely on what took place in that case.

In addition to that, “the issue I have, is that a person under the law, is entitled to know the charge(s) [that brought them before the court]. Since they don’t speak English, I can’t proceed with the case. It [charges] would have to be [read] in a language they understand [Spanish]. That is the law. I would be circumventing the law,” insisted Magistrate Frederick.

The court then decided that the matter must be dealt with as soon as practical and –– with agreement from their lawyer –– ruled that the case would be heard on Friday by which time an interpreter should be available to translate the charges to be read out.

The accused, who arrived from prison handcuffed and shackled by their feet, were ordered returned in the same manner. The defence counsel told Barbados TODAY afterwards, that they hope to get an interpreter on Friday and then the magistrate may [or may not] impose sentencing.

“The magistrate will determine what he will do [after reading the charges]. He may sentence them . . . . I say, he may. They are not serious charges,” pointed out attorney Carter, who is representing the three Colombians in association with Andrew Pilgrim.

Earlier, Carter, who was able to decipher information from one of his clients who “speaks a little English,” told the court that the men complained that they had spent seven days in custody already and that this was an issue for them.

The lawyer informed the magistrate that the accused were concerned that they have families waiting on them.

Twenty-six-year-old Lopez, a student, is charged that on February 5, he had another person’s driver’s licence for use in connection with criminal deception, 35-year-old taxi driver Arevalo is facing a similar crime allegedly committed the same day, while 26-year-old student, Botero-Montes, pleaded guilty to possessing a visa card that was not his, for use in connection with criminal deception.

Botero-Montes had to answer an additional offence of loitering on the premises of Kathleen Gardner, and suspected to be about to
commit burglary.

The trio, who were staying at Kirtons in St Philip are charged together with a fourth Colombian of no fixed place of abode. That fourth man –– who also pleaded guilty yesterday –– is expected to be sentenced at the District “D” Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.


Hame Arevalo

David Montes

9 Responses to Colombians on pause

  1. Robert Holloway
    Robert Holloway February 12, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Sorry, break the law with intent, explain to your families why you came… just my thoughts

  2. Poetry Dancer
    Poetry Dancer February 13, 2014 at 3:11 am

    deport now

  3. Poetry Dancer
    Poetry Dancer February 13, 2014 at 3:13 am

    Wait..they don’t speak English so why come to Barbados? They must have not done their homework…just because we have a Spanish name does not mean we speak Spanish ovah hey…go home and doan come back bout dis place. Stupsssssssssssssse

  4. Sharon Woolley
    Sharon Woolley February 13, 2014 at 3:18 am

    First they don’t speak English, then someone speaks a little English, they are conning the courts, it’s easy for them to talk among themselves in Spanish and fool everyone that they don’t speak English, and then they have the nerve to complain about being in custody for 7 day’s, were they expecting to be free and commit more crimes after being caught ??

  5. Doria Alleyne
    Doria Alleyne February 13, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Sent them back home where they came from for good

  6. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner February 13, 2014 at 6:27 am

    The worst thing about these foreign criminals is the friggin lawyers who think that we should just let these people roam free.Foneigners who commit crime here do not have same rights as a Barbadian plain and simple and that’s pretty much a worldwide way of operation in any country legal system.


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