Kayla Sanchez, a 25 year-old Belizean, remains detained in Peten, Guatemala, and she is awaiting a criminal hearing before a judge from that country. She’s being accused of going into Melchor De Menchos, Guatemala and stealing a cellular phone.
Information to the press is that she went over to that town between Saturday, January 30, and Sunday, January 31. While she was there, she was reportedly cornered by a group of Guatemalan residents of the town in the Central Park area. They say that she stole a cellular phone, and was trying to pry it open with a knife. Fortunately, Guatemalan Police officers observed a commotion in the park, and intervened before their attempt at citizen’s arrest turned into a mob which tried to hurt her.
She was taken into custody, and sometime after that, the Belizean Ministry of Foreign Affairs was informed of her detention. Diplomat Said Guerra, a member of the Foreign Affairs Ministry immediately travelled to Melchor to try and intercede on her behalf to ensure that she is treated fairly by the Guatemalan law enforcement. She was supposed to be arraigned on the charge of aggravated robbery on Monday, February 1, but most likely due to logistics, she was transferred to Peten, Guatemala to a state prison, similar to the Belize Central Prison. She has been held there in detention for 2 days, and it is expected that on Thursday, February 4, she will get her day in court. In the meantime, Ambassador Guerra is trying his very best to assist her in any way he can to preserve her rights to a fair trial. If found guilty, she could be facing 6 months in jail.