A Belizean couple and their two kids were arrested in Mexico last night at 9:00. Corozal pilot Efrain Guerrero and his pregnant Mexican wife Tanisha Morales were coming down from Cancun by road, and entering Bacalar they ran over an animal in the road. It turned out to be a jaguar - and that got them into a major problems with the law. They held Guerrero in custody and his wife told a Mexican media house what happened - and why his detention is unjust:
Tanisha Morales, Wife of Efrain Guerrero
"Entering Bacalar, my husband and I saw a little animal cross the road, but when we looked at it closely, it was far bigger."
"We had two options: if he braked, we would turn over because a big bus was coming fast behind us. So if we braked, it would have created a collision; it would have been our lives to save the animal that was crossing. So he decided to hit the animal. Unfortunately it was a jaguar that we didn't want to hit, that was not our intention."
"At that moment he continued because it happened in a dark area. There was no light and no houses, so, instead of parking in the dark he went, and drove where they had light and checked if I was ok, if everyone was ok and what the damage was. Because the vehicle was overheating at that moment. In that moment, ehm...I think were were al in shock."
"We didn't kill the jaguar - we only knocked him down but the bus coming behind us killed him, and the conductor wanted to take the jaguar in the bus - that's what the police told us."
"It's very unjust. Me being a Mexican, he being a Belizean, we live in Corozal, Belize. But for a tourist it is very bad."
"They are accusing us of hunting, that he is hunting a jaguar. How will she tell me that he is hunting a jaguar in a car? They didn't find him with a firearm, or a knife nothing in the vehicle we were just coming for a trip. This is very unjust."
Despite what she calls an injustice, Guerrero remains detained tonight - and there are efforts to resolve the dispute diplomatically.