The other theme was the supposed unfairness of putting the accused man through a "normal" trial, because as a Mayan Indian speaker of Mam he did not understand Spanish well enough to comprehend a translation of the proceedings — or so his lawyer said.
Language leaves justice tongue-tied, Boston Herald, February 13, 2010The good news is that this disgusting creature got hard time; the bad news is a new trial with a Mam translator ($300 per day is the rate for one).
TAMPA, Fla. - He was 28. She was 11. Her parents said they gave consent, claiming cultural norms of the Guatemalan highlands. But in Dover, Florida, a little girl with a baby raises questions.
When deputies came, Teodoro Pablo-Ramirez understood only some of what they said, according to his lawyer. He speaks no English and little Spanish — just the Mayan tongue of Mam.
The indigenous language, understood by few interpreters, has stymied court cases across the country. One interpreting service in Washington resorted to recruiting a Mam speaker out of a jail lobby.
In Hillsborough Circuit Court, two cases, both too serious to dismiss, are stalled for lack of a Mam translator. In one, a 4-year-old Wimauma girl was raped. The details are locked inside her mother, who speaks only Mam. And last year, Pablo-Ramirez was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, before the judge granted a motion for retrial.
The court could provide only Spanish interpreters.
Your tax dollars at work: defending the diversity of a pervert invader who doesn't speak the language of his home country, much less English.