Mexico: Florence Cassez to Stay
A follow-up on a story I posted about last March, the Florence Cassez case, which was a top topic of discussion during Nicolas Sarkozy's trip to Mexico:
The big story in both countries [France and Mexico] was the Florence Cassez case: Cassez was sentenced to sixty years in prison after having been arrested at her Mexican boyfriend's house. She claimed not to know that he was the leader of the Zodiacs kidnapping gang and that there were three hostages in the house. During Sarkozy's state visit on Monday the two governments announced that they would create a commission to study the case and make a report and recommendations in three weeks. This is a very sensitive case in Mexico because of increased public pressure to halt what is perceived as impunity by criminals in a country with the highest kidnapping rate in the world.
This week Mexican authorities decided that Cassez will have to serve her entire 60-year sentence in Mexico, as
there are no conditions that would enable it to consent to the transfer of Florence Cassez to her country of origin, France, as mentioned in the Strasbourg Convention.She was given the choice of remaining at Santa Marta prison or being transferred to Tetepan prison. She opted for the transfer to Tetepan, after describing Santa Marta as the "gates of hell," where she was under suicide watch.
The French government had declared that it reserved the right to suspend or reduce Cassez's sentence if she was transferred to France. Mexican President Felipe Calderón's statement was unequivocal: "The Mexican government has the unavoidable duty to ensure that the sentence passed by a judge should always be served."