Esmeralda Hernandez Jose

By Rebecca Roth, ex prisonner in paradise


My heart breaks a little every day:   Every day that my friend, Esmeralda Hernandez Jose spends in jail, stealing her youth from her.  I’ve known this special woman since 2006, when I began teaching her English while I, too, was jailed for something I didn’t do.  My nightmare ended two years ago this coming March 2012 and I am well into the healing process that the luxury of freedom allows.  But I don’t and can’t forget that someone I care about as a friend continues to languish in jail.

Esmeralda’s nightmare began just 3 months after she graduated university in Mexico City.  At 22, she and her sister met an older man at a disco and he told them a story about his frequent travel to Mexico City and that he didn’t like to dine alone.  To be young and careless shouldn’t be a crime, yet because of her few free dinners, she continues to await her fate after 6 years of incarceration.  Without going into detail for her own protection, I am certain that she is, like Florence Cassez, a victim of a broken legal system; a system that finds the answers without asking the questions.  Only in Esmeralda’s case, since she is Mexican, there is no government that could possibly intervene, since it is her own government who seeks to condemn her.  What a shame this bright woman with a degree in bio-chemical engineering remains isolated from making the contributions she could have made to society during these long years.  She has not been completely isolated, however, because since 2008, we have been making dolls together and we continue to do this even though she works on dolls and trains new women on how to make them from inside prison and I work on the dolls and find selling outlets on the outside.

It is hard for me to express in a few short lines how difficult it is to be hopeful, under the circumstances she faces.  If you have followed the case of Florence Cassez, another woman who I learned of while I was still incarcerated, then you may have an inkling of the stress for the individual and the amount of people it takes to be involved in fighting for your life.

Yet, I for one believe in miracles!  I am living proof that miracles do happen; I was arrested; two years later sentenced; one year later, lost my appeal and finally the legal process started over and within a week, I was released for lack of evidence.  I am asking for a miracle in the case of Florence Cassez, a vivacious and delightful woman I spent a day with when I travelled to Tepepàn a little over a year ago to deliver a message to her …never give up!  I’m asking for a miracle for Esmeralda, too, because she deserves to live a life outside of prison walls.

What do Florence Cassez and Esmeralda Hernandez Jose have in common?  They have both been accused of the politically and socially charged crime of kidnapping.   While Florence has been sentenced and lost her appeal, Esmeralda continues to this day un-sentenced after 6 years behind bars.  Florence’s miracle may be here soon and we can all celebrate her freedom, but what of Esmeralda?

If you would like to send Esmeralda a message of encouragement, you can send it to my email address:    Our website is   Let me know if you would like to become friends on facebook.

Leave a comment


  1. Trinilopezz

     /  12/17/2012

    y la muñeca de Florence Cassez para cuando? Existen campañas publicitarias basadas en muñecas y ese podría ser un elemento importante

  2. louise daw

     /  12/23/2012

    i am in awe of your courage and inner strenght.continue your work, and your story will continue to be heard, inspiring us all and also allowing us who roam free to know that we must always be aware of the world we live in.


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