Florence Cassez : french woman wrongly accused of kidnapping

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Summary of the proceedings and the irregularities in the process

 

  • Violation of the legal process

The Constitution of Mexico guarantees the right to a trial in which the essential formalities of procedure are observed according to the law.  On December 9 2005, Florence Cassez was paraded in front of the media and branded a kidnapper, leaving her stigmatized in the eye of public opinion. In February 2006, the authorities were forced to admit that the images on television did not match the reality of the case, and that they did not correspond to any kind of live rescue.

  • Uncertainty about the arrest

There are irregularities contained in the file against Florence Cassez that cancel any certainty about the circumstances surrounding the time of her detention. The police report, which is the main piece of evidence in the case, originally states that the detention took place on the México-Cuernavaca federal road at 5:30 am on December 9, 2005. The same report informs that the officers entered the farm around 7:30 am.

  • Contradictions

Television broadcasters received a phone call at 5:00am asking them to attend the farm, where they filmed the alleged arrest.  In fact, Florence was arrested the day before, detained in a van, beaten into making confessions, and finally brought to the staged arrest that took place on December 9th.  This occurred at 6:47 am. That part of the police contains inconsistencies, stating that when Florence and Israel Vallarta were arrested, he had “confessed” to being the kidnapper and warned police that his accomplice would execute the victims in a matter of hours. Facing the emergency, police officers returned to the farm. Around 7:15, according to the report, Vallarta opened the front door and released the hostages.  No other accomplice was ever arrested.

The Procuraduría launched an internal investigation, forcing police to admit making errors in the case, specifically the timing of events.   Their new version of events delayed the times, only furthering the obvious fact that thier attention was focussed on staging the arrest and the media spectacle as opposed to making the alledged kidnap victims their priority.  On the contrary they kept them in a hostile environment, together with their claimed aggressors with publicity in mind. This is in direct violation of constitutional article 16 of the Mexican constitution. The Constitution and the law are clear in this regard and do not authorize any exception, nevermind allow the detention of suspects to perform a staging. The police report completely proves that Florence Cassez was not arrested, as it was claimed in the beginning, inside the farm or in the presence of kidnapped persons. The later admission of a wrong chronology of the events, calls into question the in the police proceeding and the ministerial execution.

  • Leading irregularities

The testimonies of the witnesses against Florence Cassez are openly wrong. Originally, two out of them, a woman, Cristina Hilda Ríos Valladares,  and her son, ten year old Cristian Hilario Ramírez Ríos testified shortly after they were released, proclaimed not to recognize Florence Cassez neither by her face or by her voice. These testimonies, however, would change radically. The Procuraduría recognized publically that the circumstances of the arrests and the alleged rescue were skewed, and determined that the original testimonies were the ones with the most evidential weight, given that they were produced in absence of instruction and without legal advice. The verdict that condemned Florence Cassez, did not follow that principle of procedure.

  • The testimony of Cristian Hilario Ramírez. Ten years old

He is heard on December 9, 2005 by the police services, he claims “not to know her and not to recognize Florence´s voice”.

It will not be before February 14, 2006 directly from San Diego in the United States, in the heart of the Mexican Embassy that he pronounces the following testimony: “(…) I do recognize the voice of who states to be called Florence Cassez as the person who withdrew blood from my arm, because now that I hear that voice on television, I recognize her”. During the process he would sign the two testimonies with dates of December 9, 2005 and February 14, 2006.

  • The testimony of Cristina Hilda Ríos Valladares

Cristina Hilda Ríos Valladares is overheard on December 9, 2005, facing Florence, the latter standing alone behind glass. On this day, Cristina states that she does not recognize her or her voice, whom however the police introduced to Cristina as her kidnapper. On February 15, 2006, over 2 months later, in San Diego, Cristina states: “I want to declare that after some telephone calls that were broadcast by the media, that I saw on television, concerning Florence Cassez, I would like to say without a doubt, I recognize that woman´s voice as the woman I heard in two houses where I was captive.” The radical change in her testimony occurs only 5 days after Florence would call on Denise Maerker’s TV show and confront Garcia Luna, revealing her detention had been staged (February 6th)

On June 7, 2006, Cristina contradicts herself again as she testifies, “by the time I was imprisoned for 52 days, I recognized the arrested woman as the woman in the second house and not as the one in the first one. One day, inside the house, she took off her scarf and I saw a person´s back with a balaclava helmet with blond hair showing under the helmet, short locks.  An expert witness, Dr. Legista, testified that Florence has never been blonde; she has got natural reddish hair and always has. In her statement of February 2006, Cristina had asserted she had never seen her abductors.

Cristina not only changed her testimony about recognizing Florence, but also went on to claim that during her captivity she had been raped by Israel Vallarta.  There was no mention of a rape in December of 2005. She even declared she had been treated very well during her kidnapping (Dec 9th)

She also stated, “I talked to my son, who told me that a female, who spoke with an odd accent, withdrew blood from his arm and he got to see the woman’s hands and according to what he said to me, they were a woman´s beautiful white hands.” In the latter statement though, there is no mention of about Florence´s hands covered in reddish freckles, which would be a recognizable characteristic to be mentioned. Cristina tells in the same testimony that “she (Florence Cassez) is not a very familiar woman in the neighborhood, big and blond with green eyes.“ The testimony will show that Florence has never been blond and that her eyes are blue and so it couldn’t possibly be her.

On February 8, 2006, Cristina was taken by the Ministerio Público inside the house where she claimed to have been held first, before she would be moved to a second place in the course of her captivity. The first house belonged to Israel Vallarta´s sister and her husband Alejandro Mejilla. There, Cristina plainly recognized the house, stating that “the sofas in the room, the bathroom and the busy bedroom, are where [she has been] detained several days.‘’ However, the owners of the home were never interrogated by the police. No description of Vallarta’s sister is included in the police investigation.  Why?

  • Ezequiel Yadir Elizalde Flores

Ezequiel claims to recognize Florence due to a blonde lock of her hair and her voice. Although in his first statement, he also declared that he had never seen her, he came to change this as to say that he had seen her face clearly, as she had the plan to kill him, as he would add. He soon declared that Florence Cassez injected him with a substance and showed, in December 2005, a scar which he claimed to be caused by a recent injection. The scar, it was determined under medical examination, was actually a birthmark.  The Ministerio Público never rejected or objected to the medical report which established that the mark was not a scar. There was also no toxicology testing done to determine whether or not any kind of anesthetic or other substance was given to this witness.

  • Another improbable witness

Another witness is a dry goods salesperson who made a written declaration, but was never formally interrogated. This witness appeared out of nowhere and testified that he saw Florence Cassez chasing a victim. The testimony of this witness is vague and shows a clear coaching because he recognizes her from a photograph. Several months later he was killed in a car accident in the state of Hidalgo which is why he could not have testified during the trial. Despite the various inconsistencies of his statement, it was considered as an additional proof of Cassez’s guilt by the judge and is still invoked by Cassez’s detractors, such as Isabel Miranda de Wallace.

  • Testimony Analysis

The unconstitutional arrest, inconsistent police processes, coupled with the ever changing and unreliable testimony of all of the witnesses, including two who were never cross examined by Florence Cassez’s lawyers because they only appeared via video,  prove a gross miscarriage of justice in this case, even by Mexico’s own standards and rules of law. Florence Cassez was targeted and used by the authorities in an elaborate publicity scheme that even though it backfired on them, still resulted in her wrongful conviction and subsequent detention.  Such violation of Human Rights, guaranteed by Mexico’s own charter, is absolutely unacceptable, yet tragically commonplace.  More must be done in the case of Florence Cassez because the longer that she remains in jail, the more abuses of the rule of law occur and the corruption of this country festers and grows.

 

 

 

More to come…

Contact 

Comite_florence_cassez_montreal@live.com

Information

Mexico por Florence Cassez (spanish)

www.florence-inocente (french – spanish)

www.liberezflorencecassez.com (french)              

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for influencing so many readers with your great information. Your article has sparked a lot of thought for me. I share your views. I will shurely post a link to https://innocentvictimsinmexico.wordpress.com/florence-cassez-french-woman-wrongly-accused-of-kidnapping/ on my site.

    Reply
  2. United Artists For Florence Cassez on Facebook and Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/uaforflorencecassez

    Reply
  3. CT

     /  01/25/2013

    she is not innocent! How could she live together with a kidnnaper without knowing what he wad doing? Or she is stupid or she knew what happened!

    Reply
  4. Neo

     /  01/27/2013

    France protège les criminels!
    France protects criminals!
    Francia protege criminales!

    Reply

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