Photo: Hugo Sanchez Ramirez
A Mazahua Indian man was released from a prison in central Mexico after spending five years behind bars for crimes he never committed.
Hugo Sanchez Ramirez was freed after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled his due process rights had been violated.
“Hugo is young and indigenous. Those are the reasons he was attacked by the justice system,” Quetzalcoatl Fontanot, spokesperson for the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, told Efe on Tuesday.
Sanchez Ramirez’s ordeal began in 2007, when he was “arbitrarily arrested” by police officers in Mexico state who “planted guns on him,” Fontanot said.
The cops subsequently framed the young taxi driver for a kidnapping and he was sentenced to 37 years in prison, the spokesperson said.
“It’s a very relevant case because we’re talking about the way the justice system works in Mexico,” Fontanot said.
Indigenous peoples represent around 10 percent of Mexico’s 113 million residents. Many of them speak Spanish poorly, if at all, and they are especially vulnerable to abuse by the police and courts.